The Role of a Customs Broker in International Trade and When World Affairs Get Rough

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The United States imports many goods from abroad. Everything from raw materials, oil, consumer goods, vehicles, and food is coming into the United States every day. At the same time, the U.S. is also a leading exporter, sending out petroleum, cars, integrated circuits, and more. This constant exchange of goods doesn’t happen magically; there is an extensive network and system that allows that exchange to happen while maintaining strict records, following stringent regulations, maintaining protocols that go into everything from labeling products, shipping them, and transferring them across vast oceans.

As world events shape our culture and policies, they also have a profound impact on trade and how countries interact with each other on the global market. 

How Global Events Affect the Marketplace 

Most consumers don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how their goods arrived on the shelves or got to their doorstep. Yet, many of today’s products—including computers, cars, and electronics— use materials or components that come from overseas. So, when global relations are strained, so is the smooth passage of a lot of these goods. 

Recent Events Affecting Supply Chains 

Supply chains have been heavily tested in the past two years thanks to coronavirus, but the latest event shaking up the global markets involves the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Not only has this global event caused a humanitarian crisis and gotten the world’s attention because of its violence and the diplomatic implications of a sovereign country invaded by an aggressor, but it has also strained the international markets and halted trade as usual across the world. The disruption of trade and squeezing of economies has reverberations and consequences across the world. 

Another event shaking up the already-strained supply chains is new pandemic-related shutdowns in China. The Chinese government, in its pursuit of a zero Covid policy, has shut down many of its cities and plants, factories, and manufacturing centers. At the moment, many American companies are still dependent on Chinese goods for their production, although all of this is likely to change that and further kickstart the movement to have more goods produced in America. 

According to experts, the supply chain may be further disrupted because of the Russian invasion and cutting off the “breadbasket of Europe.” As reported by CNBC, Russia is the world’s top wheat exporter and Ukraine supplies a lot of their corn to China. Both countries are also major suppliers of metals and other commodities. Other products that will impact supply chains include barley, copper, and nickel—all materials used for many household goods and electronic products. 

Sanctions and the Impact on Customs 

The European Union and the United States have both imposed strict sanctions on Russia that include a variety of goods but also oil. The Russian oil band will likely have reverberations here at home. As prices of oil go up, so do the prices of everything else, further escalating the tensions in the higher echelons of the supply chain. 

The Role of Customs Brokers in International Trade 

As these changes happen, what role do customs brokers play in the big picture? The job of the customs broker is really to facilitate the incoming or outgoing of goods. Brokers are a third party that works with a business to oversee their import shipments and meet all the requirements and regulations set by the U.S Customs and Border Protection. These regulations, of course, are always changing based on a variety of policies and global affairs. 

Here’s what you should know about customs brokers:

  • They are regulated and licensed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. All brokers must pass a licensure exam through the Customs Broker License Examination. 
  • Customers brokers submit all official documents, payments, and information to CPB
  • Brokers should have a profound working knowledge of federal regulations and rules that relate to import procedures, how goods are classified, and whether goods are eligible to enter the country, as well as costs associated with this shipment. 
  • The customs process takes time and careful analysis. When businesses hire a customs broker, they are saving time and resources on the complicated process of dealing with CPB and all their protocols. 
  • A customs broker provides companies with advice and guidance on how to better manage their products or how to fix any problems or setbacks that may arise during the customs process. 
  • Brokers understand global trade and use this knowledge and expertise to better assist their clients and ensure that the process goes smoothly and doesn’t interrupt a company’s operations. 
  • Mistakes in the realm of customs are costly and a broker helps companies avoid these costly mistakes by providing expertise and guidance. 
  • A broker helps you with customs clearance and to avoid fees or penalties. 

Looking for Expert Guidance While Importing or Exporting Goods? Trust RM Customhouse

If you’re part of a company that is involved in international trade to or from the United States, a customs broker can help answer important questions and guide you through the right process. 

Want to learn more? Call RM Customhouse today.