Question 1. What is a customs broker?

When the importer or exporter is unaware of the formalities, processes and procedures applicable in customs for the import or export of goods, it is advisable to hire the services of an expert in the matter, in this case a customs agent who is already authorized to carry out all the relevant procedures and documents required by Customs, both for importation and for export.

According to current regulations, a Customs Brokerage Company is a legal entity authorized and supervised by the Government´s Tax and Customs Authority (DIAN) to provide representation services to importers and exporters or declarants in the customs clearance or introduction of foreign goods into the national territory. They can also carry out the export procedures for goods sold or shipped to different countries.

The Customs Agencies ensure that customs legislation and foreign trade rules are met in import or export operations.


Question 2. What is a customs brokerage company?

The customs broker is the natural or legal person, who has the permits and authorizations granted by customs authorities, and who performs procedures before the agencies such as customs, ministries, and other private or public entities. Customs brokerage companies are supervised and audited in accordance with current legislations.

Customs agents must have the necessary knowledge and be fully updated in the rules, policies, regulations and other provisions published by the National Customs Authorities, with the goal of import and export legally, quickly and efficiently.

The customs agent will carry out all these procedures on behalf of a third party that has contracted its services. In order to carry out these formalities on a regular basis, the owner who is interested in the export and / or import, must grant an authenticated and permanent power which gives him the capability to carry out all the procedures.

The correct choice of a customs agent is key factor to helping a company move forward in its import or export operations.


Question 3. What work does a customs brokerage company do?

The main function of customs brokers is to act as collaborators with the customs authorities in complying with the legal rules related to customs procedures and foreign trade activities.

The customs brokers declare the value of the merchandise and is responsible for the customs tax liability, ie the taxes to be paid, submit the merchandise to Customs Authority for undergoing the review and clearance. The purpose of this review is to verify the data set out in the document and see if the taxes are being paid correctly.

In short, the customs agency is responsible for the import or exportation of its goods in a legal manner and without any problem.


Question 4. What documentation does a customs broker require?

The customs broker, in order to carry out the customs clearance procedures, needs commercial or shipping documents.

The documents listed below are those commonly required and which allow the customs agent to verify the merchandise and proceed to make the import declaration and the corresponding payments.

        + Import Report (Customs copy)

        + Bill of Lading (B/L)

        + Commercial invoice in original or copy.

        + Expense note (if applicable)

        + Policy or Certificate of Insurance.

        + Certificates of Origin or any other related document that is necessary.

        + Affidavit of the price of goods.

        + Other documents or background that are necessary.


Question 5. What are the benefits of hiring the services of a customs broker?

Among the main benefits of hiring a recognized customs broker:

1- The customs broker optimizes and minimizes both import and export rates due to its expertise, while ensuring that all procedures are carried out regularly and without any problems.

2- Avoid being submerged or stuck in paperwork, this is the main function of the customs broker, which saves time and avoids many problems.

3- The customs broker company has highly trained personnel in all existing laws and regulations and puts all their knowledge in favor of customers to minimize as much as possible operating costs in Customs.

4- The customs broker offers a consultancy specialized in foreign trade issues in a serious and responsible manner. The processing of customs procedures is quite reliable and provides reliable advice on the optimal route to carry out the procedures, cost savings, tariff benefits, among others.

Question 6. Who is responsible for the customs obligation?

The following persons are responsible for the customs obligation:

        The importer
        The exporter
        The possessor
        The holder of the merchandise
        The conveyor
        The International Freight Forwarder
        The depositary
        The intermediary
        The declarant