When it comes to shipping internationally, handling customs duties, taxes, rules, and regulations can be intimidating – especially if you are a small business owner.

This is where a customs broker comes in. A customs broker is well-versed in customs duties, rules, and regulations, and will ensure that your shipments will clear customs at both the country of origin and the destination country. Additionally, if your shipment requires special permits, they can apply for them on your behalf.

When to hire a customs broker

Below are some signs that your business will need a customs broker:

  • Your products have high commercial value. For example, in the US, items whose value is worth over $2500 will need to have a formal entry filed through a licensed customs broker.
  • Your products are subject to the regulations of government authorities. For example, in the US, commodities that are regulated by the FDA, USDA, DOT, and EPA will need to have a formal entry filed through a licensed customs broker.
  • You plan on sending your shipment by regular air cargo (meaning, you are NOT using an express courier such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL) or by ocean cargo. In these cases, a customs broker is required to clear your shipment.

Still confused about taxes and duties?

If you still feel unsure about handling taxes and duties on your own, here’s how Easyship can help:

  • Research duty and tax thresholds on Easyship’s Countries page. For example, you can see Canada’s tax threshold here.
  • Our platform automatically calculates tax & duty for all international shipments
  • If you use our Rates at Checkout plug-in, you can display the tax and duty amount at your store checkout so you can be completely transparent with your customers about your shipping costs
  • Our platform also generates the required forms needed for customs to process your shipment