Customs brokerage is a profession that involves the clearing of goods through Customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation (and usually the payment) on behalf of the client of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between the importer/exporter and governmental authorities. Customs brokers in the U.S. will often prepare and submit documentation to notify or obtain clearance from other government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the United States, as is the case through much of the world, Customs brokers are licensed by the local Customs authority. In the United States, this authority is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection.
A freight forwarder is an individual or company that dispatches shipment via asset based carriers and books or otherwise arrange space for those shipments. Common carrier types could include waterborne vessels, airplanes, trucks or railroads.
Freight forwarders typically arrange cargo movement to an international destination. Also referred to as international freight forwarders, they have the expertise that allows them to prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to international shipment. Some of the typical information reviewed by a freight forwarder is the commercial invoice, shipper’s export declaration, bill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import or transshipment. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment.
Los Angeles Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association
The Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association is a trade association representing Customs brokers and freight forwarders that conduct business in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For more information, visit lacbffa.org.
320 Pine Avenue, Suite 1050
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (714) 316-5270
Fax: (714) 632-5405