Customs Broker

Part of the Freight Term Glossary


What is a Customs Broker?

A customs broker is a CBP-licensed logistics expert responsible for ensuring that a shipment meets all standards and regulations for the import or export of goods. They can assist with all necessary documentation, duties, taxes, and payments.

Shipments that don’t meet customs requirements can be held indefinitely at the shipper’s expense or even confiscated. If you are unsure if your shipment meets all requirements for customs clearance, hiring a customs broker can be an economical choice.

What Does a Custom Broker Do?

Customs brokers are responsible a handling any rules and regulations related to customs clearance and ensuring that they are followed, including identifying the classification – known as the HS code – of your goods. This streamlines the shipping process and alleviates the stress involved with customs and duties so that you can focus on managing your business. By using a professional customs broker, you will avoid the risk of penalties, fines, or having your goods help up.

Customs Broker Cost & Fees

There are a number of factors that go into the cost of retaining a customs broker. Depending on the individual broker, the imported goods and the associated paperwork, and the location of origin, pricing may vary. The final cost will be determined by the specific services that you require. While the fee for having a broker handle all of your customs needs can seem like just another added expense, the cost and delays if you are hit with penalties will likely be significantly more.

Looking for a Customs Broker Near You?

You can find a complete list of certified customs brokers here.