dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Customs Broker


Description

Customs brokers are employed by importing and exporting organizations to clear goods through customs and ensure their timely delivery. They use their updated knowledge of trade laws and regulations to move shipments through customs as quickly and efficiently as possible. They may also act as freight forwarders, consultants or legal agents for organizations such as importers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

There is a great deal of paperwork involved in the import/export business so the brokers take care of the technical documents and forms in compliance with laws and procedures. They are extremely knowledgeable in all laws, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) clauses, taxes and duties. They know what items are illegal and what items require duty payments, such as alcohol and perfume, and also the limits on the amount one can import and export in each transaction.

Customs brokers act as intermediaries between importers and exporters and the government customs department. Their role is very important because most people do not know about the specific laws involved in importing and exporting and it saves these companies loads of time researching tariff laws and taxes. Customs brokers make sure trade is conducted accurately and correctly and this allows the companies to begin selling their products as soon as possible.

Brokers also look after all insurance paperwork and make sure their clients' goods are protected during the shipping.
When and if problems arise at the border due to technicalities in the law, customs brokers first try to solve the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Are there certain documents to be filled out? How can the goods move quickly across the border? If all else fails, a broker may represent their clients at trials and tribunals and deal directly with government officials. The job can be stressful at times, especially when things are not running smoothly, however the customs broker is used to the intense pressure related to their profession. Also, with new security measures at our borders, customs brokers are learning about the new laws and regulations being implemented each day.
 
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Accounting Clerk
arrow Accounts Officer
arrow Actuary
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
ABCO Technology

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

Programs Offered:
  • E-commerce

 

 



  Interests and Skills  
Customs brokers must have excellent communication skills, a good memory, maintain a high standard of personal integrity, and enjoy working with computers. They must be able to keep up with ever-changing computer systems, trade and customs procedures, laws and regulations, have the ability to evaluate shipments quickly and handle many details in a short time, and work well under pressure when problems arise.

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work, talking to people, and making decisions. Brokers must be honest, ethical and fair. Since they are dealing with the law, customs brokers risk losing their licenses if they provide inaccurate or incorrect information to customers.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Provide information to importers on customs tariffs including rates of duty and the methods of goods clearance
  • Prepare and process documents and other forms on behalf of clients according to customs regulations, laws and procedures
  • Sign import/export documents on behalf of client, using power of attorney
  • Arrange for payment of duties, taxes, storage and transportation of imported goods and bonds to cover duty goods
  • Make reservations with shipping or airline companies for freight to be exported and arrange for the clearance of cargo
  • Quote duty and tax rates on commodities for clients
  • Provide advice to clients on export and import restrictions, tariff systems, letters of credit, insurance requirements and other custom related matters
  • Liaise with customs and other government authorities in the correct clearance of goods through customs
  • May represent client before administrative tribunals or in other dealings with government officials.
  • Customs brokers generally work in offices located at border crossing towns or in urban centers. The hours can sometimes get a bit hectic because customs is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there is a problem with a client's shipment, customs brokers are on call, no matter what time or day it is. They sometimes travel to meet clients at their office locations or to represent them in a tribunal hearing related to the importing and exporting of a good.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Customs brokers can be self-employed but most work in custom brokerage houses, freight forwarders or related importing firms. They are hired by importing and exporting businesses that need their services to move goods quickly and smoothly across the border. The companies that hire customs brokers are sometimes located in border-crossing towns, in airports or at ports. Therefore, they often must travel to these places to meet their clients and conduct business. Some customs brokers are also employed by the government to work on the other side of the plane.

  Long Term Career Potential  
The long term career advancement for customs brokers usually takes the form of increased job responsibility or clientele and a pay increase. Customs brokers with experience may also act as consultants or agents of the industry, guiding clients on various aspects of duty and import/export laws. They may be hired on directly for a large company as a permanent employee, instead of taking on different contracts. Customs brokers may move on to various sales positions or into accounting or banking.
 

  Educational Paths  
A high school diploma is the minimum education requirement for customs brokers, but most employers hire applicants that have some postsecondary education in the field of business, economics or international trade. Entry level employees often start out as data entry clerks or customs runners, learning the basics of the job, on the job.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Southern New Hampshire University  Online
See yourself succeed at Southern New Hampshire University.
Programs Offered:
  • Business Graduate Cerificate
  • IMBA - Internet Marketing
  • MBA with concentration in Sustainability/Env Cmpliance
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • , NH

 
ABCO Technology  Online

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

Programs Offered:
  • E-commerce
Campus Locations:
  • Los Angeles, CA

 
California College San Diego  Online

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
  • Business Administration - New Media Marketing (BS)
  • Business Administration (BS)
  • Business Administration - Property Management (BS)
Campus Locations:
  • San Diego, CA

 
Northcentral University  Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs Offered:
  • MBA - Building Creativity
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Business Administration - General Business
  • Management - PhD in Bus. Admin.
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • San Diego, CA

 
Norwich University - Online  Online
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Business Administration Online
Campus Locations:
  • Northfield, VT

 
Villanova University  Online
Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Business Administration
Campus Locations:
  • Villanova, PA

 
Post University Online  Online

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Business Administration
Campus Locations:
  • Waterbury, CT

 
Iowa Wesleyan University  Online

Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Campus Locations:
  • , IA

 
South University, Online Programs  Online

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs Offered:
  • Business Administration (BBA)
  • Business Administration (AMBA)
Campus Locations:
  • Savannah, GA

 
San Joaquin Valley College  Online

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate - Business Administration (Management)
Campus Locations:
  • Delano, CA

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2016 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.