How to Choose a Customs Broker For Your Business

If you are planning on importing or exporting products for your business, the first question in your mind should be how to get the products across the border. Some people choose to fly solo when it comes to dealing with customs; however, unless you have the experience and know-how on customs regulations, it is wise to use a customs broker for your import or export clearance needs.

Customs brokers are agents who assist with documentation, calculation of duties and levies, and making payments to the customs and border protection agency. Choosing the wrong broker can result in delayed clearance, incorrect entries, or even fines. Follow these tips to ensure you choose a competent and suitable customs agent.

Clearance specialization

Do you have a particular line of products that you are importing? If so, it is suitable to choose a customs broker who specializes in clearing your line of products, be it textiles, alcoholic beverages, beauty products, household items or many others. The benefit of using a specialized broker is that they have dealt with the product before; therefore, they are aware of all the technicalities associated with it. You are more likely to get your cargo cleared faster this way.

Licensing in both countries

Choosing a broker who is licensed in the country you are exporting from and importing to can provide extremely attractive brokerage prices compared to using a broker who's only licensed in the importing country. For example, if you are importing from New Zealand, the broker should be licensed in both Australia and New Zealand. Doing so also eliminates the need for multiple agents which could lead to errors in the calculation of levies and duties.

Up-to-date technology

Technology is key when it comes to smooth and fast customs clearance. You want a broker who is fully automated with full connectivity to Australia customs. They should also have innovative and up-to-date technology with access to various web portals and cargo tracking sites. A good customs broker should keep constant communication via email or telephone regarding the progress of the cargo clearance process.

Customs clearance team

It is essential that your customs broker has a team of personnel at your disposal to ensure speed and efficiency in the clearance process. In case the broker isn't available, you want to be sure that there is a team of players working hard to ensure your cargo is cleared promptly. If you import from various ports, a broker with a team of personnel can eliminate the need for hiring other brokers in the different port stations to handle your clearance.

Hiring a customs broker is the key to ensuring that your cargo is cleared faster and with no technicalities. Follow these tips to choose a suitable and reliable customs broker for your business.