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Customs Broker » Learn More

Customs brokers may do some or all of the following

  • Find the most appropriate and cost-effective way of moving goods
  • Check import/export documents and clear goods through customs
  • Arrange insurance for goods, and the payment of duties and taxes
  • Classify goods into different tariff groups by using an international tariff coding system
  • Communicate with transport companies and international freight forwarders and record the movement and placement of goods while they are in transit

Depending on the company, some customs brokers may also work as freight forwarders. However, only customs brokers classify goods according to the international tariff coding system.


Customs/freight brokers need to have

  • Knowledge of customs regulations and procedures
  • Knowledge of carriage of goods laws (e.g., Customs and Excise Act (1996)), including dangerous goods regulations
  • Knowledge of transport systems
  • Knowledge of methods of packing and stowing goods
  • Knowledge of international laws and standards regarding the transport of goods such as those set down by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Knowledge of shipping terms and United Nations port codes
  • people skills
  • organisational skills
  • excellent communication skills.

Customs brokers need to be

  • accurate and careful
  • inquiring and willing to learn while they are working
  • able to work well under pressure and make decisions quickly
  • able to gain people's trust and keep information private