As part of a global supply chain, a company must have effective processes in place to manage the activities and costs of the service providers, such as 3PLs, carriers, customs brokers and freight forwarders involved in the movement and Customs clearance of their products.
The role of customs brokers and freight forwarders is more than filing documents with governmental agencies or assisting in moving freight across borders. They are your legal representatives and you are responsible for the accuracy of the data they submit on your behalf. The fees they charge can also have a significant impact on your bottom-line.
Because various governmental agencies hold you responsible for filings submitted on your behalf by your customs broker or freight forwarder, you need to ensure that the information you provided is correct. We will work directly with your customs brokers and freight forwarders to answer their day-to-day questions relating to data required for smooth import and export processing including Harmonized Tariff Schedule classifications, valuation of merchandise, in-bond movements, country of origin determination, preferential trade agreement qualification and the like.
We perform detailed audits on your import entry documents and export filings. Our comprehensive audit checklists will verify the accuracy of the information supplied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Census Bureau, Canada Border Services Agency, SAT and other country-specific agencies. We will work with your service providers when we identify errors to ensure the required corrections are handled properly.
We will review or create Standard Operating Procedures that define the obligations and responsibilities of your customs brokers and freight forwarders. Once implemented, we will monitor the effectiveness of its provisions and recommend improvements to ensure it provides you with the highest level of service possible at the lowest possible price. We will work with you to tailor Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”) that track the effectiveness and efficiency of your service providers.
Powers of Attorney and other written authorizations define the relationship with your service providers and most contain a great deal of “small print.” We will review new or existing Powers of Attorney and other written authorizations to ensure they do not contain language that provides expanded rights or responsibilities that are unfavorable to the importer or exporter. We will monitor the effectiveness of these provisions and recommend improvements to ensure you have the highest degree of protection possible.
Properly drafted Logistics Service Agreements (“LSAs”) and other written contracts with your service providers are critical to the success of any international trade program. As initially prepared, most are incredibly one-sided and do not provide equal treatment to the parties. Included in Logistics Service Agreements is your “rate shell” of fees and other charges allowed to be charged by your service providers. We will use our industry experience to identify those fees that are excessive (e.g.,“Telephone Surcharge Fee” or “Homeland Security Fee”) and are usually added on as part of a “laundry list” of usually unnecessary charges when a service provider quotes a low standard service fee. We will ensure that your service provider agreements protect you and only allow for charges that are reasonable and agreed by you.
- Customized service to fit your needs
- A staff including Licensed Customs Brokers
- Proven results in identifying thousands of errors in customs broker and freight forwarder filings through our import and export audit process checklists
- Experienced staff with backgrounds at all levels of customs brokerage and freight forwarder operations
- Demonstrated project management expertise focusing on timely responses to your customs brokers’/freight forwarders’ requests regarding all aspects of trade compliance