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What Does a Customs Agent Do? Exploring Customs Processes, Documentation, and the Role of an Agent

6 min read
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In the intricate world of international trade, navigating customs processes and documentation can be a formidable challenge. This is where a Customs Agent steps in, offering expertise and assistance to businesses seeking a smoother customs clearance journey.

In this article we delve into the role of a Customs Agent, the advantages and disadvantages of their services, and take a look at an alternative solution, especially in a post-Brexit era.

The Role of a Customs Agent

A Customs Agent / Broker specialises in facilitating the import and export of goods while ensuring compliance with the complex web of customs regulations. Their primary responsibilities include:

Pros and Cons of Using a Customs Agent



When Do You Need a Customs Agent?

While Customs Agents provide invaluable expertise, they are not always a necessity. Here are some situations where you might consider engaging a Customs Agent:

What to Look for When Selecting A Customs Agent

When selecting a Customs Agent, consider the following factors:

The Brexit Complication for UK Imports and Exports

Brexit brought significant changes to UK trade relations, making customs clearance more complex. This has impacted:

Now more than ever, the expertise of Customs Agents is required to navigate the ongoing changes and inevitable complexity.

Evaluating Alternatives

For businesses seeking an alternative to using a Customs Agent, you could consider using a software solution like CustomsPro from Channel Ports.  Let’s be clear on the role of each:

Here’s how they compare:

FactorCustoms Agent / BrokerCustomsPro from Channel Ports
Expertise and GuidanceYes, personalisedYes, 50 years of customs expertise
Time SavingsYes, with wait timeYes, with instant results. Receive completed UK customs clearance documents within 15 minutes.
CostHighLow Cost. Flat Rate.
Pay as you Go.
CommitmentMinimum Term ContractNo contract /
long term commitment
Lead-TimeUp to one month from briefing to implementationGo live within 12 hours
Compliance AssuranceYes, with risk of errorsYes, automated checks
Control Over the ProcessLimitedComplete control
Communication DependencyYesMinimal
Convenience and AccessibilityYes – dependent on SLA (service level agreement)24/7 365 day/year
access and support
Real-time Updates and TrackingVariesYes, automated

You can download this table here.

While Customs Agents provide invaluable expertise, they come with associated costs and dependencies. CustomsPro, on the other hand, empowers businesses to manage customs processes independently, providing an efficient, cost-effective, and convenient expert solution in today’s dynamic international trade landscape.

Read here how CustomsPro proved to be the right alternative, simplifying Customs Clearance for ZF Automotive:

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CustomsPro is quick and easy, plus it saves us a lot of money against agents where we could be paying double. To be honest, they come up trumps!
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