What is a Customs Broker?

In commercial shipping, a customs broker is the person responsible for clearing goods through customs. They work with businesses involved in importing or exporting. Most likely, if you're a company shipping goods into a foreign country, you're going to want to work with a customs broker because they will expedite your shipment through Customs.

And in business, time is...well, you know.

What am I Paying a Customs Broker for?

What exactly does a Customs broker do? A broker is a professional point person who prepares documentation for shipment, calculates the taxes, excises, and duties you're going to owe, and serves as a liaison between government officials and you, the importer or exporter.

      Customs Brokers Communicate With the Government

      If you're headquartered in the U.S., customs brokers help you by preparing and turning in documentation for governmental agencies, like the:

          Who Exactly do Customs Brokers Work for?

          Good question. Customs brokers sometimes work for, or can be associated with, a 3PL Company, like ProPack. Sometimes they own or work for a stand-alone company. They might work for a Customs brokerage firm or even a trade authority. You'll encounter brokers that work for a shipping line. Or, sometimes they're directly employed by a large-scale importer or exporter.

          Depending on what you need shipped, you might work with different Customs Brokers. Why? Custom brokers tend to find their way into specialties. There are brokers who focus on: food, clothing, and other unique areas.

              Where can I Find a Customs Broker?

              You'll find Customs brokers working at virtually any point of entry into a country. The obvious points of entry are harbors and airports, but border crossings are inland ports of entry too, and due to the international ground shipping flowing through them, they will attract the services of Customs brokers as well.

              ProPack works directly with Customs brokers to facilitate the speedy transport of goods over the U.S.-Canada border every day and can expedite the shipment of your company's goods to foreign markets the world over.