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Customs Brokers Career

Career Description

Prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export of goods. Determine and track duties and taxes payable and process payments on behalf of client. Sign documents under a power of attorney. Represent clients in meetings with customs officials and apply for duty refunds and tariff reclassifications. Coordinate transportation and storage of imported goods.

What Job Titles Customs Brokers Might Have

  • Corporate Licensed Broker
  • Customs Broker
  • Customs Compliance Director
  • Import Manager

What Customs Brokers Do

  • Prepare and process import and export documentation according to customs regulations, laws, or procedures.
  • Clear goods through customs and to their destinations for clients.
  • Pay, or arrange for payment of, taxes and duties on shipments.
  • Calculate duty and tariff payments owed on shipments.
  • Request or compile necessary import documentation, such as customs invoices, certificates of origin, and cargo-control documents.
  • Classify goods according to tariff coding system.
  • Stay abreast of changes in import or export laws or regulations by reading current literature, attending meetings or conferences, or conferring with colleagues.
  • Sign documents on behalf of clients, using powers of attorney.
  • Advise customers on import and export restrictions, tariff systems, insurance requirements, quotas, or other customs-related matters.
  • Post bonds for the products being imported or assist clients in obtaining bonds.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on goods to be imported, based on federal tariffs and excise taxes.
  • Arrange for transportation, warehousing, or product distribution of imported or exported products.
  • Monitor or trace the location of goods.
  • Confer with officials in various agencies to facilitate clearance of goods through customs and quarantine.
  • Inform importers and exporters of steps to reduce duties and taxes.
  • Obtain line releases for frequent shippers of low-risk commodities, high-volume entries, or multiple-container loads.
  • Provide advice on transportation options, types of carriers, or shipping routes.
  • Contract with freight forwarders for destination services.
  • Apply for tariff concessions or for duty drawbacks and other refunds.
  • Insure cargo against loss, damage, or pilferage.

What Customs Brokers Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Customs Brokers Should Be Interested In

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Customs Brokers Need to Learn

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $69,040

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.