While importing commercial goods into the US seems like an easy business idea, things are quite complicated on the ground. Dealing with the paperwork, compliance requirements, regulations, international trade laws, and tariff codes is complicated. Even a small mistake can have a cascading impact on your importing business. Imports of certain categories are highly regulated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and there are state laws applicable for some niches. Working with a customs consulting service, such as ClearitUSA FBA, could be a great way of keeping up with your importing business requirements.
Working with customs consultants and brokers
To start off, let’s mention that custom brokers are not same as freight forwarders. All customs brokers in the US must pass the licensure requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Hiring a custom broker, however, is not mandatory for importers. If you think you can manage all that paperwork and work involved in importing, you don’t need a custom broker. That said, even the most successful importing companies rely on custom consultants to ensure that their work moves as smoothly as possible.
If you fail to apply necessary tariff codes, or do not ask for refunds (if applicable) on time, you may have to deal with unwanted consequences, including fines and penalties. Depending on the error, or nature of mistake, a compliance audit may be initiated by the CBP, and your shipment may get seized. Considering what you will pay otherwise to secure your goods after following the necessary steps, hiring a custom broker is still about saving money.
Know international trade laws
The global economy is always volatile and relationships between nations change every now and then, which can impact trade laws. The role of a customs consultant is also advice on international trade, and they do what it takes to manage the work of the client, while staying compliant. In case you are planning expansions and want to get imports from certain countries that have different relations with the US, your customs consultant can help you keep up with all of that and more. They can also offer assistance in understanding consequences of certain importing decisions.
Hiring a customs consultant is the simplest way to reduce the work of your core team and focus better on business operations. Just make sure that you select a reliable and known customs consultant, because this is about collaboration for many years to come, or as long as your business is in operation.