Customs can be one heck of a challenge to master, especially with an ever-changing backdrop of rules and regulations. Perhaps that’s why it’s not uncommon for organizations to seek out experts in the field. In other words, licensed customs brokers (LCBs) can make a convoluted process into a much smoother ride.
Still, despite the benefits that LCBs offer, it can be difficult for organizations to decide when working with one is absolutely necessary and one might just be a good idea. To make it easier, here are our top five signs that your organization needs to work with LCB right away.
Your organization has previously been fined by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Hopefully this is a pretty obvious sign that something’s not quite right in your customs processes. Still, there are organizations out there that may have been hit with a fine or may even temporarily have had their importer license suspended who still aren’t reaching out to an LCB.
Why? A lot of the time, businesses are concerned about the cost of working with a supply chain partner. However, the steady, calculable retainer cost for an LCB partner is far less expensive overall than the potential millions that can accumulate in fines or lost productivity from a suspended import license. Working with an LCB is a proactive approach to customs that can save organizations money in the long run.
Your organization doesn’t know how to respond to a message from CBP.
Despite the digital age, snail mail is still going strong. This is especially true when it comes to communication from CBP. Often, organizations will receive a form that looks relatively unimportant and then disregard it until CBP comes knocking for answers. An LCB, however, can provide council on which communications are important and which can take a lower priority.
Don’t get us wrong, though! All communications from CBP are incredibly important. Still, when that Form 28 comes floating in, it might not seem like something worth taking a look at until it’s too late. LCBs can advise on these items and even provide clarity to importers who are in the process of filling forms out or responding to CBP inquiries.
You aren’t sure which rules and regulations apply to your organization’s goods.
This is one of the key benefits that an LCB can bring to an organization. Since importers are ultimately responsible for following rules and regulations relating to their goods, it can be stressful to try to figure out exactly what those guidelines are. LCBs are experts in the field who stay up-to-date on all of the new regulations and amendments in effect. They can guide importers by helping to ensure all regulations are being met.
Plus, when everything is as it should be, imports won’t suffer from unnecessary delays or avoidable fines. In the long run, this saves organizations both time and money on their shipments.
Your organization is importing from a new market or location.
Every country is different, which means it has a different relationship with the United States. While your organization may have been operating with another country in a Free Trade Agreement in the past, now the new market may be outside of that zone. What does that mean for imports? A Licensed Customs Broker can tell you.
Plus, TOC Logistics’ team has relationships all over the world. That means when a customer breaks into a new market, they don’t have to start from scratch. Our team can guide them to trusted solutions, all while our customs team helps to make the transition as smooth as possible.
You aren’t sure where to start.
The last few years have really changed the supply chain landscape. It’s possible that your organization needs to import for the first time or perhaps it’s finally time to really audit your customs process. Whatever the case is, an LCB can help make the process easy. They’re an importer’s guide to success and avoiding delays or fees.
If any of these sound like your organization, it’s time to get in touch with our talented team. We can help you navigate imports, CBP, and any questions you may have about the process. Why wait? Contact us today.