What are the important questions to ask when interviewing a customs broker?

When you’re into international trade then you should be aware of the importance of customs clearance and how complex the process can be demanding time, money and patience. But the compliance process can be simpler with the interruption of professional licensed customs brokers. From business owners to individuals- the majority consider hiring the customs broker to release the shipments when importing and also for shouldering the responsibility of exporting the containers to the said destination. They also shoulder the liabilities of preparing every single document needed for processing. With the power of attorney and ITN number, they can process the customs transactions on your behalf.

So, when you’re about to outsource custom brokerage service ask certain questions during the interview. Here, some of them are shared—

What is your specialized area?

On the first go, you should ask the chosen customs broker about their area of expertise. It can be importing of cars and other vehicles, freight, supporting e-commerce and other small business by clearing customs and so on. By knowing that, you can decide whether you should move ahead with the broker/brokerage company or you should try for other options to find the most capable broker for this job.

For how long are you importing and exporting?

Know that since when they are working as a customs broker for importing and exporting. You’ll definitely wish to collaborate with a customs broker with more years of experience in importing and exporting. It’s the expected that they’re well versed with the compliance regulations ordained by the codes of the government.

What do the previous clients have to say about your services?

Even after checking the reviews and BBB ratings, you can ask them this question and they’ll start sharing various relevant events they faced while custom clearing the containers, cars and other shipments of their previous clients. From this answer, you’ll know about their versatility.

Do you review the documents showcasing previous customs entries and estimate the additional duty or penalties?

Ask them whether they review the previous documents of the customs entries to reckon the additional duty as well as the penalties which you have to pay.

Are you the one offering electronic data interchange (EDI) or online documents?

Nowadays, almost everywhere online interactions are introduced. If they offer similar services of EDI, you being the non-resident client can easily check the developments.

Along with this also ask them about the working hours and customer services time-frames.