Global trade rules and regulations are constantly shifting at both the origin and destination countries. Even if you’ve been in the importing and exporting business for years, you’ll eventually encounter new trade agreements or duties and taxes that change your paperwork process.
A licensed customs broker helps you avoid delays and even fines from customs and border protection agencies. Government agencies are usually strict, and won’t show leniency to importers who didn’t know the rules.
A good customs broker can help you avoid paying more than you have to in duties. The services of a customs broker can make a huge long-term difference in your supply chain’s cost and reliability.
Understanding Rules and Timelines
The customs clearance process has many rules and regulations that vary based on type of product, quantity, country of origin, and other factors. Minor changes to these regulations are made all the time, especially in the wake of major global issues like COVID-19.
Some imports simply require a certain amount of advance notice to be given to the destination country’s government. If this timeline is ignored, the goods may be delayed, sent back, or destroyed. Perishable goods, in particular, need to be imported with a careful eye on these timeline requirements.
There also may be tariff quotas that apply to a certain type of product in a given time period. If any company tries to bring in more of the product once the limit has been reached, the product may be turned away or detained until the time period has ended and the limit has been reset. This can have major consequences for companies big and small who depend on a product to keep their supply chain moving.
Imported goods must be thoroughly documented with the shipping companies and on specialized forms designed to make the customs clearance process easier. Tariff classifications, shipment value, seller and buyer information, and other key details should be completed by someone with a customs broker license to ensure it is all done correctly.
Any discrepancy between the shipping companies’ documents and the specialized forms provided to customs can result in major delays. It’s important to work with a freight management company and customs brokerage firm that can coordinate all aspects of the paperwork to make sure everything is uniform.
Duties may either be paid in advance or upon arrival in the country. Paying in advance with Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) Incoterms still requires documentation to be included with the goods, and even well-planned imports may sometimes have unavoidable extra fees tacked on at customs.
Customs brokers can help you with both DDP and with other Incoterms that require the buyer to pay duties. They can also help you take steps to minimize additional storage or administrative fees that agencies may charge.
Customs brokers may also know a cheaper way to classify your goods to avoid high tariffs. Tariff regulations are usually written with unusual exceptions and loopholes in them, and you may be paying more in duties and taxes than you have to unless you enlist customs brokerage services to help you navigate the fine print.
Smarter International Trade
Severe weather, trade wars, and even pandemics can all have a huge impact on your operations. Working with the right global logistics and customs brokerage company can make all the difference in your ability to weather the storm. You need a company that can take the logistical work off your hands so you can focus on your day-to-day operations and customer relationships.
Asiana USA has a global network of staff to help you get your products where they need to go. We provide a full range of services from perishables logistics to customs classification guidance and duties handling. We have tracking and shipment visibility features to help you keep an eye on your goods and plan accordingly, helping you stay one step ahead of the game.
Our customer service team takes pride in helping you get the services you need as quickly as possible. Call us today at (855) 500-1808 to learn more about what we can do for you.