Whether your import-export business is still in the planning phase or you’ve already sent your first few shipments, you’re probably wondering whether you need to hire a customs broker.
Although it’s not legally required to hire a customs clearance broker, there are certain situations when you really should. After all, customs and brokerage is a bureaucratic beast that’s usually best left to experts.
What is a Customs Broker?
A customs broker is a professional with expertise in the latest rules and regulations of international trade and customs. Just like you’re an expert in your field, customs brokers are fully knowledgeable about theirs.
Here are some of the services customs brokers can provide:
- Ensure your goods meet all international, federal, and provincial import-export requirements. They are responsible for contacting relevant agencies
- Calculate and pay fees to customs authorities for your shipments
- Prepare necessary documents in a manner that is fully compliant with all rules and regulations
- Classify your shipments under the proper codes
- Save you money by avoiding extra fees, paperwork errors, and shipment delays
- Improve customs clearance efficiency to maximize your profit
6 Situations When You Need to Hire a Customs Broker
1. You’re importing from China to Canada. If you’re planning on importing from China to Canada, there are tons of regulations that need to be followed…and they can change at any time. That’s why it’s wise to hire a customs broker in this situation. Your customs broker will stay up-to-date on all the requirements so you can have a smooth shipping process and focus on growing your business instead of worrying about customs clearance.
For great tips on importing from China to Canada, click here.
2. You’re importing from Europe. Importing from Europe is also a complicated process. You need to stay on top of customs duties and other fees so your profit margin remains secure. It’s much easier if you hire a customs broker who can take care of all the paperwork and calculations for you. Don’t make the mistake of trying to manage your shipments from Europe on your own; you might end up with unexpected fees and costly delays.
3. You want to avoid expensive and time-consuming mistakes with your shipments. Customs brokers know customs clearance better than anyone else, which is why they’re perfectly suited to steer clear of extra fees and other costly mistakes. If you try to handle customs clearance on your own, you might make any number of mistakes, including submitting errant paperwork, incorrectly classifying your shipments, miscalculating duties and taxes, and overlooking new regulations. Any of these mistakes could result in paying unexpected fees or having your goods seized by customs.
If you want a quote for Canada customs brokerage fees, use our free Canada customs fees calculator. You can also use it to calculate fees for importing goods to the US.
4. You don’t have enough time to master the complex rules and regulations of international trade. As a business owner, you probably don’t have tons of extra time on your hands to master an entirely new field…and that’s what it would take to manage customs clearance all on your own. It’s not a matter of reading a few articles online; it’s habitually studying the constantly changing rules and regulations of an industry that’s loaded with jargon. Save yourself the headache and hire a customs broker who already knows all of that stuff.
5. Your import-export business is just starting out. If your import-export business is brand new, you’re already overwhelmed by selecting products, finding suppliers, and choosing shipment methods. Attempting to manage your own shipments and customs clearance will just add to the stress. Those who are new to the import-export Canada sphere will benefit highly from a veteran customs broker who advises them on all things customs.
Are you ready to start your import-export business? Don’t miss this guide.
6. You don’t have a customs broker license. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, you must have a customs broker license to pay duties on imported goods. To obtain this license, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and your corporation must be registered in the province where you will conduct business. You have to go through an application process and indicate you have passed the Customs Brokers Professional Examination as well as pay an annual fee of $600. Sound overwhelming? Just hire a customs broker who’s already licensed to take care of these duties.
If you want to hire the best customs broker Canada has to offer, look no further. At BorderBuddy, our goal is to simplify the customs process for you. We offer solutions for businesses of all sizes, so give us a call today.