A Customs Broker is an individual that is authorized to transact Customs business for other individuals or businesses. They are trade professionals that usually have many years of experience dealing with the ins and outs of the importation process. A Customs Broker must undergo testing and background checks by the Federal Government in order to obtain a Customs Brokers License.
While it is possible to clear Customs without the aid of a Customs Broker for certain importations, doing so could prove to be quite challenging. There are a myriad of laws and regulations that a Customs Broker is familiar with, and they vary based on the product being imported, the amount being imported, where it is being imported from, and its value.
There are a number of restrictions on what can be imported. While technically any item can be imported, one must possess all the necessary licenses, permits, registration numbers, etc. in order to clear them through Customs and any other Participating Government Agency, and that part is usually the hardest part. A Customs Broker can assist in obtaining the required compliance documents and numbers prior to importation.
This is exactly where a Customs Broker could help! Not only can a Customs Broker help you get in compliance prior to the shipment, but if your freight is stuck in Customs, they can help with that too. There are any number of issues and problems that can come up, and a good Customs Broker will be able to help with any of them.
World Exchange is based near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and a short 30-minute drive away from the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. World Exchange also holds a National Permit, which allows us to process Customs clearances in any port in the United States.
There is no “import license” or an equivalent in the United States. Anyone with a Social Security number or a Federal Employer Identification number can become an importer. There may be additional requirements that need to be met to import certain items, but a Customs Broker can go over those additional requirements with you.
The main documents you want to have available for a Customs Broker to be able to clear your shipment through Customs is an Arrival Notice or Authority to Make Entry (usually issued by the local freight forwarder or the carrier), the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill (Master B/Ls are always issued by the carrier, House B/Ls are issued by freight forwarders), a commercial invoice and packing list (issued by the manufacturer or seller). There may be other documents depending on the commodity being shipped, but these are the basics needed to start. Most other documents that are needed (like a Power of Attorney) will be issued to you directly from the Customs Broker)
World Exchange does not own/operate any delivery trucks, but we work with a number of truckers in the area and can offer competitive rates. We can arrange delivery across the street or across the country.
World Exchange does offer freight insurance. Contact us for a quote today!
Customs brokerage entry fees are charged as a flat rate, unlike in some other countries where they are based on the value of the shipment. There are many other different fees associated with the importation process; some ours, some we are advancing for you, and all are dependent on the type of entry being filed and product being imported.