10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Customs Broker

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10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Customs Broker

As a business owner with an eye on international trade, you might be heading into a sea of complications filled with rules and regulations, agreements and so many different forms. Having a customs broker on your team is a great idea and it may seem like a fairly easy thing to choose, but really, not all brokers offer the same services. You’ll want to choose carefully in order to have someone who can really contribute in the long term success of your company.

Choosing an Expert at Customs Clearance in Canada

The rules and regulations that frame the import and export business change regularly, adapting to an ever-changing world where it seems a new trade agreement is signed every other week. Choosing the right expert, a customs broker who his familiar with international trade and everything that surrounds it, is your best option to move forward.

As an importer, you should know that you are responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the customs declarations. According to Canadian and American regulations, you’re also accountable for reporting and record keeping; you can imagine that omissions and “oups” moments can become very costly very fast, that why having a partner like a customs broker, is a safe bet for you and your business. Your broker will advise you on best practices in relation to NAFTA and of course, they’ll also get the clearance and release of goods set-up and executed. A few things off your list to help you concentrate on your business.

Questions to ask your Canadian Customs Broker

To help you choose the customs broker that will best suit your needs, here are a few questions that will help you zoom in on the right service provider:

  1. What are your days and hours of operation and who will answer my questions and concerns outside the normal work hours?
  2. What is the extent of your knowledge related to NAFTA and how do believe my goods could profit from it?
  3. How do you manage your record keeping and various information inputs and outputs? Are your practices in compliances with customs regulations?
  4. Do you have the capacity to determine if new products are subject to additional duties and fees from a wide array of government departments?
  5. Do your services cover both importing and exporting goods?
  6. Are you capable of arranging the transportation of goods by air, sea, ground, rail or even courier?
  7. Can you research previous customs entries in order to determine compliance and avoid exposure to extra duties or penalties?
  8. When I’ll call you, who will answer the phone?
  9. Will you assist with any corrections or duty drawbacks to customs entries?
  10. Do you offer online document capabilities?

The above questions will help you throughout the process of finding the right customs broker for your business. In the end, it’s about building a relationship of trust with your broker as you both put in the efforts to see your business thrive forward on the international market.

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