Customs clearing agents essentially facilitate smooth import/export of goods and transportation of goods from one location to another within the same country. In fact, this transportation of goods is almost impossible without the services and aid of customs clearing agent. They are licensed by the Government to serve as an agent and are based out of the customs stations. Their primary duty is to ensure prompt and timely delivery of goods.
Their activities are regulated and they are administered by a body called ‘Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations’. The below list will apprise you about all their duties and responsibilities –
- The primary responsibility of gaining the approval from all principal authorities rests with these agents. Proper documentation is extremely crucial regarding all custom related activities. If permissions are not obtained beforehand, then it leads to huge repercussions. For starters, timely delivery is affected and that obviously affects the business adversely. The customs clearing agent is responsible for drafting letters, applying for permissions to various bodies and individuals involved and to produce all authorization letters as and when asked for by the Government bodies.
- All documents and paperwork needs to bear his name since he is being hired by the client and he is acting on behalf of the client.
- He is the main communication channel between the client and the Government. It is his duty to inform the client about all regulations and provisions set by the Government. It is his job to know and abide by all the Government guidelines. If any impediment is faced due to his inability in conforming to the rules, then he is answerable to the client.
- Financial matters are of utmost importance regarding all customs related activities. On behalf of the client, the agent is mandated to handle all payments. He is the hired intermediary who should promptly transfer the money received from the client to the concerned Government authorities so that no obstacles are faced on account of improper financial transactions.
- It is imperative for the customs clearing agent to maintain even the smallest of documentations like bill of entry and shipping bills. These records might be checked or verified in case of any trouble.
- In case, the customs clearing agent finds any non-compliance with the law on his client’s part( either intentionally or by mistake), then he is mandated to inform about the same to the Customs Officer and also advise the client about the right procedure.
They are responsible for maintaining transparency throughout the process and between the client and the Government too and above all they should adhere to all clauses set by law.