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Customs Broker » Overview

Customs Broker

Customs brokers advise on and arrange the customs clearance and collection of imported goods for businesses, individuals and organisations, as well as the shipment of cargo for export. Basically, the customs broker acts as a liaison between the importer, exporter and government agencies involved in the shipment of goods. These shipments can be large or small and include perishable and non-perishable goods. Some professionals may choose to specialise in certain types of merchandise such as clothing or food.

Freight forwarding companies and customs brokerage firms commonly employ customs brokers; however, some brokers are hired by the shipping companies, importers and exporters themselves. Regardless, jobs are typically located at major harbours or airports with a lot of international trade activity. For example, customs brokers in New Zealand may find themselves located near Auckland and Tauranga, which are both large port cities.

A large part of a custom broker’s job is to prepare documents according to stringent guidelines. In order for goods to be shipped efficiently, the correct documentation bust be completed. It is very important that this documentation is correct, as goods are usually held in limbo at the port until the errors are corrected – think of the impact this could have if the cargo happens to be perishable! Therefore, customs brokers must be aware of the relevant regulations and guidelines, and international trade policies and procedures.