What is a Customs Broker?

Aug 16, 2018Customs Brokerage, International Logistics

A large part of what we do at TOC Logistics is customs brokerage. We would not be able to serve our clients with expertise or efficiency without a license in customs brokerage. In the logistics field, we see a lot of changes, and sometimes changes take place literally overnight. As licensed customs brokers, we are able to effectively and quickly react to these changes to ensure your success.

So, what does it mean, and what does it take, to be a customs broker? And more importantly, what does that mean for your company? Read on to learn more about this key part of our services.


A Customs Broker

In the broadest terms, a customs broker is someone who facilitates shipments and deliveries of goods across borders for individuals or organizations. On a bigger scale, think of all the goods that come and go through a port in a single day. America’s busiest port, The Port of Los Angeles, sees $1.2 billion worth of cargo a day. Someone has to be managing what is coming and going, all while making sure that it is being transported across borders legally and efficiently.

Additionally, each country has different regulations and rules, and it is a customs broker’s job to understand all of those regulations, ensure they are enforced, and systematize the process.


What It Takes

The process of becoming a customs broker is long and requires a lot of training. To be considered, the individual must be 21 years of age and a U.S. citizen. From there, the individual must pass the customs broker license exam. The exam only takes place twice a year: October and April. If the individual has passed they have 3 years to submit an application for the license. After the application has been reviewed and approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the license is granted. However, the application approval process can take 4-6 months for approval.


For Your Company

With a license in customs brokerage, we are able to offer more strategic and reliable customer service. We are able to define your needs, contain costs, and minimize your risk because we have supply chain visibility. This is essential to ensuring that your company is paying the right amount of duties and that you are declaring the correct values. Only a licensed broker can file entries on behalf of your company. Brokers can also pay duties for your company, simplifying freight invoicing and helping you avoid payment issues.

We have specialists that will be able to help you comply with existing government regulations while also staying ahead of ever-changing customs compliance laws. Our specialists will help to keep your supply chain moving thanks to their knowledge of the industry and their customs brokerage licenses. Our brokers also have the specialized software needed to transmit entries to Customs.

A big part of what we do at TOC is custom brokerage, and we’re proud to be one of the 11,000 licensed customs brokers in America. Becoming a customs broker is a long process but we would not be able to serve our clients without it. There is a lot of training, studying, and dedication that goes into both the examination and the application. While it is a long process we are proud to offer this service as a beneficial tool to our client’s advancement.


Our capable and experienced team is standing by to assist organizations and supply chains across the globe. Click the button to get in touch with our team.

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