Customs brokers help simplify the process of moving products over the border. While you don’t legally need a customs broker, there are many products that are difficult to get over the border without the help of one. By using a customs broker you can get your stuff over the border faster and with less hassle.
Why do I need a customs broker?
What is a customs broker and how can they help me?
A customs broker is a licensed individual or company that works closely with border agents in other countries to make sure that goods being imported or exported have met all requirements. A good customs broker will help you with the paperwork and administration and will be available to answer questions on your behalf.
What is customs clearance?
“Customs clearance” or “clearing customs” is a phrase we hear a lot in our business. What it really means is the item that’s being imported or exported has met a country’s requirements for entering or leaving its borders. Those requirements vary from country to country and from one item to another.
We can help you “clear customs” fast, with less paperwork and fewer headaches.
What is a Harmonized Tariff Code / HS Tariff Code?
A tariff code is a tax on imports or exports between countries or states. A Harmonized Tariff Code or HS Tariff Code is a list of all the classification codes for goods that are being imported or exported. There are over 17,000 unique classification codes and each country has its own tariff schedule. Here are the tariff schedules for both the USA and Canada.
What are your customs broker fees?
Customs broker fees are the fees you pay someone to help you bring your goods into Canada. These fees are different from duty, which is an amount levied by the federal government and is a percentage of the value of your goods.
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What is an HS code? / How do I lookup HS code?
The Harmonized System is an international naming structure for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (HS) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system.
You can look up an HS code for shipments into Canada on the Canada Border Services Agency’s webpage for Customs Tariff.
For shipments into the United States, you can use this listing of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule to look up an HS code.
How do I import or ship a vehicle to Canada / USA?
When it comes to importing a vehicle to or from Canada or the US, we recommend that you start with a visit to our “how to” page. Here you’ll find up-to-date information and instructions on how to get started and what kind of specifics and paperwork you’ll need. Here’s the link.
How do I ship to Canada/US?
If you’re shipping a car to Canada from the US or shipping a vehicle to the US from Canada, you require specific information about your vehicle and will need to complete a few forms to get started. Here is a great article on The 5 Things You Need to do to Import a Car from The US to Canada.
For other products, all major small parcel carriers like DHL, FEDEX and UPS will give you international options through their normal shipping label creation process. Alternatively, we can give you a customized recommendation just click on the chat box, email or call us.
How do I release a seized item in customs?
This will depend on why the item was seized. If it was seized because the item is restricted/inadmissible, customs will either send the product back to the exporter or destroy it. If the item has been stopped by customs and they are waiting on the importer to provide additional information/pay customs duties and taxes on the product, a third party brokerage firm can assist and complete a formal entry with customs to have the goods released.
How do I calculate shipping to US/Canada?
Calculating your shipping costs to or from Canada will depend on what you are shipping. First things first though, do you have a carrier? All major small parcel carriers like DHL, FEDEX and UPS will give you international options through their normal shipping label creation process. You can find the cost of shipping in this process. Alternatively, we can give you a customized shipping recommendation.
How do I avoid customs fees/charges?
Simply put, you can’t. We don’t recommend that you try because you can get into serious trouble with border agents that way. Customs fees and charges are levied against virtually every item that comes into or goes out of a country. It’s just a matter of how much have to pay based on your item.
What is the difference between a registered importer and a customs broker?
A customs broker assists with the customs clearance of vehicles into the United States that already meet US regulations for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and DOT (Department of Transportation). A Registered Importer assists with bringing the vehicle up to US regulations in order for the vehicle to be admissible into the United States. Once the vehicle meets US regulations, a broker can assist with the import.