Posted by Pamela Swift in Finance & Capital
In business, one of the basic principles is that you buy low and sell high – which is why importing goods can be a very lucrative venture. All one needs to do is find a supplier that offers very low prices on consumer items, and you can then sell these items in the US with a nice profit margin.
Although there are potential problems such as obtaining commercial customs clearances, a professional customs broker can always take care of it for you.
What you don’t want to do, however, is to attempt to deal with customs yourself. To avoid risking your goods and minimize complications, you should always choose to get a licensed broker to represent you instead. Hiring professional customs brokers offer several advantages:
- It saves you the trouble of doing it yourself. If you’re running a small business, then you have lots of tasks to attend to, and it may seem that there’s not enough time during the day to deal with all of your responsibilities. So, why should you add to your responsibilities, when you could get a pro to do it for you instead? You can then devote your time to the day-to-day running of your business.
- It’s faster. Things go a lot faster through customs when you have a broker to represent you, and you can waste a lot of time if you attempt to do it yourself. It’s highly possible that you’ll be tripped up by precise rules, finding yourself with errors that delay the whole process.
Dealing with customs is anything but simple, and it takes a lot of time even just to get a ‘basic’ overview of the entire process. The US Customs and Border Patrol offers this “overview” of the process in the form of a PDF file that spans 211 pages! Merely reading this report will waste a lot of your time, and it can equally be very difficult to interpret.
Customs brokers, on the other hand, are experienced in these matters, with a wealth of background knowledge to help ensure that you comply with all regulations. That speeds up the entire process considerably.
- You avoid penalties. When you’re dealing with customs, mistakes can be costly and you may find yourself having to pay penalties for any errors made. There may also be some taxes and fees forced upon you that you could have avoided if you had the necessary knowledge, imposing a significant extra cost to you as a business owner.
The brokers all possess this necessary knowledge, so mistakes and unnecessary fees can be avoided. This is one reason why getting a customs broker is actually a cost-effective measure, even though you have to pay for their services. You’re much more likely to pay a lot more without them.
- You get accurate records. At the end of the process, you’ll be sent the necessary paperwork for your record keeping so that you have the proper documentation for the importation. What’s more, customs brokers normally keep copies of all transactions for at least 5 years after the date of entry, meaning that they’ll act as a reliable backup for any queries that you might come across during your running of the business.
The next time you need commercial customs clearances for your consumer items, do yourself (and your business) a favor, and carefully consider hiring an online customs broker. With the skills and means required to facilitate a trouble-free importation process, their expertise is at your service to ensure a smooth, successful experience with Customs.