There are several ways to declare a cargo, whether imported or exported:
- come to customs on your own and defend your interests – go through the customs clearance procedure;
- hire a declarant on the staff;
- arrange customs clearance through a customs broker.
If we talk about the cost of services, then some companies, trying to minimize costs, opt for the first two methods. But in the end, due to insufficient competence and experience, they only increase their costs, which fall on the business in the form of a tax burden and as a result of an increase in the cost of goods.
What is the main task of a customs broker, why his services are often cheaper than a declarant, and how to choose a reliable company?
Customs Broker – business attorney
According to the legislation of Ukraine, a customs broker is a legal entity that provides services for the declaration of goods that follow in import or export directions across the border.
In other words, a broker is a customs lawyer for a business. His task is to prepare the necessary documents and declare the goods according to the correct code and duty rate.
Why is it important? The customs authorities will always be interested in collecting as many payments as possible, offering a classification of goods in which there is a large duty rate. Business, agreeing to such conditions, loses its competitive advantage, since the additional financial burden falls on the final customer. Therefore, an incompetent broker is one of the answers to the question why the cost of the same goods on the market is different.
In this case, an experienced customs brokerage company will build a line of protection for imported goods, which will include the correct coding of the goods and a package of documents proving its value. In addition, good brokerage companies, in addition toissuing permits, provide their clients with additional services. Among them: assistance with the most profitable and reliable logistics, verification of a package of documents, audit of foreign economic supplies, preliminary decisions on the product code, obtaining the necessary clarifications from customs, attracting reputable organizations and opinion leaders to protect the interests of the importer’s business, etc.
Customs broker vs declarant
If the customs brokerage company is a legal entity, then the declarant is an individual.
In the first case, cooperation is based on contractual relations between companies, in the second, the employee is on the staff. But this is not the main difference between the two.
If we are talking about large volumes, then from the financial point of view, the decision to hire a declarant can be justified. For example, brokerage services for registration of 50 cars per month will amount to about 150 thousand UAH. At the same time, the salary of the declarant enrolled in the state is at least two times less. However, in the case of an insufficient level of competence of the declarant, expenses in the form of a tax burden increase significantly. What distinguishes a competent broker from a declarant?
First of all, this is a guarantee of the absence of overpayments at customs. If you correctly describe the goods and prepare the necessary local base, you can go to a lower rate of duty. Secondly, the possibility of applying all possible preferences – that is, the application of all legal benefits to reduce the tax burden. The third is the optimization of logistics and the ability to register the goods as close as possible to the final point of unloading in order to reduce logistics costs.
In addition, in the event of force majeure, the broker company assumes responsibility. If the registration was carried out by a full-time declarant, the responsibility lies with the company itself. An important factor is the trust of customs in the expertise of the company. A positive reputation in the market with a customs broker company is an opportunity to minimize the risks of problems with customs services or other related bodies.
Whatshould you look for when choosing a brokerage company?
- The number of clients who trust this company. For example, in the portfolio of VR GROUP customs logistics – more than 400 customers, including those of world renown. On average, more than 150 importers work every month.
- The number of processed declarations and product groups. The wider the list of goods with which a customs broker works, the higher his expertise. VR GROUP prepares more than 300 complex declarations of various product groups per month – from food and light industries to building materials, technology and natural resources, used equipment, medicine.
- Developed network. Each region has its own specifics of the work of customs authorities, therefore, the presence of a customs broker in different parts of Ukraine will be an advantage in building efficient and safe logistics.
- Availability 24/7. The possibility of customs clearance on weekends and holidays, including transaction support at night.
- What complex transactions the company has implemented and in what quantity. For example, registration of complete objects or which transactions the company completed first in Ukraine in relation to others. Where is the company the “breaker”?
- Maintenance. Does the company lead the client by the hand, from the beginning of company registration, verification of documents for foreign economic activity, to receipt of goods at its warehouse.
- Clients’ recommendations. The opportunity to receive feedback on cooperation with the company from specific representatives.
To summarize, the main task of a customs broker is to protect the interests of the business before the customs and by all legal means to reduce the tax burden and build a strong line of legal protection of business interests. The number of declarations and groups of goods with which the broker works, client recommendations and a developed network – all this speaks about the broker’s level of competence. And the higher it is, the better. Because in the end, not only the amount of payments paid to the budget depends on this, but also the competitive advantage of goods on the market.