customs broker

The worldwide exposure of cross-border trade has increased the role of customs brokers to facilitate clearing the complex paperwork and documentation required for shipment with customs. Due to the complexity of handling various trade duties and fees, most importers and exporters engage in the service of customs brokers to manage some or all of the followings.

  • Customs valuation Tariff classification
  • Automated customs clearance through government-initiated programs
  • International trade consulting and facilitation services
  • Freight management and consolidation services
  • Import and export purchase-order management
  • Regional and national warehousing
  • Non-resident import services
  • Valuation, Origin of Goods or Harmonized System (HS)
  • Preparation of customs documents, country-specific tariff classification, calculation of duties and taxes, etc.

In India, more than 99% of companies use the expert knowledge of customs brokers’ services and outsource complex clearance work required for shipments.

Customs compliance has undergone a massive change influenced by the wave of digitalization and further accelerated during Covid-19.

Also, physical movement restrictions increased electronic transactions leaving them with no option other than digitalizing their customs filing proof.

Before the pandemic, no one imagined the entire customs clearing as possible from home and the team could file customs documents remotely.

Barring a few documents, today’s customs documentation preparation and declarations filing are just a few clicks process from anywhere and anytime. With India’s No 1. customs software Live Impex, you can scan documents to submit in ICEGATE/ e-Sanchit with a digital signature.

Learn more from our experts how you can digitalize your freight forwarding & logistics business.

Earlier, the core competencies of customs brokers compared basis their interactions with customs for submission, clarifications, etc. But with digitalization, the requirement of their skill set has changed.

Customs brokers now not only need to deal with customs, but they are also working equally with the forwarders, shippers, ports, and other stakeholders.

The scope of work for customs brokers has now extended, as they assist importers in a number of complicated areas, such as tariff classification, customs valuation, dispute settlements, refunds, drawbacks, remission of duties, sales and excise tax implications, payment of taxes and duties, accounting documents and anti-dumping issues and many others.

In addition, a customs broker also purchases cargo insurance packages and sometimes also offers warehousing and distribution services, including inspection and storage of goods and processing of small orders.

In the past few years, companies have started investing in digitalization, and customs is no exception. With digitalization, the process of customs filing has become significantly less complex.

In India customs software like Live Impex not only helps customers avoid errors but also allows links directly to the customs portal. Advanced customs software now allows submitting the relevant data for declaration directly to customs authorities and calculating the duties with no additional effort.

Above all, customer expectations with regard to transparency in the customs clearance processes have further pushed customs brokers to bring more transparency to their work. In the past, updating customers once customs released the shipment verbally or by mail was enough. But today, customers are accustomed to much faster lead times, and how rapidly customs declarations are processed is a huge differentiator.

The new levels of transparency bought by digitalization have allowed customs brokers to respond much more quickly than in the past. Now the ICEGATE portal provides all the needed information in a single dashboard.

In the years to come, emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) will facilitate automation in bond management, data exchange with countries relating to origin certificates and declaration to make the clearances even simpler.

Generally speaking, customs remain a complex and constantly evolving process. Digitalization is one of the key enablers of ease of doing business in Indian customs. The trend towards digitalization and customer expectations in customs will further push the simplification of procedures and regulations. As a result, it will significantly increase the efficiency and speed of customs processing, and we can expect a reduction in the time and effort involved in preparing customs declarations in the future. In the future, the core role of the customs service providers may remain the same, however, digitalization will further enhance their role as a specialist and the scope of services to meet their ever-evolving customer’s needs.

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