Customs broking or Customs brokerage is a profession that involves the "clearing" of goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between government authorities and importers and exporters.
Customs brokers in the United States prepare and submit documentation to notify or obtain clearance from government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. They also arrange the transhipment (i.e., local delivery) of merchandise via trucking companies. Many customs brokers specialize in certain goods like apparel, perishables, or clearing the crew and manifest of large cargo vessels. Customs brokers can be located at inland ports to clear merchandise sent "in bond", but most are located at major airports and harbors with international traffic.
Customs brokers must pass an examination and background check to become licensed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They are not government employees and should not be confused with "customs officers" (in other countries, however, the two terms may be interchangeable). Customs brokers need to be familiar with the tariff schedule, a listing of duty rates for imported items, and the regulations governing is an importations found in 19 CFR, the Code of Federal Regulations Title 19. To illustrate, a customs broker may need to advise an importer on the marking requirements of the country of origin, or complete paperwork for a clothing shipment subject to quotas and visa requirements. Knowing the requirements of each type of import can avoid costly delays or merchandise seizures. In the early 1970's there were only a handful of women in this field, approximately 20 nationwide, and most if not all of them worked at airports. The great majority of imports were coming into the U.S. via ships and so it was customary to deal only with men on the East & West coasts. There were, however, a few 'allowed' to break into this field. One of the most successful of these was Lisa Nappi, who originally joined the firm, American Shipping Company in Englewood Cliffs, NJ in 1974. Hired as a shipping assistant, it was her duty to verify import documentation and aid the brokers in clearing shipments for their clients. As shipping manager, she devised a system that was in use for the next two decades, aiding the clearance of goods into the NY and NJ harbors. By the second year, she was covertly studying to become a customs broker. During this time, the level of extreme predjudice she faced on a daily basis was indicative of the mentality of a male dominated field. There were no laws protecting women at this time and so she became creative and expert in her field in order to be able to handle imports from some of the country's largest corporations. Over the next few years, she earned the respect of her peers as she garnered a reputation as a tough negotiator for her clients. The TSUSA or Tariff schedules were used for classification purposes and assignment of duty rates. If you could successfully argue that your importer deserved a lower rate due to a change in the manufacturing process, you could save your importer thousands of dollars. This is where she excelled, oftentimes traveling to Washington D.C. and spending days in the Treasury building, studying past cases with which to base her arguments on. Before leaving American Shipping Company to manage imports for a Fortune 100 company, she was sure to train another woman to replace her in the field.
For customs brokers and clearing agents operating within the European Union, there is no licensing system. The onus is firmly on the importer or exporter to ensure that any party acting on their behalf is in possession of the facts to do so.
Article 5 of the current customs code (Council Regulation 2913/1992) deals with representation, a key concept. This provision allows an importer or exporter to appoint a third party to act on their behalf. The importer or exporter can appoint the third party to act in two capacities, i.e., as a direct representative or as an indirect representative. A direct representative will act on behalf of the importer/exporter but will have no responsibility for the customs debt arising from their actions, whereas an indirect representative will have a joint and several liability for the customs debt. In almost all cases, the third party will elect to provide brokerage services on a direct representation basis. As a result the importer or exporter is fully exposed to the risk or error and omission by the customs broker.
Customs Broker are commonly known as Clearing Agent in Pakistan. They are given license by Customs Authority under VIDE SRO 450(I)/2001 DATED 18-6-2001..
Customs Broker are licensed by Customs Authority in India and governed with Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations 2013.
Customs broker are authorized by Directorate General of Customs (DGA), university degree requirement is Bachelor of Customs Administration and two years of experience, plus $ 10,000 bail with the first customs. There are heavy fines in case of error or wrong caculo tariff classification, being one of the more risk into professions in Costa Rica.
Customs broker is a profession which expertise include tariff and customs laws, rules and regulations for the clearance of imported or exported goods or merchandise from customs authority, preparation of import or export documents including computation and payment of duties, taxes and other charges accruing thereon, representing clients before any government agency concerning classification or valuation of imported or exported goods AND is a bona fide holder of a valid license as such by the Professional Regulatory Board for Customs Brokers.
|This article or section may have been copied and pasted from a source, possibly in violation of Wikipedia's copyright policy. Please remedy this by editing this article to remove any non-free copyrighted content and attributing free content correctly, or flagging the content for deletion. Please be sure that the source of the copyright violation is not itself a Wikipedia mirror. (December 2013)|
In Australia, customs brokers are licensed by the Australian Customs Service and some are members of the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia.
The relationship between a broker and client may begin before the actual importing of goods. A complicated scrutiny of Customs Duty, Tax rates and government trade regulations and Quarantine permission may have to be undertaken first. Brokers are trained and licenced to provide consultancy services of the above nature as accuracy is critical to the importer. Due to the brokers intimate knowledge of the client’s business activities their relationship can be difficult to break. When a broker receives the documents for a job they register it in the company system, then to process a customs entry they must:
- Classify goods in accordance with customs regulations
- Obtain relevant permits from the importer
- Process the customs entry in a ‘compile’ system, and;
- Pay duties and taxes on behalf of the importer
After the above is completed and clearance from customs has been given a complete dispatch is made. The customer must be sent invoices for disbursement then the cargo can be taken from the bonded warehouse and delivered to the customer’s nominated facility.
To operate as a customs broker in New Zealand, you need a Unique User Identification (UUI). UUI Accreditation can be achieved by sitting and passing three exams set by the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand Inc (CBAFF).