What Does a Customs Broker Do?

For people who have never traded or shipped internationally, the idea of a customs broker might be a foreign concept. Yet these experts are crucial to international trade practices in Australia; without them, the process can get messy.


First of all, these brokers are a helpful hand when dealing with clearances. For example, the self-assessment clearance involves declaring and clearing imported goods valued at or under $1000. These goods may have been imported by air or sea and must be cleared at customs. The value does not have to include shipping and insurance costs but individuals must have proof of purchase for the goods. Dealing with the process of declaring and filling out the self-assessment clearance form is much easier with the help of a customs broker. They can handle the electronic paperwork and process the fees; then their client can collect their imported goods.


Other services that go much more smoothly with a customs brokerage in Melbourne include all types of applications. One of the obstacles in international trading and imports is that inexperienced people might get plundered by unnecessary fees. A broker can help with the tariff advice and the valuation advice applications to ensure that clients don’t overpay for duties and other taxes. These experts check over all the documents as well as the classification of a client’s goods to value them and determine any tariffs on them. Then they can obtain a tariff concession for the client, which lifts any taxes or duties on their goods.

These brokerage professionals are also helpful when it comes to trade agreements. The country has several free trade agreements with nations around the world and staying on top of the latest developments isn’t always easy. For instance, Australia and Hong Kong recently concluded negotiations in a free trade agreement. Furthermore, there are different agreements between Australia and nations such as New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, Thailand, Chile, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and China. Keeping track of all these is nearly impossible without the help of an expert!


Finally, a customs broker is a good go-to resource for assistance with refunds and drawbacks. If an entity paid duty on a product that was then exported, they can claim a drawback. They need to do this within a specified timeframe and according to the legal requirements so getting a professional’s advice is wise. Likewise, refunds aren’t exactly a walk in the park but if a person is entitled to one, he or she should get it. A brokerage can aid the process of claiming a refund and identifying different scenarios that warrant a refund. There are a few factors to take into consideration such as the type of good, where it came from, if there was a mistake, and other specific circumstances. Rather than studying these laws themselves, people can turn to a custom brokerage near them to get the situation handled. A broker has all the information they need and can dedicate time and resources to making the process as painless as possible.