What does customs clearance mean? Why would you need the services of a customs broker?
If you are thinking of importing any of the goods or products from abroad and from any country, whether near or far or vice versa, you intend to export any of the local products and goods abroad, then you need customs clearance procedures for the goods that you intend to export or import.
In this case, you have several options. Either you perform the customs clearance procedures yourself, so that you are the one who issues the necessary documents and documents and submits them to the competent authorities in addition to all the other procedures included in the process.
Or you can deal with a customs broker who is knowledgeable and familiar with customs procedures and matters and takes over the process for you, or it may be in the form of a customs clearance agency or a company specialized in this regard that carries out customs clearance work for you for a fee agreed upon in advance.
What does customs clearance mean?
In every country and country today, there are procedures and laws followed to regulate various aspects of life, including the regulation of internal and external trade operations, as today no one can import goods and products from abroad without being subject to the laws that regulate this process, and the same applies to export.
These laws may differ from one country to another, and may differ in one country from one city to another, in addition to other factors and considerations such as the different laws governing the quality of goods and products that are being dealt with, the purpose of the import process, and so on.
The customs clearance process means that goods and products are imported or exported in accordance with the established laws that regulate the commercial process in the same country. To ensure that the import or export process is permitted without facing any obstacles in legal matters.
Hence, the customs broker is the person or entity who is well aware and knowledgeable of all the laws that regulate import and export operations, and is able to deal with them easily and flexibly and clear all customs matters related to an import or export process.
Likewise, the customs clearance process often includes transportation solutions for goods and products, since the customs clearance process begins when the products, goods or shipment, whatever they are, arrive at the borders represented by the airport, port or land borders, meaning that the customs clearance authority handles customs matters in such a way. In which the shipments are transported from the borders into the country as requested by the owner of the shipment.
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The duties of the customs broker
From the aforementioned it becomes clear that the customs clearance and the duty of the customs broker is to assist you in importing or exporting goods and products according to the laws and regulations. Here is a list of the tasks and responsibilities that the customs broker assumes:
- The customs broker ensures that your import or export process meets all specific regulations, conditions and laws, and acts as a link between you and the government agencies responsible for this type of activities.
- It extracts all documents and documents required for the customs clearance process, and any papers necessary for the import or export process, such as import certificates, financial statements, quality certificates and their compliance with local laws.
- The customs broker obtains health approvals for food, agricultural and cosmetic products whose import requires the approval of health authorities in most countries.
- Paying fees and taxes for imported or exported products.
- A customs broker, whether an individual or a customs clearance agency, can help you expand and reach new markets outside or within the borders of one country.
- Shipping, transportation and storage services for various types of goods and products can also be found at the authorities specialized in customs clearance, and even the same entity was not the one who provides these services, but always has a wide network of relationships with different parties that enable it to provide service to its customers.
- Customs brokers are usually in contact and constant contact with various projects, businesses and commercial activities, and this gives them a lot of experience not only in matters of import, export and customs matters only, but even for them to provide important advice, instructions and details on other aspects of your project or business activity you are working on , Such as warehousing, transportation and marketing goods and products that you have imported, guidance regarding the administrative aspects of the project, etc.
Why should you resort to a customs clearance service?
If what we have mentioned so far is not sufficient reasons to obtain a customs clearance service for you, then, to get to know the most important and prominent reasons that push importers or exporters to obtain the services of a customs broker
- The experience and good knowledge possessed by customs clearance agencies is one of the main reasons that push exporters and importers to resort to their services, especially since the customs laws in force in most countries are somewhat complicated and require qualified people with good experience in them in order to be able to deal with them and clear shipments from the borders.
- Most customs clearance agencies provide integrated services, not just customs clearance matters, and this includes logistical services related to transportation, shipping and warehousing.
- Customs brokers ensure that your goods and shipments reach their final destination safely and securely and without exposing them to any risks of damage, loss or loss during their presence at the borders and crossings and during their transport and shipment, thanks to their expertise, skills and specialization in these matters.
- Taxes and fees for different goods and shipments, whether imported or exported, differ according to many factors such as the quality of the goods and products, their varieties, the destination from them, and so on. Customs brokers can reduce these expenditures from fees and taxes to their minimum levels.
- When you import or export any of the products and goods, you are responsible for all the data related to your shipment, its details and its compliance with the laws and regulations, and therefore any error in this process may expose you to fines and more taxes and this may hinder your entire import process, so it is necessary for an expert in customs matters to check the data Documents and reviewing them before handing them over to customs administrations, and customs brokers are the best ones to do this.
These are the most prominent services and what customs brokers can provide you in case you decide to deal with an agency specialized in customs clearance.
How to choose the most suitable customs broker?
It may not be easy for many to find the customs clearance agency best suited to their business or project involving import and export operations, especially for those who are new to their projects and who have never dealt with import operations and dealing with customs brokers before.
In all cases, when searching for a customs broker to clear your goods and shipment, there are some factors that you must take into consideration to reach the most appropriate customs clearance agency, and in order to avoid facing any potential obstacles or problems at this stage.
- Choose a customs clearance agency that has previous experience with the type of products you import, for example if you are importing agricultural products, it is better to choose someone who has experience importing or dealing with this type of product before. Instead of dealing with a party randomly and you don’t know if they have experience with this product or not.
- Make sure of the quality of the services of the customs broker, regardless of marketing advertising to them. You can ask third parties who have previously dealt with this agency, ask for confirmations and guarantees from the agency, whether regarding the time required or the financial costs involved in the process.
- Make sure that the customs clearance agency that you intend to deal with is official, registered and documented with the official authorities and departments and recognized as an official customs clearance agency.
- It is imperative that a customs clearance agency be able to handle the size, quantity and type of goods and products that it intends to import or export.
- It is good to conclude a formal and signed agreement between you and the customs clearance destination that you intend to deal with, so that you can rely on it in case you encounter any problems later with this authority.
- It is also a good idea to spend some extra time comparing several options from what is available from customs clearance agencies and comparing prices, services and what they provide so that you can find a customs clearance agency suitable for your requirements and needs.