A common misconception held by new businesses or ones that are bootstrapped for cash is that only big or established businesses doing a $5M+ in revenue could benefit from the cost savings that a Customs Broker can help coordinate. And that small businesses may not need to work with a customs broker.
In our 60+ years of industry experience, we have seen lots of businesses start out small, develop contracts, self-apply tariff classification or determine what they see as a "value for customs" and sales take off. What happens next is what started out as a small error made at the beginning with such things as tariff classification, can become a very large problem once the volume takes over and you are transacting larger volumes across the border with the same information used the "first time".
If your business is just starting up, caution is advised when deciding not to use the services of a Customs Broker. Although you may choose to travel to the facility or port of arrival to prepare a formal declaration for Canada Customs yourself, it is highly recommended that you seek guidance and advice from a Customs Broker in the planning stages to help mitigate risks related to your cross-border business.
How You Can Add Value With A Custom Broker
- Streamline the process of clearing customs
- Ensure your customs documentation is prepared properly
- Determine tariff classification
- Determine the admissibility of your commodity into Canada
- Ensure correct duties and taxes are applied to the shipment when appropriate
- Determine if your commodity is regulated by any other government departments
- Determine whether your commodity is entitled to any exemptions
- Help execute vendor contracts
Even if you do not plan to use a Customs Broker to transact business on your behalf when goods ship, by getting involved in the planning stages, a customs broker may be able to:
- Provide advantageous advice on terms,
- Make recommendations on countries of origin to source from,
- Provide advice on tariff classification and entry types,
- Assist in the decision making and compliance process,
- Deliver the best solutions for your business,
- Make you more competitive in the marketplace and
- Help you gain a more positive relationship with both Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
It is well worth the investment to consult with a Customs Broker in the planning stages. To have a clear understanding of your risks, proper tariff classifications and to not let a small issue in the beginning, turn into a large business killer.
Pacific Customs Brokers works with all types of importers from a broad range of industries. We offer Canadian and U.S. trade compliance advisory services and Customs audit consulting. At our core, we are problem solvers and work with a large percentage of small to medium sized companies. To learn more about how we can help you manage the risks of importing and improve efficiencies in your processes, speak with one of our trade compliance specialists today.