Complex regulations and paperwork can leave lots of room for error, and mistakes can lead to big fines. You wouldn't do your corporate taxes without an accountant, so why try to tackle international customs without a trusted partner to help you through? As the world's largest customs broker with more than 80 years of experience, we help make international trade--and growth--easier for your business. Whether you're importing or exporting, or transporting freight or packages, we've got you covered.
A 98 percent compliance rating means we have the customs credentials and expertise to help your business reduce mistakes and avoid expensive errors. But how much can those oversights actually cost?
"The cost of dealing with an audit from [US] customs could be tens of thousands of dollars," says Greg Maddaleni, a UPS Global Marketing manager. "And usually after they've finished the audit, they will recommend or mandate changes in the way you do things moving forward, which may be very restrictive; that could easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars over the coming years."
In those terms, it's clear why getting customs right from the beginning is crucial for your business--and your bottom line. That's why UPS takes a proactive approach to customs brokerage, aiming to save you money and help you make informed decisions when it comes to international trade.
"Obviously, getting your goods into a country is first and foremost, but usually a company wanting to ship to another country wants to do upfront work to make sure that the item they're exporting complies with local regulations," Greg says. "So UPS customs brokerage is specialized at evaluating to make sure you can do that: we're actually making it easier for you to ascertain which places you can send your goods to."
We take care of the details--from completing initial assessments on duty fees and local laws, to helping with licensing processes and clearing shipments at destination--so you can focus on international growth. That includes navigating the complex world of government agencies, each with their own specific sets of rules and regulations.
"When people think about moving goods into another country, they're thinking about customs clearance, but more often than not in conjunction with that there are other government agencies, and many items--some items you would never even suspect--are subject to their clearance processes as well," Greg says. "A company like UPS would explain what those requirements are. Without any of those types of services available to you, you as a customer are going to have a difficult job at growth."
Stymied growth and big fees aren't the only issues that can arise with an inefficient customs process--unreliable imports and exports can negatively affect your operations. If your company is known for making customs mistakes, the whole shipping process can be disrupted.
"Even before you get to the point of getting through an audit and corrective actions, your shipments might actually get inspected more frequently, making the process unreliable," Greg says. "So maybe, to avoid causing a problem for your customer, you start importing the same item more frequently than you really need it, and building up your inventories just to make sure you can meet demand."
Over-stocking to compensate for unpredictable shipments can lead to higher warehousing and storage costs, and potentially leave you with redundant inventory.
"Fashion, electronics, medicines... you know, for different reasons, they all have limited lifespans," Greg says. "So you might get stuck with inventory you can't even get rid of."
UPS can keep you informed of compliance requirements throughout the shipping process and reduce the likelihood of unanticipated inspections, so your shipments will come in when you expect them.
With UPS as your customs partner, compliance--and savings--can become a fundamental part of your company's customs processes.
"We'll follow the rules so that you're not going to have to pay more than necessary. Kind of like a good accountant would do," Greg says. "Just one little shift can make all the difference in the world."
Learn how our customs brokerage services can help you grow globally.
--Greg Maddaleni, UPS Global Marketing manager