Customs brokering or customs brokerage is a profession that involves the “clearing” of goods through customs barriers for importers. Customs brokerage professionals have a wealth of knowledge to help you streamline the importing process of any type of goods you want to bring into the U.S.
Setting up an account with a customs broker requires the following forms:
You will also need to establish credit and purchase a Surety Bond. There are two types of customs bonds: Single Entry and Continuous Bonds. Once you have an account set up you can then request a quote and start importing to the United States.
Customs brokers will submit the documentation necessary to obtain clearance from government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Fish and Wildlife Service and many others. The regulatory and technological requirements of the U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security are complex and extensive.
Customs Brokers will need a Power of Attorney completed in order to facilitate your imports. This will help your company and the customs broker establish a business relationship and work on your behalf with U. S. Customs. Basic information you will need for the Customs Power of Attorney:
Your business will fall under one of these types;
The General Account Application will require some of the same information as the Customs Power of Attorney such as the Federal Tax ID/E.I.N./Social Security Number, company type. There is also some additional information you will need to include like your state of incorporation, date of birth for individuals and Sole Proprietors, and current broker/forwarder.
In order to serve you better as a Customs Broker, completing the General Questionnaire is important for handling customs procedures under the Customs Modernization Act. Doctrines such as Informed Compliance and Reasonable Care have shifted the onus of responsibility to importers for disclosing this information to Customs. The General Account Questionnaire asks the following questions:
Purchasing your surety bond through AFC ensures that your shipments have the appropriate bond as well as adequate coverage. AFC provides competitive pricing and best-in-class service. AFC offers coverage on a single transaction basis or importers can purchase an annual surety bond, which is sometimes more cost effective.
Single Entry Bonds (SEB) cover a single import transaction at one port of entry. This option is ideal for companies that typically have less than 4 imports into the U.S. per year and the goods have a low value. For each shipment, a new SEB would have to be purchased.
Continuous Bonds cover all of an importer’s shipments, at all U.S. ports of entry, for a complete year. This option is ideal for large volume shippers or for shipments of high value.
Contact us at 800.274.2329, get started here to set up an account or request a quote today.