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What does a Customs Broker do?

Learn all about Customs Broker duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Customs Broker.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A customs broker is a professional who helps people and businesses comply with customs regulations when importing and exporting goods. Customs brokers have a detailed knowledge of the customs laws and regulations of the country or countries they operate in, and they use this knowledge to help their clients clear goods through customs quickly and efficiently.

Customs Broker job duties include:

  • Liaising with customs officials to ensure smooth import/export procedures
  • Completing and filing customs documentation
  • Arranging for the payment of duties and taxes
  • Liaising with freight forwarders and transport companies to arrange shipping logistics
  • Tracking shipments and updating customers on estimated arrival times
  • Negotiating with customs officials on behalf of clients to release goods detained by customs
  • Advising clients on customs regulations and compliance issues
  • Identifying potential problems with shipments and finding solutions to avoid delays
  • Keeping up to date with changes in customs regulations

Customs Broker Job Requirements

A customs broker is an individual or company that is licensed by the government to help importers and exporters comply with customs regulations. Customs brokers typically have a college degree in business, international trade, or economics. They must also pass a written examination administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition to passing the exam, customs brokers must also complete a CBP-approved training program. Some customs brokers have experience working in the import-export industry, which can be helpful in understanding the complexities of international trade.

Customs Broker Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Research skills
  • Time management skills

Related: Top Customs Broker Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Customs Broker

In order to become a customs broker, one must first obtain a license from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). There is no specific educational requirement for obtaining a customs broker license, but most applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Customs brokers must also pass an examination administered by the TTB.

Once licensed, customs brokers can work for themselves or for a company. They help their clients navigate the complex world of international trade, ensuring that shipments are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Customs brokers also play an important role in helping businesses obtain the necessary permits and licenses for importing and exporting goods.

Customs brokers must keep up with changes in the law and regulations governing international trade. They must also be familiar with the classification systems used to categorize goods for tariff purposes. In addition, customs brokers need to have strong communication and negotiation skills in order to effectively represent their clients’ interests.

Related: Customs Broker Resume Example

Related: Customs Broker Interview Questions (With Example Answers)