All commercial importers in Canada are responsible for customs declarations and maintaining importing records. Any mistake in documentation, or other errors, can be extremely expensive. Many business owners prefer to focus on their operations, rather than getting entangled into the importing and regulations. For them, hiring a customs broker, such as Clearit customs brokerage, is a much better alternative to having an in-house team. In this post, we are answering some of the common questions about customs brokers in Canada.
- Is it mandatory to hire a customs broker for importing?
There is no law that states that hiring a customs broker is mandatory for importing. In simpler words, if you can manage documentation and importing regulations on your own, you don’t need a broker. Importers prefer working with brokers because they don’t want to keep up with changing rules and regulations. Also, brokers offer considerable advice and assistance on other trade agreement-related matters. Note that all customs brokers are licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency.
- What does a license customs broker do?
Depending on client needs, license customs brokers can handle a whole bunch of things. One of their primary tasks is to send documents to the CBSA directly, to clear goods, and for that, they don’t need an office at the port of entry. They take care of duties, taxes and tariffs that are payable, other governmental regulations that may apply for selected importers, and recordkeeping. They also handle any further queries or formalities that may be necessary after importing is done.
- What are the benefits of hiring a customs broker?
Besides what they do for clients, customs brokers have a fair understanding of trade agreements, and they often offer customs consulting too. They also help clients in avoiding expensive mistakes and keeping up with international trade laws. Most customs brokers have some experience in non-resident importing, importing specific goods, animals and products into Canada. They also help in mitigating risks, and can handle possible issues that may arise during the importing process.
- How much do customs brokers charge?
That depends on several factors, including the work involved. There are certain services, such as obtaining ITN/AES number for importing vehicles from US to Canada, for which a fixed price is charged. Many brokers also work as an extended arm for their clients in managing importing needs, so prices vary on the services offered.
Ensure that you select a customs broker with specific experience in your niche and industry.