We all know customs can be complicated. There’s a lot to keep track of, and a misunderstanding here or there can wind up snowballing into owing additional duties or even being subjected to a mandatory audit. To help, our team’s breaking down some of the most important details every importer should know.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) may have a lot of documentation, but the agency is very clear about one thing—importers are required to follow all regulations and pay any duties. Even when working with a licensed customs brokerage team, these responsibilities fall back on the importer itself.
Importers should remember that they are responsible for items like:
- Providing complete and accurate information about import shipments
- Classifying goods (although a licensed customs broker can answer questions)
- Marking cargo with the country of origin
- Understanding relevant import restrictions or licensing requirements (although licensed customs brokers can help answer questions)
- Maintaining all records relating to their imports for a set amount of time (typically around five years)
- And more
Of course, that doesn’t mean importers are on their own when it comes to understanding the items above. Luckily, customs brokers can help clarify what those requirements mean to help prevent future charges.
How Customs Brokers Can Help
A licensed customs brokerage team can provide insights and expertise that can help organizations meet CBP requirements. In the end, that means cutting back on potential fees and penalties.
We love to help customers understand what CBP expects from their organization. Keep in mind that CBP—and in turn, many audits—will pay special attention to the accuracy of cargo classifications and related tax payments. That’s where those pesky Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes come into play, and it’s why it’s so vital that an organization chooses the correct ones.
Luckily, customs brokers can answer questions regarding:
- Required documentation
- CBP rules and regulations
- Duties on taxes
- So much more!
Customs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By taking proactive steps and working closely with a licensed customs broker, an organization can make informed decisions to cut back on potential penalties, fees, and delays. Easier border crossings and cost savings? Everyone wins.