Customs brokers are essential in the economy as they help facilitate international trade in our global economy. If you thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing work environment and you like the thrill of traveling to new and different places, customs broker training could be the perfect fit for you.
Listings for brokers have been on the rise since 2004 with growth expected over the next several years, so it’s a good time to enter the field. You’ll need a deep knowledge to international trade rules and regulations to obtain license from the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But there are a few skills that will be extremely helpful as well:
1. Problem Solving
When you work as a customs broker, challenges will inevitably arise whether it’s lost shipments, changing regulations, or improperly filed documentation. Whether the problem is delays, damaged shipments, or customs clearance issues – strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills are key to effective brokerage.
Furthermore, it’s important to supplement your knowledge of logistics, government regulations, international business, and finance. The deeper your knowledge, the better understanding of best practice when challenges do arise. If you’re looking to add to previous experience prior to taking your license exam, online customs broker training is ideal.
Knowing how to communicate effectively is key to success as a broker. You’ll be interacting with a variety of people daily, including your clients, Customs officials, and even fulfillment service companies, depending on your duties. Consequently, you need great communication skills to act as an effective liaison.
When overseeing imports on behalf of their clients, brokers have to both understand their client’s business needs while ensuring compliance to government regulations brokers. This takes regular, clear communication.
3. Attention to Detail
Customs brokers classify goods leaving and entering the country. So, attention to detail is extremely important when assigning HTS and Schedule B codes.
Missing important details could mean clients would over- or underpay taxes. As a result, this could spell repayment, overdue filings, penalties, and late fees for your customers.
4. Clerical Ability
As a Customs broker, you will be responsible for managing client files, writing reports, and documenting shipments. Clerical skills are must as you prepare, submit, and store required documents for international shipments.
Some licensed brokers got their start as a Customs clerk, coordinating communications for a brokerage firm or department. These duties might range from entering data to processing duty ACH statements.
Trade wars? Unsteady exchange rates? Natural disasters? International trade can be affected at any point, so brokers have to be ready to adjust. Veteran brokers recommend constantly keeping up with global logistic trends to ensure you plan ahead.
Moreover, import and export laws as well as customs procedures are constantly in flux. As rules and regulations change, brokers must adapt to best serve their clients.
Customs brokers have fast-paced, exciting careers that can also be very lucrative. As such, work on developing the five essentials we listed above and you’ll be able to impress any employer.
Training for your license exam and locking down these skills will set you on your path to becoming a licensed broker.