Customs Brokers

Business Management & Administration > Operations Management

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Customs Brokers include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 45% said they needed a High School Diploma.

  • 20% said they needed a Post-Secondary Certificate.


    Monitor or trace the location of goods.

    Quote duty and tax rates on goods to be imported, based on federal tariffs and excise taxes.

    Advise customers on import and export restrictions, tariff systems, insurance requirements, quotas, or other customs-related matters.

    Sign documents on behalf of clients, using powers of attorney.

    Classify goods according to tariff coding system.

    Request or compile necessary import documentation, such as customs invoices, certificates of origin, and cargo-control documents.

    Pay, or arrange for payment of, taxes and duties on shipments.

    Calculate duty and tariff payments owed on shipments.

    Prepare and process import and export documentation according to customs regulations, laws, or procedures.

    Clear goods through customs and to their destinations for clients.

    Contract with freight forwarders for destination services.

    Confer with officials in various agencies to facilitate clearance of goods through customs and quarantine.

    Arrange for transportation, warehousing, or product distribution of imported or exported products.

    Post bonds for the products being imported or assist clients in obtaining bonds.

    Provide advice on transportation options, types of carriers, or shipping routes.

    Maintain relationships with customs brokers in other ports to expedite clearing of cargo.

    Stay abreast of changes in import or export laws or regulations by reading current literature, attending meetings or conferences, or conferring with colleagues.

    Obtain line releases for frequent shippers of low-risk commodities, high-volume entries, or multiple-container loads.

    Apply for tariff concessions or for duty drawbacks and other refunds.

    Inform importers and exporters of steps to reduce duties and taxes.

    Prepare papers for shippers to appeal duty charges.

    Insure cargo against loss, damage, or pilferage.

    Suggest best methods of packaging or labeling products.


Tablet computers

Personal computers

Multiline telephone systems

Laser facsimile machines

Desktop computers

Computer data input scanners


Automated commercial environment software ACE

Automated system for customs data ASYCUDA

Customs records databases

Electronic data interchange EDI software

Materials requirement planning MRP software

Optical character reader OCR software

Parts classification databases

All Technologies

SAP Customs Management

Tariff databases


Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

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