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All the questions


  • What does a Customs Broker do?
  • Why do you need a Customs Broker?
  • What is a Customs Bond? And why do I need it?
  • How is the SEB (Single Entry Bond) and Annual Bond different?
  • What documents do I need to provide for clearance for my shipment?
  • How do the Duty Rates vary?
  • What is commercial invoice and packing list?
  • What is Bill of Lading? And “Express“ or “Surrendered“ mean?
  • What is an Arrival Notice and how do I get it?
  • Is there a “Marking Rule?“
  • How do I pay the duties to Customs?
  • Can I get refund from over-paid duty and voluntary tender for short-paid?
  • Can I get referred a freight forwarder and in-land trucking service?
What does a Customs Broker do?

A Customs Broker is a highly trained import professional. Licensed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the customs broker must possess thorough knowledge of tariff schedules and Customs regulations and keep abreast of the amendments made through constant changes in the law and adminsitrative regulations.

An individual must go through an extensive and careful background check and a test. Only then, can U.S. Customs permit an individual to be licensed as a Customs Broker.

A Customs Brokerage is responsible for knowing all the rules and regulations in order to make the process of shipping goods as seamless as possible for the client.

Most Customs Brokers maintain relationships with other “associate” Customs Brokers nationwide that allow the Broker to clear transporting goods through Customs at any port of entry.

Why do you need a Customs Broker?

Hiring a customs broker does a lot for your business. Custom brokers are trained professionals employed by or affiliated with freight forwarders, independent businesses, or shipping lines, importers, exporters, trade authorities, and customs brokerage firms. Customs Brokers are licensed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct CBP business on behalf of importers and has knowledge in customs regulations and tariff schedule. A customs broker can handle business transactions such as clearing shipments of imported goods, prepare required documentation for export shipments and collect duties and taxes. As an intermediary between business, importers and the government, custom brokers help companies deal with legal requirements. It’s convenient as they take the burden of filling out paperwork and obtaining a CBP bond off of the importer’s hands and help make certain that the goods are processed in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

What is a Customs Bond? And why do I need it?

It’s a legal agreement guaranteeing that a specific obligation will be fulfilled between customs and an importer for any given import transaction. The importer agrees to pay taxes, duties and other fees and needs to comply with the rules of duty free shipments.

For every shipment that has a customs bond placed it will ensure a smooth commerce process. It is required by the U.S. government to bound this contract and guarantee that all obligations will be fulfilled by customs and an importer; guaranteeing the payment of import duties and taxes.

How is the SEB (Single Entry Bond) and Annual Bond different?

A SEB (Single Entry Bond) is a one-time usage bond that covers the entry of goods for which it was specifically dedicated. This method is recommended for those who import on occasion, if you frequently do import through various ports of entry, the continuous bond/annual bond is recommended.

An Annual Bond, otherwise known as a Continuous Bond, is a customs bond that will cover all import shipments for one year. It is 10% of duties, taxes and fees paid for the annual period. The continuous custom bond does NOT cover the customs clearance fee. You will be charged a customs clearance fee for every shipment.

What documents do I need to provide for clearance for my shipment?

There are actually different requirements to be required by regulatory agencies of the U.S Government before entry of goods is approved. Some of the documents required are commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading or airway bill and notice of arrival. It is very important that we know the specifics prior to importing however hiring or getting services from a custom broker is more convenient as they can handle business transactions such as clearing shipments of imported goods, prepare required documentation for export shipments and collect duties and taxes.

 

How do the Duty Rates vary?

The U.S. imposes tariffs, aka customs duty, on imports of goods. (Goods and Services Tax) The duty is levied at the time of import and is paid by the importer of record. Tariffs vary by country of origin and product.

Custom duty rates may be expressed as a percentage of value per unit and depends on the country of origin. Any duty rates on your international import shipment will be billed directly to you by the global carrier.

What is commercial invoice and packing list?

The Commercial Invoice is the term of sale or statement of the seller to the buyer for goods shipped or purchased. This has the information of business transaction between exporter and the importer such as the actual country of origin of the merchandise, contact information of the vendor and purchaser, the quantity of the item and the price. It is important that all information related to the transaction should be given to the customs broker in order to prevent possible discrepancies in exporting and importing goods.

A packing list contains the details of your import goods for verification intended to let transport agencies, government authorities, and customers know the contents of the package.

What is Bill of Lading? And “Express“ or “Surrendered“ mean?

A Bill of Lading is a legal document in a form of receipt issued by a carrier to a shipper that contains and outlines the information about the type, quantity, and destination of goods that are being shipped. It is to confirm that the carrier acknowledges receipt of cargo for shipment. 

An “Express” Bill of Lading is a type of Bill of Lading that doesn’t require the cargo to be “released.” Meaning that no Original Bills of Lading were issued and the destination of the cargo does not need an Orignal Bills of Lading to be mailed for cargo release. Typically issued when the importer has already paid for the goods before shipping or has credit with the supplier. This saves time and mail courier fees.

A “Surrendered” Bill of Lading is a document issued to importers that release the ownership of the goods being transported to them. So it is a case in which, the exporter surrenders all legal ownership over to the importer after already paying for the goods before cargo shipment.

What is an Arrival Notice and how do I get it?

Arrival Notice (Notice of Arrival) is the document issued by ocean freight carrier’s destination agent to the consignee that provides detailed information about the arrival and other information required for customs clearance processing.

An Arrival of Notice in your shipment should be issued to your cosignee from the exporting party.

Is there a “Marking Rule?“

Yes. Our Marking Rule requires you to provide the Country of Origin of the products; giving information about the manufacturer, production or growth of goods that will be entering the United States.

How do I pay the duties to Customs?

Payment will be directed to U.S. Customs. We can pay the duty on the importers behalf and bill it as part of their services in clearing your goods at port. There is a 10 day grace period in which the U.S. Customs provides to have all duties and taxes to be paid on an import entry.

Can I get refund from over-paid duty and voluntary tender for short-paid?

Yes. The process of claiming a refund is known as duty drawback. The importer can seek a refund of over-paid duties after they obtain a proper waiver of the exporter claims. Must be filed withing 3 years from the date of import.

Drawback may be paid upon liquidation of a claim provided only if the drawback claimant and any other party involved for the payment of the payment of duties or voluntary tenders each files a written waiver request.

Can I get referred a freight forwarder and in-land trucking service?

Yes. We can and will provide you referrences to a mode of in-land transportation upon port of entry within our resources.



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