Quick guide for choosing a Canadian customs broker

Regardless of whether you are new to importing in Canada or are dealing thousands of shipments every year, hiring a customs broker is vital for your business. International trade is subject to numerous rules and regulations, and there are unique importing laws in most countries, including Canada. A known customs broker like Clearit.ca can help with the clearance of goods, but they also specialize in industry-specific importing aspects. We have shared a guide for choosing a reliable customs broker in Canada. 

  1. Start with the basics. The presence of a customs broker is something you must consider. Thanks to the internet, customs brokers don’t need to be there to clear your shipments, but whether they can offer bespoke services is something to consider. For instance, does the firm handle all kinds of shipments (air, ship, and land)? 
  2. Clientele. Usually, customs brokers have confidentiality agreements with clients and may not be able to disclose names, but you can ask general questions about their clientele. Also, some brokers only work with larger importers, and if yours is a new business, you may want to engage someone who has experience working for new importers/exporters. 
  3. Consider the profile. A customs broker’s role is not just about getting goods from the Customs, but they also help clients with expansions, importing from new regions, and compliance matters. Check if the profile of a customs broker matches your needs and if they can align their expertise for your business. 
  4. Keep customer service in mind. Many customs brokers have hotline numbers for help around the clock, while some are known to offer personal managers for business accounts. Communication is more necessary than you think and should be a point of consideration when you compare customs brokers. 
  5. Ask a few questions. As a client, you can ask questions like 
  • Are they a member of CSCB (Canadian Society of Customs Brokers)?
  • Do they have an in-house team?
  • Who would be responsible for addressing concerns?
  • Do they work with foreign customs brokers? 
  • Can they help with CBSA customs audits?

Importing requirements are stringent, and mistakes in the classification of goods or documentation can cause extreme losses. Get a customs broker on your side to focus better on your business operations. A professional team can ensure that you continue to import goods and stay compliant as they handle everything else. 

If you are new to importing, you can even contact customs brokers for advice on the first steps.