There are several things you need to consider when it comes to choosing an agent for customs clearance. You have to find someone who is reliable and someone who offers a high quality service. They will be handling the shipment of your goods and it is a large responsibility. To get a good service, you need to choose a licensed qualified agent.
Consider the customs agent as a partner. You need to maintain a strong relationship with the agent. There has to clear communication between the two of you. You need to provide the agent with all the necessary information needed to do his job well. He has to update you on the progress and be genuine in his work so that you don’t suffer any difficulties in your shipment such as delays or fines. If there is a specialized product that you’re importing, then it is better to go for an agent who has knowledge of clearing such products. There will be certain regulations that are associated with certain products. And a broker who have worked with such products will be well versed in the regulations concerning it and be able to provide a skilled service. For example, if you’re importing textiles, it is better to go for a broker who has experience with the product. They will know what to expect regarding it. Maybe you’re just using one port for your shipments.
So in that case, a one port customs broker will be sufficient for you. But you need to check their reputation first. You have to see how many years they’ve been in business and how satisfied their customers are. A good broker will have nothing to worry and will hand over his references to you so you can contact his clients. Consider that you’re using a number of ports over the country. This will need a broker who has a nationwide license and who has offices in the ports that you will be using. Otherwise, he will not be able to provide you with an efficient service.You will need to have a written agreement between you and your broker. This will include the scope of tasks that the broker is expected to carry out, payment method for the services provided, contact and operational procedures.
You should make sure that all personnel from your company who are dealing with the broker are allowed access to this document. This way, the whole process is transparent and there will not be much room for errors or misunderstandings. There are certain things that signal that the agent you have chosen isn’t the best fit for your company such as unresponsiveness, continuous mistakes, improper activity etc. In this case, it is best to go for another agent so that you can protect your interests.