From time to time, everybody has the need to ship a very important document or product to a recipient far away. Whenever such an item crosses a border, certain regulations need to be adhered to and documentation must be attached. If you want your all-important item to get to its destination without any issues, you need to talk to a qualified customs broker. So that you can find the right broker for your needs, what do you need to be looking for?
Body of Knowledge
One thing is for certain. Customs laws, whether domestic or international, export or import are very complicated and in a constant state of change. It can be almost impossible for ordinary people to keep up with these regulations and this makes it even more important for you to select a customs broker who is always up-to-date with changes or new additions. In fact, this is the most important factor when making your choice and it's what makes a good customs broker great.
When your shipment is in transit it'll be accompanied by a certain amount of paperwork. This documentation is crucial and it needs to be filled out correctly or all of your items may be delayed. Border agents will show no leeway if a document is not filled in correctly and will likely reject the shipment and return it to the sender. Ensure that your customs broker never takes any shortcuts and uses the right documentation for the purpose.
Ask your broker to outline all of the fees payable, together with any taxes or tariffs required. Some of these need to be paid before and some will have to be paid after the shipment is on its way. You should expect an itemised list of costs including not just taxes and fees, but also the transaction charges imposed by the broker.
Finally, make sure that the broker you choose doesn't just go through the motions and helps you to select the transportation type that is most appropriate for your requirements. The best brokers will know each transportation company intimately and while they're not responsible for physically shipping the product, they must put you in touch with a transport business that is best suited. You need to give them all the information related to deadlines, budget and timing flexibility so that they can guide you correctly.
Making Your Decision
Never take a shortcut and choose the first customs broker that comes into your mind. If you make a poor choice you might face critical delays and costs that you'd not budgeted for initially.