If you are planning to hire a customs broker, the foremost thing you must keep in mind is to find someone who would be able to handle the customs of your business accurately and efficiently. A good professional, in other words, will become a competent partner of your trade. By working with him closely on valuation and classification issues, you can reduce entry errors and improve compliance. On the other hand, a bad customs broker may lead to delayed clearances and also cause you to incur possible fines because of erroneous entries.
Given below are some factors that you should consider while looking for a good customs broker:
- Is there any specialised import or product line that you need to take care of? Find a professional who has a lot of experience with the kind of products you have. For instance, alcoholic beverages, apparel and textiles have several regulations and laws applied to their importation. And not everyone in the business of customs clearance services can handle such products.
- In case you import through multiple ports, hire a customs broker who has got offices in these ports. On the other hand, if your imports arrive through a single port, go for a one-port broker who can provide you with hands-on, personalised service.
Do not convince yourself that the marketing material of a broker speaks about their reputation and capabilities. Instead, do some research and see what their previous customers have to say about them. In other words, obtain references. You may also get some good impartial opinion from local air and ocean carriers about professionals associated with customs clearance services.
- Make sure that the broker you are considering for hire is fully automated and also has connection with various cargo tracking locations as well as web portals. He or she must communicate easily via fax, e-mail and telephone.
- Before hiring a customs broker, check whether the professionals is ready to have a written working agreement with you or not. The agreement will include scope of the work, fees structure, contacts and operational procedures. This document also has to be available for the personnel associated with your business. Don’t forget to review the document periodically for making alterations and adjustments as per the situation of your business.
There are many things that a good customs broker can do . All you need to do is find one by being thorough and selective. Don’t jump to conclusions until you have done careful research on the prospective service provider.