Everything You Need to Know About the Customs Broker Profession

Customs formalities are relatively complex and require patience and precision. These procedures can significantly impact the activities of businesses involved in international imports and/or exports. To address this challenge, many professionals turn to the services of a customs broker.

Discover everything you need to know about the customs broker profession, from the duties of these professionals to the benefits of using their services, and the essential qualities and skills required to excel in this field.

What is a Customs Broker?

A customs broker is an individual or entity whose profession involves managing customs formalities on behalf of a third party. As an expert, they are registered with the customs authorities. It's important to note that the term "customs broker" no longer exists, and compliance with the rules of the Union Customs Code (UCC) under the status of Registered Customs Representative (RCR) is now necessary. However, the term "customs broker" is still widely used in the international trade sector.

Since May 1, 2016, anyone working under the status of a customs representative can handle customs formalities for a third party through either a direct customs mandate (acting on behalf of a third party) or an indirect customs mandate (performing customs operations on behalf of a third party but in their own name).

Role and Missions of the Customs Broker in International Shipments

Explore the role and various missions that a customs broker must undertake as an intermediary between clients and customs authorities.

Role of the Accredited Customs Broker

The accredited customs broker's role is to simplify their client's life by handling all customs procedures on their behalf. They also serve as advisors, suggesting the most advantageous practices for the international import and export of goods based on prevailing customs standards.

Customs Broker's Missions

To facilitate international business operations for their clients, customs brokers undertake diverse missions, including:

  • Ensuring that client-submitted documents comply with current customs requirements.
  • Submitting all mandatory supporting documents to customs services.
  • Calculating customs duties and taxes based on transported goods and the countries of origin and destination.
  • Organizing the transportation of goods in the most advantageous way for the client.
  • Managing all customs formalities to ensure smooth border crossings.
  • Advising clients on the most cost-effective solutions for exporting or importing goods, among others.

Skills and Qualifications Required to Be a Customs Broker

The customs broker profession demands specific technical skills, human qualities, and certifications.

Essential Technical Skills of a Customs Broker

Technical skills required for the customs broker position include:

  • In-depth knowledge of laws and procedures related to international goods transport.
  • Proficiency in one or more foreign languages (English being essential).
  • Familiarity with export and import methods.
  • Proficiency in using computer tools, major office software, and industry-specific applications.
  • Holding a B driver's license due to frequent travel requirements.

Personal Qualities of a Good Customs Broker

In addition to the mentioned technical skills, anyone aspiring to become a customs broker must possess certain personal qualities, including:

  • Rigor, responsiveness, and organizational skills.
  • Diplomacy in dealing with customs administrations or clients.
  • Ability to manage stress and pressure related to tight deadlines and potential issues during goods transfer.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Sense of responsibility and initiative.

Certifications Required to Practice as a Customs Broker

Since January 1, 2018, anyone practicing as a customs broker must undergo prior registration with competent authorities and fulfill conditions outlined in the April 13, 2016 decree on customs representation and the registration of customs representatives. Failing to operate under the RCR status may result in significant financial penalties.

Advantages of Working with a Customs Broker

Collaborating with a customs broker for your import-export operations comes with numerous advantages, including:

  • Ensuring compliance with all prevailing customs standards worldwide.
  • Swift and efficient customs clearance of your goods.
  • Optimization of costs related to customs duties and associated fees.
  • Reduction of risks linked to frequent changes in customs regulations.
  • Streamlining logistics for shorter delivery times, among others.

While the services of a customs broker represent a cost for businesses, the return on investment is generally positive. These professionals help mitigate risks and reduce international shipping times and costs.

Happy-Post: Your Trusted Carrier for Parcel Delivery

By choosing Happy-Post for shipping and delivering your parcels within France or internationally, you ensure that all customs procedures are taken care of. This eliminates the risks of delays due to missing documents or unpaid customs duties.

Upon receiving your parcel, Happy-Post verifies that all required information for customs authorities is accurately provided. In case of customs fees, our highly available and efficient customer service quickly intervenes to resolve the situation and release your parcel.

With Happy-Post, sending your parcels internationally becomes a straightforward, fast, and hassle-free process. Additionally, you benefit from extremely competitive rates that perfectly align with your needs. Whether you're a professional in international trade or an individual, Happy-Post is the ideal partner for shipping your parcels worldwide.