Customs brokers are responsible for managing customs clearance for imports and exports within their organization. They work with local and/or foreign governments' regulatory agencies to ensure their company meets all necessary documentary and regulatory requirements when shipping goods in or out of the country. They manage all internal procedures related to handling goods for import or export, including conducting research and making recommendations for improving the efficiency of customs processing and auditing prior transactions. Customs brokers may serve as the primary point of contact for foreign vendors and clients regarding payment and shipment information.
Customs brokers generally work full time in an office environment. They typically are employed either directly by companies heavily involved in import/export activities or by a logistics firms offering consultation or direct transportation services. Customs brokers may be required to travel frequently depending on their employer's needs; for example, they may be required to meet with government agencies to provide customs documentation or travel to foreign locations to inspect shipments and provide customs procedure guidance. Customs brokers work with a variety of internal and external groups, including the shipping and receiving departments, finance departments, vendors, customers, and regulatory personnel.
Customs brokers are generally required to hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers typically require at least three years’ experience in customs or logistics work. They may be required to hold a brokerage license or other certification with local or foreign governments. Customs brokers must be knowledgeable about customs practices, as well as regularly maintain and update this knowledge.
Customs Broker Tasks
Inform sales and other departments about specific logistic needs for particular clients or vendors.
Document audits, duty statements, customer bonds, and post entry amendments.
Process shipments, managing customs, tariffs, and other requirements.
Write, organize, and prepare documents and rulings for timely entry.