When you started your antique business, you likely thought it would be a small operation. As your business grew, you may have found that an increasing number of clients wanted to have items shipped overseas. If this is the case, then you are likely now facing issues with customs and how to ship the items properly. One option is to use a company that offers customs brokerage services. Here are three of the benefits your antique business can gain from using this type of service.
Paperwork and Bills of Lading
If you have done any large shipments at all, you know what a bill of lading is. This type of inventory paperwork is required for national shipments and will be required by customs as well. Customs will check over the paperwork and double check the inventory. They are ensuring that what you say you are shipping is in fact what you have in the shipment. Though this may seem easy to handle your own, there are certain steps in the forms that you may not understand or know how to fill out. Your customs brokerage service will handle all of this for you.
Though you may have knowledge about how to handle basic shipments and that a tariff should be paid on certain items, you may not know all the rules. One of the jobs of a customs brokerage service is to make sure that your shipment meets all the requirements that customs has for your items. The brokerage firm will let you know if you owe any fees, tariffs or shipping costs. They will also let you know what paperwork needs to be signed and help you complete that paperwork. They can also handle any laws or guidelines for specific items that must meet certain criteria due to age or type. For example, certain items may be restricted from certain countries or require specific paperwork.
Export and Import Tracking
When you ship an item, you generally can obtain a tracking number. This will let you keep up with where the item is and how long it will be before it arrives. With an international shipment, you need to keep tracking with more than just a number. You need to keep track of the import and export tracking of the item for each port or country the items enter and exit. This can become confusing, especially when you have multiple shipments going at once. Your customs brokerage service can keep track of this for you and help maintain and deal with any issues that come up with each country.
These are only three of the benefits your antique business can gain from using a customs brokerage service for overseas shipments. If you are ready to move forward with working with this type of shipping service, contact your local customs brokerage representative. They can help with questions, opening an account with their brokerage and scheduling shipment of your items.