When we think of importing or exporting goods from overseas or perhaps from across borders, the process does not appear complicated, but instead looks fairly simple. However, this could not be further from the truth, in fact, importing or exporting goods requires in-depth knowledge of international trade rules and regulations.
Without this knowledge, navigating import and export processes can be quite daunting to the inexperienced. Hiring a customs broker could prove beneficial to small, medium, or large enterprises looking to transport their goods anywhere around the globe without being overly involved.
Let us take a look at what customs brokerage involves and how hiring a customs broker can benefit your business:
What does customs brokerage involve?
The customs brokerage process is vital to ensuring a successful freight delivery across borders or overseas, with the core functions including some of the following processes:
- Compiling, auditing, and filling in company-level information on key freight documentation.
- Managing and monitoring daily tracing reports.
- Providing updated, real-time data to clients regarding their shipments.
- Identifying various taxes, duties, and excises to be paid.
- Maximising compliance with appropriate customs regulations.
Customs brokers are highly knowledgeable of the changing regulations and international trade rules and actively provide insights to business owners on the best methods to transporting your goods.
How can a customs broker benefit your business?
As an experienced business owner looking to get their cargo from A to B, you could easily run into issues such as customs violations, paperwork errors, or incorrect tariff calculations to name a few. These mistakes can cause significant delays for your shipments, which can impact your bottom line. Here are 8 reasons outsourcing your customs brokerage requirements can be beneficial:
- Expertise in customs regulations: Customs brokers are well versed in the intricacies of customs regulations, ensuring that your shipment complies with the latest requirements. This level of expertise can drastically minimise the risk of shipping delays, customs penalties, or even confiscation of goods due to non-compliance.
- Time and resource efficiency: The customs clearance process can be time and resource heavy. However, by outsourcing your customs brokerage requirements to a professional customs broker, you can free up company resources to focus on growing and managing your business. Through outsourcing, companies can save time and allocate their internal resources more efficiently.
- Reduce risk of errors: A customs broker’s familiarity with the customs documentation process reduces the risk of errors, such as incorrect tariff classification or incomplete paperwork. Accurate documentation is crucial for avoiding delays and ensuring smooth customs clearance.
- Cost savings: Customs brokers can help businesses navigate duty and tax implications, potentially identifying opportunities for duty drawbacks or exemptions. Customs brokers also help companies save on costs associated with delays, errors, fines, penalties, or storage fees by offering seamless solutions.
- Global network and relationships: Customs brokers have an established network of suppliers across the globe that can help facilitate a smoother customs clearance process and potentially provide cost-saving solutions, further benefiting the client.
- Risk management: Customs brokers are experienced in identifying and mitigating risks associated with international trade, such as identifying and resolving potential shipping issues that are subject to heightened scrutiny or increased duties. This proactive approach to risk management can prevent problems before they arise, safeguarding the interests of the importing/exporting business.
- Efficient handling of complex shipments: Some shipments involve complex logistics, such as those requiring special permits or dealing with hazardous materials. Customs brokers are equipped to handle such complexities, ensuring that the necessary permits and approvals are obtained. This expertise is particularly valuable for businesses dealing with specialized or regulated goods.
- Customized solutions: Customs brokers can provide tailored customs clearance solutions that align with the specific needs of your business. This personalized approach enhances efficiency and ensures that customs clearance processes are optimized for maximum effectiveness.
Hiring a customs broker offers a strategic advantage to businesses actively engaged in international trade. From navigating complex regulations to ensuring efficient customs clearance, the expertise and support provided by customs brokers contribute to smoother operations, reduced risks, and overall cost-effectiveness.
M6T are an established and trusted freight forwarding and logistics partner for many of South Africa’s leading businesses. M6T’s global network spans across the international shipping industry and allows us to deliver world-class 3PL and 4PL services to all of our clients. Contact M6T today for all of your B2B transportation and logistics needs.