6 Things a Customs Broker Can do for You
Bond Issuance…A customs broker can issue a bond for transactions that require bonds. Surety companies do not usually issue bonds directly to importers.
Provide Insurance…Some importers require insurance for their shipment. If your supplier was not obligated to provide insurance under the sales term most brokers can issue insurance coverage. The importer should always instruct the customs broker to obtain insurance in writing and make certain to receive a confirmation. In certain cases the broker may not be able to provide coverage based on the country origin. Additionally the customs broker’s master insurance policy may exclude certain commodities.
May be Able to Help You Pay Less Duties and Fees…A broker can review your invoice buying terms. They may be able to see if freight charges and insurance might be deductible charges from your entered dutiable value. The commercial invoice must have the actual costs broken out for them to be deductible. This translates into clients paying less duties and fees to Customs Border Protection (CBP.)
Apply for a Binding Ruling…Prior to your first importation of a new product a customs broker can apply for a binding ruling. The binding ruling is an excellent tool to protect against challenges by CBP regarding the proper classification of your product. In the event CBP decides to revoke a ruling they would need to do that first. They would likely not have a cause to collect back duties, interest and possible penalties as they may have when the importer does not have a binding ruling. If you intend to import large amounts or high dollar volumes of a product a binding ruling is a must.
Protect Importers Commodity Information…Some importers may want to protect their company’s manifest information. A broker can file a vessel manifest confidentiality request for ocean import or export shipments. This request while not full proof will block information such as your suppliers name and commodity from public information sites. Your broker must renew the request every two years.
Arrange Door to Door Transportation…A customs broker can help arrange for final delivery to the end users door. Because brokers work daily with drayage companies you will find the delivery rates to be very competitive in most cases. Special certifications and agreements may be required for the trucker to pick up your goods. This is dependent on the location of your goods upon arrival. For example a TWIC card and interchange agreement will be required for direct pick up from steamship line terminals. Furthermore, timing a shipments delivery is critical to avoid storage charges. You should set up your trucker in advance or confirm your broker will handle the delivery