Imports: Self Filing vs. Customs Broker
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By: Team Krypt - February 25th, 2016


There are two popular models for filing your imports: self file or filing with a customs broker. Import Self filing is where the importer is responsible for contacting Customs directly and filing all the required documentation to enable the goods to cross the border into free circulation. Broker filing relies on a licensed Customs Brokerage service provider to file the import documentation.

For some of the key considerations to help decide on which approach to take, see the table below.

                   Self Filing                Broker Model
Technical Expertise(a)    Does my company possess Subject matter experts that can ensure compliance with customs regulations?

(b)   Does the company need to hire more full time resources/contractors to handle the day to day operations?

(c)    How does the company handle complicated scenarios?

(a)    Does the Broker you hired worked with similar industry like yours?

(b)   What is broker’s experience as far as working with complex scenarios like Assists, Duty drawback, Import for Export, FDA etc.,

(c)    What are the metrics to evaluate broker performance from broker’s existing clients of similar industry

Regulatory ChangesImporters are expected to be informed about the customs laws and regulations and to make every reasonable effort to comply with customs regulations. How will the company handle f complying with changing rules and regulations?Does the Broker provide information and advice on Regulatory changes that affect the business?
Cost & Volume of ShipmentsThe most common reason to consider self-Filing is cost reduction; Company has to calculate what is amount of money its spending on resources (Full time/Contractors), IT systems, license costs, system maintenance etc., annually in order to see whether cost is one of the factors in deciding whether to adopt broker model.

Cost is directly proportional to volume of shipments so consider whether the given resources can handle sudden increase in volume

Have a clear idea of your total cost when using a Broker. Evaluate not only the price per entry, but also other things, such as  how many times have been stuck at the border, number of Customs audits, impact on day to day operations of goods delayed due to broker performance, etc.
Time is MoneyDoes the company have the resources to consistently file entries and Importer Security Filing (ISF) on a timely basis, to insure good are not delayed?Closely evaluate the timing of goods movements in your inbound supply chain to determine if your broker is meeting your requirements.
Unanticipated ScenariosCan your internal staff handle the additional workload that might arise from unanticipated events, such as requests for information, customs exams, etc.?Can your Broker handle the additional workload that might arise from unanticipated events, such as requests for information, customs exams, etc.?
System IntegrationWhen company does Self filing it still needs to integrate with Customs systems for communication, integrate with external third party systems like freight forwarders/carriers for logistics purposes. Any changes to the interfaces increases IT costsMost brokers have an electronic connection with Freight forwarder/carrier and Customs etc., Any regulatory changes will be done internally by the broker in their respective IT systems

Customer Case Study Webinars on Import Filing

We have customers who self file and we have customers who prefer to file their imports using a customs broker. Each organization has their reasoning and justifications. You can watch Krypt’s Import Webinars based on our customer successes with both.

Category: SAP GTS

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