What does a customs broker do? Why are they indispensable?

Businesses utilise several types of organisations to assist them in navigating the lengthy process of transporting products across borders. Freight forwarders, as well as customs brokers, are two mainstays in this process. This article will explain the importance of hiring a customs broker.

Who is a customs broker?

A customs broker is a person, group, or business licenced by a sovereign nation to act as an agent for importers and exporters in the lodgement of customs entries. A customs entry is a lawful declaration made to the authorities that specifies the type of goods in a consignment and the duty and tax due at the border. Customs brokers possess in-depth knowledge of the customs tariff in their jurisdiction, duty & tax laws, shipping restrictions and, in the case of Australia, they can guide importers and exporters on any biosecurity obligations. Brokers are permitted to communicate with the Australian Border Force (ABF) and represent their clients to the ABF and Biosecurity (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry). The international shipping sector depends on customs brokers; they are an essential link in any international supply chain.

How can a customs broker help you?

A customs broker Sydney such as 20Cube Logistics will offer services related to customs compliance, such as tariff advice, lodging tariff concession orders, reviewing documents, classification, and disbursement of charges and other fees due at the border to the Commonwealth Government (subject to credit terms). Continue reading to learn more about the indispensable role a trusted customs broker plays for your organisation.

  • Deal with customised transactions

Customs clearance is necessary for all imported goods. However, firms must submit the proper paperwork for this to happen. The only organisations that can provide such information to Australian Border Force (ABF) are licenced customs brokers. They lodge customs entries with cargo details, including the nation of origin, harmonised classification codes, and the total weight and amount, applicability to any tariff concessions or by-laws and duty reductions where applicable under preferential origin schemes.

Freight forwarders that are themselves not also licenced brokers cannot perform this function. A customs broker aids companies in obtaining the documentation required to participate in trade programs. They provide outbound licensing information & submit the required data via the ABF’s integrated customs system (ICS).

20Cube is both a freight forwarder and a licenced customs broker and stands ready to provide both services to our clients.

  • Pay taxes, duties, and fees on behalf of your business

Customs brokers may, to the extent that a credit arrangement is in place, disburse applicable government charges on behalf of their clients.

Customs brokers ensure that products are categorised correctly under harmonised tariff codes. To assist firms in making payments, they compute the fees due on a consignment and maintain trust accounts with ABF. They must keep their licences current through continuing professional development to carry out these activities.

  • Maintaining records 

Keeping records is another crucial duty of a customs broker. They keep records for incoming transactions that go back up to five (5) years from the point of entrance in a secure and organized way. These documents are confidential and only disclosed when a court order, the importer of record, or ABF demands.

Freight forwarders may not always have access to necessary documents since they are mainly concerned with logistics and transportation. Customs may ask brokers to provide specific papers when conducting inspections and audits. Businesses may also request to inspect the paperwork if an issue with the cargo is found later.

  • Look for the proper administrative remedies

While a freight forwarder Sydney’s primary responsibility is to advise customers on these issues, brokers may seek administrative remedies if they are unhappy with the estimate. The broker speaks with the appropriate contacts as agent to guarantee that the company receives the most equitable assessment. They may also represent their clients if a consignment goes ‘redline’ (mandatory physical documentation inspection).

Final words

Even though they handle both incoming and outgoing goods similarly, customs brokers provide niche services and represent their clients to the Federal authorities as legal agents. No matter the size of your company, the competence of the brokerage you choose will determine whether your goods arrive at their destination with a correct and compliant assessment of duty and tax. Talk to 20Cube Logistics today for more information specific to your needs.