Importing into Canada: The role of a customs broker

As an importer, you have many things to worry about. While profitability is probably your first concern, you cannot ignore aspects like compliance. International trade is subject to numerous regulations and requirements, and even a small error in the classification of goods can mean serious losses. When it comes to customs clearance in Canada, the role of a customs broker is highly valuable to importers. All customs brokers are licensed and deal with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) on behalf of importers. If you are working with someone for the first time, here’s what you can expect. 

Clearing your goods

Many importers deal with hundreds of shipments every year. For them, it’s impossible to keep track of every order or manage all the customs clearance work without help. A customs broker ensures that all guidelines and laws set by the CBSA are adhered to, and the goods are cleared at the port of entry without unwanted delays. They are also capable of handling diverse kinds of shipments and are aware of the evolving import regulations. 

Assistance with paperwork

Once you have hired a customs broker, you sign a POA with them to act on your behalf. Their job is to ensure that all duties and taxes are paid, and the documentation is taken care of. They will clear goods on your behalf and sign the necessary documents. They are also aware of money-saving tactics and can negotiate and work with transport companies for clients. A customs broker can also help find optimized routes so that you don’t have to pay as much on transport. 

Importing sensitive goods

There are certain categories of sensitive goods that need more attention. Besides the regulations, there are risk factors to be considered, and a customs broker can help import such goods. Examples would include tobacco and cars. They can explain multifaceted regulations and can handle the paperwork so that you don’t end up making serious mistakes. A licensed customs broker could be the only party that can file certain declarations, and therefore, the role is inevitable. 

Customs audits

Your customs broker can help with CBSA audits. They know what it takes to furnish the documents that auditors want to see, and they take steps to prove that you have taken reasonable care as an importer to keep up with the regulations. 

Have questions? Talk to a known customs broker to know more about their expertise and work profile.

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