What is a Customs Broker and Why Should you be one?

Kangan Institute Blog

International trade is critical to the way the global economy works. Without the ability to trade internationally, many countries would take a severe economic blow, since they would be unable to send their goods to the countries with the biggest customer base for them.

In order to properly facilitate this trade in Australia, there are certain governing bodies and agents that must be in place to oversee things. A customs broker is one example of this type of agent. If you have ever wondered about what a customs broker is, this guide will help you learn about the function and career outlook for customs brokers.

What a Customs Broker Does
Customs brokers are the ones who are responsible for advising shippers about importing and exporting goods into the country. These agents are frequently used by those looking to ship goods overseas commercially or receive international goods from other countries.

The most important functions of customs brokers can be broken down into a few key activities:

  • Providing information to businesses that export goods to help them successfully get their shipments out of the country to customers in different parts of the world
  • Helping organisations complete the necessary paperwork that is required by the Australian government to ship their goods out of the country
  • Assisting with the process of importing goods successfully by making sure that the shipments in question are able to clear customs
  • Keeping up to date on all of the latest tariffs and fees that need to be paid by businesses in Australia that are looking to conduct international trade

Without the assistance of knowledgeable customs brokers, it would be extremely difficult for businesses to trade internationally. For this reason, it is a profession that is in high demand. If you are looking for a fulfilling career that helps businesses succeed and contributes positively to the growth of the Australian economy, becoming a customs broker might be a smart idea.

The Benefits of Becoming a Customs Broker
There are several major benefits to making the decision to become a customs broker in Australia:
  • The ability to work with many different kinds of people: A huge number of businesses import or export their goods in Australia, which requires the help of a customs broker. You will meet many interesting people and learn about their organisations as a customs broker
  • A well-paying job: Some estimates state that customs brokers can make anywhere between $54,631 and $95,576 depending on where they are working and how much experience they have. This number is substantially higher than the $46,900 median salary that Australians today earn
  • Plenty of job security: As a customs broker, there is always going to be a need for your services, since companies are always going to be looking to export or import goods into the country

If you are someone who is organised, can pay attention to detail, and is good at communicating with others, becoming a customs broker may be the perfect job for you. There are several steps to go through before you can legally become a customs broker.

The Process of Becoming a Customs Broker
As is the case with many careers that require government licensure, the requirements for becoming a customs broker vary depending on which state you wish to work in. In Victoria, for example, you have to complete an accredited course on customs brokerage and show that you have a sufficient understanding of how the process works. From there, you will need to submit an application for a customs broker license from the National Customs Brokers Licensing Advisory Committee.

Once you receive your licensure, you are free to work as a customs broker in the state where you are licensed. In many cases, customs brokers will work for an organisation that specialises in handling shipping matters; they may work for a customs brokerage firm or a logistics company that handles a full range of shipping services. Customs brokers can also work independently, depending on their preferences and the way that they like to work.

If you are looking to become a customs broker, it is important that you search for the best programs in your area that teach students about what this job entails. You should also begin to grow your professional network of people in the shipping industry so that it will be easier to find employment when you complete the program and receive licensure. With some hard work and a focus on your goals, you can become a customs broker who provides a valuable service to help Australia’s business thrive.

If you would like to find out more about how to get certified for a career in customs broking, check out one of Kangan’s wide variety of courses, or drop us a line for some help.