What is a Customs Broker?
A Customs Broker is your agent between you and Customs. He acts on behalf of commercial importers and exporters in transactions with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
Customs Brokers are instrumental in processing goods through customs quickly and efficiently while upholding government laws and regulations.
The courier I use offers customs brokerage service, is there a difference?
Couriers are dedicated to moving freight and are usually good at what they do. Their brokerage services have developed out of a need to move freight internationally.
It is not their focus nor their core business. The services of an experienced Customs Broker, who’s sole business is Customs Brokerage, can prevent costly mistakes and delays.
Mistakes are not taken lightly by customs and it’s good to have a professional on your side.
Isn’t a bigger firm better than a smaller Customs Broker?
Large does not necessarily mean better. Large firms tend to become inflexible, regimented and less responsive to their client’s needs.
We at Sterling Customs Brokers take pride in providing personalized service individually tailored to our clients.
How are Customs Brokers fees charged?
Customs Brokers usually base their fees according to the dollar value of the shipment. In some instances, the Customs Broker and client may agree on a flat rate per shipment or arrive at minimum/maximum amounts.
Is it faster to use a local broker at the port where my goods arrive?
We are electronically linked with Canada Customs and can obtain release of goods across Canada within Forty-five (45) minutes.
In today’s electronic age we can monitor, track, trace and release goods quickly anywhere.. We also maintain agents at every border crossing and inland customs office to further ensure release of your goods.
What documents do I need to get my goods through Canada Customs?
Usually a properly completed invoice is required showing the shipper, purchaser, a detailed description of the goods, quantity, country of origin and currency of settlement.
A Canada Customs Invoice can also be used (see Resources), For goods of U.S. or Mexican origin a NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement – see Resources) Certificate of Origin will be required to claim duty relief.
Certain products such as meat products, seafood and dairy require special documentation.
Please contact us for details.
What do I need to Export to the U.S.?
In most instances a commercial invoice and a bill of lading are all you need for exporting to the U.S. You should determine who is responsible for getting the goods through U.S. Customs – you or the consignee.
This will determine if you need to hire a Customs Broker. We can assist in arranging US customs clearances, because we have affiliations with various US customs brokers in all US States.
My courier says they will give me free customs brokerage if I ship my goods with them. Why not use them?
The old adage, “You get what you pay for”, is wise council. Often the brokerage fee is hidden in the freight charges.
What is AMPS?
AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) is a penalty regime imposed by Canada Customs for a wide range of infractions, errors and omissions.
Now, more than ever it is important to have a professional Customs Broker on your side.