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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon
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March 2014
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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon [userpic]
Interesting results....

*waves at dajagr* I wasn't sure you ever perused my journal since you never comment. Not that I have room to talk, since I only comment occasionally on yours.

So far everyone voting in my little poll has actually proved a point for me... International Shipping for Dummies People Who Are Unfamiliar With It is completely necessary.

Everyone ticked "You will need to pay Duty" but I'm the only one who ticked "You will need a Customs Broker."

Any time you import into the US (and, I expect most other countries) unless you are personally accompanying your goods, you will need a Customs Broker in order to classify your goods and determine what duties and taxes you will be required to pay by Customs. You also need the Broker to transmit all that data that you have to have regarding the Shipper/Receiver to Customs... And, actually, even if you are accompanying your goods, you may/will need a customs broker if you've got something you need to pay duty on.

...random side thought, how does that work now in the age of "submit everything electronically"? *is thoroughly puzzled* Obviously, one must still be able to do live entries, but does that mean that you don't submit electronically? I'll have to ask.

There is, in fact, a wide variety of things that, if low value, can come through without a broker, but on the whole you're safest assuming that one is needed and to provide the information that the broker will need (which means your address and IRS number -- Social Security Number for individuals, Employer Identification Number for companies.) If you're paying the brokerage fee yourself, don't forget the need for a Power of Attorney, so the broker has the legal authority to act for you with Customs (you would not believe the number of people who have no reaction to the tax id, but balk at a power of attorney.)

So, keep that in mind if you ever buy stuff on Ebay from other countries, otherwise you've a good chance of your item being held up at Customs. Also, ship air -- there's some kind of whacky magic involved in clearances by air that'll at least roll your brokerage fees into everything, but I've got no idea (yet, anyway) how that works.

Oh! Weird fact about Customs Brokers -- I'm starting to study for the exam (why, why, why does legalese have to be such a pain to read? And, why can't y'all just put information in order instead of saying "We'll define this six chapters away instead of now, but you're still expected to know what we're talking about... Yes, we know that the area six chapters away doesn't make sense yet.") and get this... Anyone can take the US Customs Broker Exam... but only US Citizens may actually apply to become US Customs Brokers.


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WTF? Seriously, why the heck do they do that? Unless it's really prohibitive for them to do the background checks on foreign nationals (which I can see for, oh, non-Canadian applicants, given the reputed state of Mexico's law enforcement, I can see their point, as I can for areas non-contiguous to the US. But, still, it seriously would help cross border traffic if one could have the certification on both sides of the border.)

Current Mood: amusedamused