IB1u—Introduction to Customs Brokerage (U.S.)
Subscriber price: $185.00, Non-subscriber price: $255.00
Estimated total study time: 13 hours 20 minutes
This course provides an overview of the services provided by customs brokers in the U.S. It is intended for:
- Importer personnel who are curious about the U.S. import process and functions of a customs broker.
- Personnel newly employed by customs brokers in non-operational job assignments (e.g., accounting, HR, IT and other business support positions) to gain quick awareness of company services, customers and regulatory environment.
See also course IF1u—Introduction to International Forwarding (U.S.).
For entry-level forwarder personnel hired or transferred into operational positions, more in-depth training is needed. Refer to other operationally oriented courses in the GISTnet Course Catalog.
Introduction to the "CBP"; Overview of U.S. Import Process
This lesson looks back to the beginning of U.S. customs brokerage with a look at the history, current mission and organization of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. We also introduce the U.S. import process with an overview of key players and additional parties that are sometimes involved.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 6 minutes)
- Overview of U.S. Import Process and Players
- The Big Picture
- Four Essential Parties
- Additional Supporting Parties
- U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Brief History of U.S. Customs
- A Single Law Enforcement "Face" at the Border
- The CBP Mission
Introduction to Importers and Customs Brokers
In this lesson we consider why foreign goods are imported, and by whom, and begin our examination of services provided by a customs broker.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 12 minutes)
- The Customs Broker's Customer
- The U.S. & Global Trade
- Who Are Importers?
- Qualifications to Be an Importer
- Legal Responsibilities of an Importer
- Restrictions on Who May Act as a U.S. Importer
- Customs Brokers
- History of the Customs Broker Profession
- Current Regulation of U.S. Customs Brokers
- An Importer's Perspective of Customs Brokers
- Why Do Importers Hire Customs Brokers?
U.S. Imports Subject to Processing by U.S. Agencies in Addition to CBP
This lesson addresses U.S. import restrictions and other U.S. Government agency processing requirements that affect a variety of types of goods at the time of customs entry.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 30 minutes)
- General — U.S. Government Agency Controls or Processing Requirements
- Arms, Ammunition and Explosives, Military Items
- Nuclear Reactors, Parts Thereof, and Nuclear Reactor Fuel
- Endangered Species
- Controlled Substances
- Agricultural Commodities
- Cargo that May Harbor Insects and Disease
- Containers, trucks and packing material that May Harbor Insects and Disease
- Inspection of Containers and Trucks
- Inspection of Wood & Wood Packing Materials
- Fruit and Vegetables that May Harbor Insects and Disease
- Soil that May Harbor Insects and Disease
- Dangerous Goods (Hazardous Materials)
- Hazardous Waste, Environmental Pollutants, Insecticides, Pesticides
- Pathogens of Interest to Terrorists
- Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostic Equipment, Medical Devices, Eyewear, Cosmetics and Food Service Items
- Electronic Devices
- Fresh and Minimally Processed Agricultural Products
- Processed Human Food Products and Ingredients
- Animal Feed and Ingredients
- Consumer Products (Safety Requirements)
- Consumer Products (Truth-in-labeling and Advertising)
- Motor Vehicles and Parts; Powered Watercraft
- Alcoholic Beverages, Other Taxable Alcohol
- Products Subject to State Laws
- Additional Information
The Relationship Between Importers and Customs Brokers
This lesson begins our coverage of services which customs brokers provide by addressing the relationship between the broker and his customer, the importer, with respect to "customs business" vs. other types of services.
(Estimated study time: 35 minutes)
- Agency vs. Purely Contractual Services
- Avoiding Conflicts of Interest between Broker and Importer
- Written Terms and Conditions of Service
- Broker-Importer Relationship
A Customs Broker's Relationships with Transportation Carriers & Other Service Providers
This lesson addresses the operational relationships a broker must pursue with carriers and other service providers on behalf of its client importers.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 0 minutes)
- General — Arriving International Cargo Requires a Customs Procedure
- Routine Interaction with Transportation Carriers
- Non-Routine Interaction with Carriers — Problem Solving
- Relationship with Other Types of Service Providers
Broker "Customs Business" Type Services and Fees (Typical)
This lesson introduces the range of "customs business" type services a broker provides as reflected in fees and charges made to the importer.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 11 minutes)
- Broker Fees and Charges to an Importer
- General — Resources and Services Brokers Provide
- "Customs Business" Services & Fees
- General — Services & Fees for "Customs Business"
- Customs Broker Charges Invoiced to an Importer
- Typical Broker Fees for "Customs Business" Type Services
- Disbursements On Behalf of an Importer
- Premium and Fee for Arranging a Customs Bond
The Customs Broker Involvement in the Cargo Transportation Process
In this lesson we address transportation-related responsibilities and services a broker must provide to assure timely customs clearance and delivery/on-carriage of the goods once cleared.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)
- General — Import Shipment Arrival Notice
- Broker Transaction Initiation
- Coordination with Importing Carrier and Payment of Freight/Terminal Charges
- Arranging Delivery or On-Carriage ("Reforwarding" of Cleared Goods)
- Arranging Cargo Insurance
Customs Brokerage—Part of Supply Chain Logistics
This lesson addresses the function of a customs broker in the larger context of supply chain management, together with what a customs broker can do to strengthen this role by providing additional logistical services.
(Estimated study time: 51 minutes)
- Customs Brokerage as Part of Supply Chain Logistics
- Customs Brokers as Part of Integrated Logistics
- Importer's Need for Multiple Logistics Services
- Industry Need for Diverse Expertise and Global Reach
- Internally Provided Services
- External Service Networks
- Leveraging and Extending Service
- Acting as Lead Agent
- Structure of Agent Networks
Advancing Funds on Behalf of Importer; Credit Controls
A customs broker often becomes involved in advancing funds to pay incoming freight charges, and perhaps customs duty and delivery charges. This lesson addresses why this is done, and controls a broker should exercise to avoid potentially serious financial loss.
(Estimated study time: 55 minutes)
- Advancing Funds; Concerns and Fees for this Service
- Incoterms; Who is Responsible to Pay for Transportation and Other Costs?
- Why Does a Customs Broker Advance Funds for an Importer?
- Client Credit Control Process
- Broker's Obligation to Pay Charges
- Fee for Disbursing Funds
Services Beyond Traditional Customs Brokerage
Today most companies that provide customs brokerage also are engaged in freight forwarding and other types of logistics services. This lesson addresses the relationships within an organization between these different types of business activities.
(Estimated study time: 54 minutes)
- Customs Broker Involvement in Inbound Cargo Transportation
- Customs Clearance Included in Single-Provider Through Transportation
- Inbound Traffic and Breakbulk Services
- Customs Broker Acting as a Breakbulk Agent for an NVOCC
- Freight Forwarding Services
- Customs Broker Involvement in Distribution and Domestic Logistics (3PL) Services
The Customs Broker-Importer Relationship; Client Satisfaction & Communication
This lesson covers the very important operational relationship a customs broker must develop and maintain with his client, the importer.
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 6 minutes)
- General — An Expert Middleman
- First Things First — Client Satisfaction Success Factors
- Client Satisfaction through Performance Standards and Good Practices
- Every Shipment and Communication Counts — Do Things "R.I.G.H.T."
- Business Communication Do's and Don'ts
- Communication Timeliness
- Communication Methods
- Formality in Communication and Appearance
Customs Broker Work Group Organization
This lesson covers typical ways that customs brokers organize and supervise their work groups, and the importance of each work group member understanding such organization, division of labor, work flow and his/her individual responsibilities.
(Estimated study time: 57 minutes)
- Typical Customs Broker Work Group Organization
- General — Form Follows Function
- Integrated vs. Parallel Transaction Processing
- Integrated Processing
- What Is Integrated Processing?
- Benefits of Integrated Processing
- Limitations of Integrated Processing
- Parallel Processing
- What Is Parallel Processing?
- Benefits of Parallel Processing
- Limitations of Parallel Processing
- Work Group Supervision
Customs Broker "Responsible Supervision"
This lesson addresses regulatory requirements which the CBP places on licensed customs brokers with respect to "responsible supervision" of operations and employees by individually licensed broker(s).
(Estimated study time: 1 hour 3 minutes)
- CBP Customs Broker Supervision Requirements
- General — "Responsible Supervision" of Employees by Licensed Brokers
- Becoming a Licensed Customs Broker
- Company-Level Responsible Supervision
- District & Office-Level Responsible Supervision
- Responsible Supervision Functions and Relationships
- Employee Information Reporting
- Grant of Authority to Employee