Growing global marketplaces and eCommerce have increased the demand for international shipping. From people working out of their garage to large corporations, nearly anyone can sell products to cross-border customers. This is beneficial to small and large businesses alike, but it comes with the complicated global shipping process.
In addition to drayage to ports, shipping methods, and quality control, businesses must navigate the nuanced customs clearance process. Businesses risk delayed shipments and lost revenue if they fail to understand customs regulations properly. Qualified customs brokers are shipping experts who help people and businesses clear domestic and international customs.
What Do Customs Clearing Agents Do?
The primary responsibility of a customs agent is to act as an intermediary between a client and a nation’s customs office. In the United States, customs brokers are certified by the Customs and Border Protection Agency. The certification qualifies individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations to conduct customs business for other people. Customs business includes extensive document filing, good identification, duties, and fee payment.
Customs Brokers File Documents on Time
Customs brokers’ knowledge of ever-changing rules and regulations allows them to efficiently and accurately fill out customs documents. Imports and exports require certificates of origin, commercial invoices, and a bill of lading. There are even more documentation requirements for shipments headed to Fulfillment by Amazon centers.
Certificates of origin
Certificates of origin document where the product being shipped was produced. This matters because some duties and taxes are determined by manufacturing location. A certified broker fills out the appropriate certificate of origin and associated documents for you.
A commercial invoice is necessary for all international shipments. The invoice describes exactly what is being shipped, including weight, size, and quantity. The commercial invoice contains binding international commercial (INCO) terms regarding the contents of the shipments and the agreement made.
Misrepresenting the INCO terms or the product being shipped can result in customs offices detaining the shipment. Customs brokers know precisely what information needs to be on commercial invoices, saving you time and effort and reducing the chance of customs delaying your shipment.
Bill of lading
The bill of lading is the document that the consignee must sign to accept a shipment. It has a detailed list of the shipment’s products, so it must be accurate. A customs clearing agent has experience and knowledge about what information needs to be included in a bill of lading.
Accurate Goods Identification
International shipping needs to be efficient to maintain exceptional customer service. A business must be familiar with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule to ensure efficient customs clearance. It includes information on quotas, customs duties, and preferential tariff programs. A business must be confident that they can accurately identify what categories their goods fall into so that they interface with customs accordingly.
Customs brokers have an intimate understanding of tariff schedules, so they can save money for their clients by moving efficiently through the customs process. Customs brokers anticipate the customs office’s requests because they accurately identify goods and submit the necessary documentation and fees.
Asiana USA Provides Customs Broker Services
The complexities of international customs can bring your supply chain to a halt if documents and duties are completed incorrectly. Avoid expensive mistakes with the help of Asiana USA’s experienced customs brokers. Let us expedite your shipments by submitting the necessary documentation on time, every time. Contact Asiana USA today for more information about our customs broker services.