Most people use customs agents to deal with customs for them. Customs agents and fast parcel operators are not endorsed by the Customs and Immigration Service.
It can be complicated to submit import and export customs declarations, so you may want to use a company which specialises in this area.
You can hire a person or business to deal with customs for you, such as:
- customs agents and brokers: they make sure your goods clear through customs
- freight forwarders: they move goods around the world for importers
- shipping companies
- fast parcel operators (for example, couriers or next-day parcels services): they transport documents, parcels and freight across the world in a specific time frame. They can deal with customs for you, as part of their delivery.
- agents who specialise in a certain industry, for example fresh foods or pharmaceuticals
What they can do for you (and who will be liable) depends on:
- the services they provide
- what you want them to do
- the commercial agreement you have with them
They cannot act on your behalf without written instructions from you. The instruction must show whether they're acting for you directly or indirectly. Customs may ask for evidence of the authorisation.
List of customs agents
The following companies listed provide a range of customs services on traders' behalf.
Fast parcel agents