Customs Broker vs. Freight Forwarder: Know the Difference

The US is the world's largest exporter and importer of products and services. Trade between it and other nations is essential because it enhances living standards, creates jobs, and allows customers to enjoy a broader choice of commodities.

FREMONT, CA: For individuals and businesses, customs brokerage firms enable the transportation and delivery of goods across international borders.

Frequently, the general public is ignorant of the vast volume of goods and raw materials that traverse international borders every day, as well as what is required to clear these items through customs in other nations.

Customs Brokerage Facilitates Global Trade

Each nation has rules and regulations governing the movement of products entering or exiting its boundaries. Globally, customs regulations and laws governing the import and export of commodities are continually evolving, often daily.

A customs brokerage firm is responsible for learning and enforcing these rules and regulations to simplify the shipping procedure as feasible for the individual or organization. Customs brokers relieve their clients of the burden of dealing with customs authorities and mastering shipping procedures, allowing them to devote more time to operating their primary business.

Customs brokers operate as translators, liaising with government and agencies throughout the shipping process to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

Customs Brokerage in a Digital Era

As rapidly as the regulations governing shipping are evolving, so too are corporate practices. Transactions involving shipments and customs clearance procedures are moving online. Customs brokerage firms do ongoing research and development of their internal infrastructure to ensure that all electronic procedures are followed correctly.

Customs brokers ensure they have the most up-to-date technology and stay abreast of the latest industry changes to give their clients the highest quality service.

A Comparison of Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers

A freight forwarder is a broad phrase, whereas a customs broker is exact; among other criteria, customs brokers in the United States must be licensed. Many freight forwarders can also act as customs brokers (or have access to brokerage services), but not all customs brokers are also freight forwarders. Customs brokers focus on the import side of a transaction. For exporters, the customs broker represents a foreign country. Exporters do not require a U.S. customs broker because their goods are leaving the nation. The freight forwarder of an exporter can collaborate with a customs broker to help resolve complications with international cargo.

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