Guide 101: Questions for hiring a reliable customs broker in Canada

If you are into importing, you probably know that the customs clearance process can be overwhelming. All imports are subjected to regulations, norms, and compliance requirements set by the Canada Border Services Agency. Instead of struggling with so many things at once, businesses can gain huge by seeking help from customs brokerage services. Known names like customs brokers have been around for years and handle a huge freight volume every month. In this post, we are discussing the questions worth asking a customs broker in Canada, but before that, let’s check what you can expect.

What can a customs broker do?

– Your customs broker will identify and deal with all the documentation needed for customs clearance. They will check all commercial invoices, origin documents, and bills of lading to complete the paperwork for commercial goods.

– Your customs broker is also responsible for regulatory compliance. They will ensure that all the documents and compliance requirements are met, and if and when needed, they can communicate with relevant government agencies on your behalf.

– Another standard task that customs brokers do is the classification of commercial goods. They will adhere to the norm and determine applicable duties, taxes, and tariffs. Your broker will make the payments on your behalf to minimize the wait time.

– A customs broker may also offer customs consulting, where they offer advice for specific business plans and guide companies further on international trade agreements. They can make recommendations based on their experience and expertise.

Questions to ask a customs broker

  1. Do you have an in-house team of experts for help? What are your working hours?
  2. Can your customs brokerage service have an understanding of NAFTA?
  3. Can you help with record-keeping? Do you ensure compliance with customs regulations?
  4. Do you handle shipments containing sensitive and regulated products?
  5. Can you help with transportation, distribution, and warehousing?
  6. Can you share a few references?
  7. Will you assign a dedicated accounts manager for our business? Can we have direct access?
  8. What extent of your work is done online?
  9. Do you offer tools and other kinds of support for importers?
  10. How frequently do you work with importers from our industry?
  11. Are you a member of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB)?

These are some basic questions you must ask when you discuss your importing requirements with a customs broker. Make sure that your customs broker is capable of handling all kinds of shipments and has services at all ports of entry in Canada.