Certifications

Licensed Customs Broker

Customs brokers are licensed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure importers and exporters meet Federal requirements. Brokers submit required information and arrange payments to CBP on behalf of their clients. Customs Brokers have extensive knowledge of entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the rates of duty and related taxes and fees for imported merchandise. http://www.cbp.gov/

N.V.O.C.C. (Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier)

An N.V.O.C.C is a common carrier that holds itself out to the public to provide ocean transportation. It issues its own house bill of lading or similar document. It does not own or operate the ocean transportation vessels. An N.V.O.C.C. leverages its relationships with vessel-operating common carriers and serves as a shipper for their customer.

Ocean Transport Intermediary (Ocean Freight Forwarder)

An Ocean Freight Forwarder arranges the international movement of cargo by booking space with common carriers on behalf of its customers. . They prepare and process the necessary documentation and complete all related activities related to the international shipment. http://www.fmc.gov/resources/ocean_transportation_intermediaries.aspx

What is C-TPAT?

RS Express is C-TPAT certified – which stands for “Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism”. It is an initiative developed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection which offers a voluntary supply-chain security program for importers, brokers, and carriers. http://www.c-tpat.com/what-is-ctpat/

C-TPAT Consolidator

C-TPAT Consolidators are committed to complying with C-TPAT security guidelines by ensuring its partners have implemented and enforced important security measures throughout their supply chain to guarantee the integrity of every shipment.

C-TPAT Customs Broker

C-TPAT customs brokers must create and implement a plan to maintain and enhance internal policy to meet the C-TPAT Minimum Security Criteria for Brokers.

International Air Transport Association (Air Freight Forwarder)

Members of IATA work to uphold safe, secure, effective, and profitable air cargo transportation standards. Cargo standards cover the following aspects of air cargo transportation: dangerous goods, live animals, perishables & pharmaceuticals, unit load devices, air waybill, e-Cargo, cargo security, and customs & trade facilitation. http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/pages/index.aspx

Transportation Security Administration (Indirect Air Carrier)

An Indirect Air Carrier does not have a Federal Aviation Administration air carrier operating certificate but negotiates and arranges cargo transportation with airlines. Each Indirect Air Carrier must adopt and maintain a security program that satisfies current TSA requirements. TSA ensures the security of the air cargo supply chain by mandating air carriers and freight forwarders to implement specific security measures. http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/programs-and-initiatives-1

Cargo Insurance

All risk insurance is always available. Cargo insurance covers the loss, damage, or theft of commodities during its international moves. If you choose not to insure your cargo, you could bear the entire financial cost of the shipment. We trust that you will insure your shipment for every international move to limit your loss to the amount of your deductible.

Forms

Credit Application
ISF Filing Form
Power of Attorney
Terms & Conditions
Shipper’s Letter of Instructions

What do Customs Brokers do?

Customs Broker: The Import Specialist

The customs broker is a highly-trained import professional. Licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the customs broker must possess thorough knowledge of tariff schedules and Customs regulations and keep abreast of the amendments made through constant changes in the law and administrative regulations.

The complexity of the job is evident when one considers that for every shipment entering the United States there is an official greeting: 500 pages of Customs regulations and thousands of tariff items. The broker must be well-versed in determining proper classifications and dutiable value, and be fully aware of the vast number of commodities subject to quotas.

Many brokers help clients choose modes of transportation and appropriate carriers, which require analyses of a vast body of data. They also provide assistance to importers in assigning shipments the best routes. There are estimates for landed costs, payments of goods through draft, letters of credit insurance, and re-delivery of cargo if there is more than one port of destination.

In dealing with Customs, the broker must be aware of any potential problem involving every entry item represented, including cargo handling. This includes all factors affecting appraisement, exchange rates and the many regulations concerning calculation of duties.

The broker’s operation often transcends Customs, calling for contact with over 40 other government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on meat importation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on vehicle emission standards or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on product safety.

Reprinted from The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc.

What do Freight Forwarders do?

Freight Forwarder: Transport Architect

The international freight forwarder is popularly known as the “Transport Architect.” Ocean freight forwarders are licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). International air cargo agents are accredited by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA).

The freight forwarding professional advises clients of the best rates, routings and modes of transporting goods to or from any area in the world. Using the vast resources at their disposal, forwarders find the “right match” of services available so that products are moved by the most timely and cost-effective means. The large volume of freight handled by forwarders gives them advantages not always available to either individual shippers or integrated carriers.

The professional forwarder is also aware of the ever-changing regulations affecting cargo movements, such as foreign documentation requirements, hazardous materials rules, U.S. government regulations, special packaging or handling restrictions, and any applicable licensing provisions.

“Customized” services to fit the clients’ operational needs are the forwarder’s specialty. Forwarders coordinate arrangements for storage, pick-and-pack operations, consolidations or full-container movements as well as inland transportation to provide clients with true door-to-door service. From assisting with initial quotations or preparation of pro-forma invoices, the banking clients’ documents for collection, the full-service, professional freight forwarder is the most reliable partner one can have in international trade.

Reprinted from The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc.