Choosing a Customs Broker

When first starting to import, US Customs and Border Protection can be an intimidating entity. In order to have a smooth transition for your international freight shipping, it is important to find a good customs broker. It will be well worth it and should not add much to your international shipping costs. Not only will they be able to clear your cargo usually in advance of arrival, but they can provide guidance in figuring correct HTS codes for duty amounts and help set you up on the right track with US customs. When looking for a new customs broker, there are a few things that can help you figure out if it is reputable. If you find one online, be sure to check to see if they are truly licensed. It can also be helpful to ask colleagues to see how they are using. This allows for better peace of mind to know that you are using a company that others have had success with. Still checking their background can save you problems later on. Some of the tell tale signs that a broker might be trouble for you can include problems like slow response to your calls and no direct access to customer service. You should be able to meet with them when needed and they should have a plan for keeping the best relationship with customs. Most brokers also have online access to your documents and clearance information. Although it can be a stressful search, once you find a good customs broker, it will be well worth the additional research.