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What are Customs Brokers author: time:2014-09-11  

The customs broker---broker or customhouse broker or customs house broker---is an individual or company licensed to clear export and import goods through customs.

In general, the role of brokers is the same worldwide. Besides clearing of goods through customs, other export services a broker renders include booking of space for ocean, air and land freight, canvassing and providing the freight cost, and preparation of export documents and sending them to the bank for negotiation. In certain countries, it is a business practice that exporters prepare their own export documents. The broker also renders the forwarding services as a freight forwarder.

Few large exporters have their own in-house licensed customs broker.

The broker basically handles any export goods. At times, it is necessary to retain the service of a broker experienced in the exporter's line of product and the port of destination.

It is important to select a reliable customs broker. The exporter normally has to sign an authorization paper allowing the broker to handle the customs declaration. In case the broker commits an error, the exporter is held liable.

The brokerage fee varies from country to country. The broker may collect a basic service fee on top of other charges, such as documentation charges and port fees. In certain countries, the broker collects a uniform base fee, plus a small percentage of the value of shipment. In a country where the brokerage fee is not regulated, it may vary considerably among brokers. The exporter must check with different brokers in order to get the best offer. It is important to request the broker to show the breakdown of charges on the billing.

A good and honest broker can help new exporters with certain export routines and help them save money.


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