What do Customs Brokers do?

Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign documents under a power of attorney. Represent clients in meetings with customs officials and apply for duty refunds and tariff reclassifications. Coordinate transportation and storage of imported goods.

  • Classify goods according to tariff coding system.
  • Prepare and process import and export documentation according to customs regulations, laws, or procedures.
  • Pay, or arrange for payment of, taxes and duties on shipments.
  • Sign documents on behalf of clients, using powers of attorney.
  • Clear goods through customs and to their destinations for clients.
  • Calculate duty and tariff payments owed on shipments.
  • Stay abreast of changes in import or export laws or regulations by reading current literature, attending meetings or conferences, or conferring with colleagues.
  • Request or compile necessary import documentation, such as customs invoices, certificates of origin, and cargo-control documents.
  • Advise customers on import and export restrictions, tariff systems, insurance requirements, quotas, or other customs-related matters.
  • Monitor or trace the location of goods.
  • Confer with officials in various agencies to facilitate clearance of goods through customs and quarantine.
  • Post bonds for the products being imported or assist clients in obtaining bonds.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on goods to be imported, based on federal tariffs and excise taxes.
  • Obtain line releases for frequent shippers of low-risk commodities, high-volume entries, or multiple-container loads.
  • Arrange for transportation, warehousing, or product distribution of imported or exported products.
  • Inform importers and exporters of steps to reduce duties and taxes.
  • Contract with freight forwarders for destination services.
  • Maintain relationships with customs brokers in other ports to expedite clearing of cargo.
  • Apply for tariff concessions or for duty drawbacks and other refunds.
  • Provide advice on transportation options, types of carriers, or shipping routes.
  • Prepare papers for shippers to appeal duty charges.
  • Suggest best methods of packaging or labeling products.
  • Insure cargo against loss, damage, or pilferage.

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Necessary Skills

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Writing
  • Speaking