International trade is complicated – Period. If you plan to import goods into Canada, you have to ensure that your business is compliant to rules, statutory requirements, codes and other relevant laws. Working with the Customs department, or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to be specific, is not always easy, and that’s exactly where a customs broker comes in the picture. The role of a customs broker is extremely diverse and versatile, but at the core level, they are responsible for simplifying imports and making the process as effective as possible. From helping with Canadian ITN number to mitigating risks associated with importing, they check it all. In this post, we are decoding all you need to know about the role of a customs broker.
The basic aspects of working with a customs broker
A customs broker is licensed by CBSA and can refer to an individual or a company. Their primary role is to help importers in clearing imports without delays by completing due paperwork and complying with the relevant regulations and laws. CBSA is extremely particular with guidelines related to importing, and a customs broker ensures that clients remain compliant. Hiring a customs broker, however, is not a compulsion. You can pretty much choose to not hire one at all. However, for most businesses and commercial importers, it makes sense to engage a broker, rather than deal with import regulations on a regular basis, which are complicated to understand and change every now and then.
Why work with customs brokers?
First and foremost, importing means adhering to a lot of rules, and payment of necessary taxes and duties, which are much more complicated than most importers imagine. Most customs brokers have experience of completing these things, and at the same time, they take care of other things, such as negotiations with the transport companies. If there is any scope to actually save some money through allowances, they will also take care of that and can even help in reducing risks related to selected imports. Also, most customs brokers are extremely well-versed with the mistakes that importers make, which can be expensive and can be avoided with their expertise.
Hiring customs brokers
When it comes to commercial importing, you are probably dealing with expensive goods and more volume, and working with brokers is the best way to get things done. This also allows you to focus better on your company’s core operations.