A customs broker is a legal entity that provides clients with representation services in the field of declaring goods and calculating customs duties, storing cargo in a warehouse during customs control, expert assessment of products and checking all documentation related to cargo transportation. Companies that work in the trade industry, are engaged in the import and export of all kinds of goods, cannot do without professional support, because for the successful implementation of activities it is necessary to know many nooks and crannies of the legislation in force in the country.
The speed and success of customs control to a greater extent depends on the professionalism and experience of the intermediary than on other factors. He is a reliable partner, representing the interests of the customer in front of the bureaucratic machine.
What are the design schemes?
Foreign trade is impossible without a regular “collision” with the passage of customs control. All legal entities transporting goods abroad, or receiving them from there, have equal rights and opportunities, but the obligations, as well as the level of responsibility for the honesty of work, are also the same for all. A professional broker will help you go through all the procedures necessary for legal activities as quickly and painlessly as possible for your business.
Experts have a clear idea of the nuances of the current legislation in the country, and therefore, with their assistance, a minimum of controversial situations arise when any type of cargo passes through the state border. A professional understands different schemes of cargo clearance during customs clearance, and therefore can help solve any problem with maximum benefit for the customer he represents.
Schemes are of three types:
- “White” assumes the absolute fulfillment of all laws and regulations during customs clearance (the company works directly with partners from abroad, monitors the exact selection of TNVED codes, prepares all the necessary documents for registration of products);
- “Gray” is used when a company wants to avoid paying high taxes, and therefore deliberately makes mistakes in filling out documents (suitable codes are selected, the cargo is imported by registering it at a fictitious one-day importing company, like that);
- “Black” is a malicious violation of the law by falsifying supporting documents and permits.
There are enough brokers on the service market who can help in applying the “black” scheme, but before using their knowledge, it is worth thinking three times. By law, additional inspection by customs may be the destination within three years after the shipment has been delivered or dispatched. If inspectors find violations, even after a long time, big problems and high fines cannot be avoided.
Duties of a customs broker
To carry out legal activities, it is worth using the services of only those brokers who are accredited, licensed to provide this type of service. With the help of pseudo-specialists, you can only earn problems on your own head, which will in no way contribute to the successful development of a trading business.
The company can provide highly specialized services, or a whole range of them. But you should only trust a broker who can take on a certain list of responsibilities. The specialist must be competent in the following matters:
- in the correct selection of HS codes;
- in filling out the invoice and checking the document (the correct description of the goods for the customs declaration is very important);
- in a non-tariff settlement;
- in calculating the amount of duties, taxes;
- in obtaining certificates, permits, licenses and collecting a complete package of documents for the cargo;
- in checking all documents accompanying the goods;
- find the “right” contact with the inspectors.
A broker must be able to work efficiently, without going beyond the legal framework. He should not be afraid of force majeure, which occurs quite often, be able to quickly and professionally cope with any problem.
Responsibility of the customs representative
An additional and mandatory condition for cooperation with a company that provides a certain list of services should be an indication in the contract of the degree of its responsibility for all operations carried out. Moreover, the broker must bear responsibility not only to the client, but also to the regulatory authorities.
That is, the mistake made when filling out the documents should eventually turn out to be his problem, and not the problem of the customer of services, who was counting on the help of a professional. Customs clearance of goods from “A” to “Z” is also the specialist’s area of responsibility. The only exceptions are those cases in which the client asked for advice, but in the end did not enter into a cooperation agreement, relying on his own strength and knowledge.
To protect themselves from possible costs, each customer has the right to receive guarantees prescribed in the concluded agreement, or even use the services of an insurance company, which will subsequently reimburse losses caused by the intermediary’s wrong actions.
Who should be entrusted with customs clearance? Signs of a good customs broker
Before signing an agreement, you should carefully study all the available information about the broker. These can be white papers, testimonials from other clients, or information from open sources on the Web.
There are several important criteria to pay attention to:
- if a specialist has considerable work experience, he will be able to provide services as professionally as possible, because during his work he has come across various situations that arise when goods pass customs control;
- his honesty and openness can speak of the broker’s reliability – a real pro will not hide from the client the presence of risks in the planned operations, he will not deliberately embellish the current situation;
- statistical data on the results of the broker’s work also play an important role;
- the presence of a specific strategy and the ability to work with the client individually, rather than using a typical standard scheme, are also an attractive factor.
Also, when choosing a specialist, it is important to pay attention to the legality of his activities: is there a license, by whom and when it was issued, whether the document has legal force.
If a broker works in a large specialized company, and does not provide private services, this should be credible – it is much easier to get into fraudsters among private traders.
A professional “assistant” will not forget about civil liability insurance, as he is ready for problem situations, and responsibility for their resolution. Providing a range of services, including logistics, is an additional advantage that will help the client save a lot of money and time.
The Sea Way company meets all of the above requirements – here you will find the help of specialists at an affordable cost, receive a range of services, quality guarantees for their provision, as well as high-level service. The company allows each of its clients to feel completely safe.
Professional support will allow everyone to:
- count on the prosperity of business, an increase in the volume of export and import operations with the United States, China and other countries – specialists will help find new ways to advance into the industry of international trade;
- do not know the problems with customs clearance – all the hassle will be taken over by your representatives;
- save a lot of money on the delivery or dispatch of goods;
- minimize the risks that arise when the cargo passes customs control.