5 Things A Professional Licensed Customs Broker Can Do For You – Infographic

A licensed customs broker is a professional who offers services involving shipments and delivery of goods across countries. Not to be confused with freight forwarding, customs brokerage gives more emphasis on ensuring that no issues regarding legalities will arise during the importing or exporting process.

Many enterprises today prefer hiring customs brokers in addition to freight forwarders because of all the complexities associated with the requirements. If you have a company currently suffering from a lot of hassles in clearing their shipments, hiring a licensed customs broker is definitely the best solution.

Here are five things a professional licensed broker can do for you:

5 Things A Professional Licensed Customs Broker Can Do For You - Infographic

1. Take care of all the customs paperwork

The name implied, their primary job is to serve as the intermediary between you (the client) and the government, specifically the customs authorities. This means that they possess enough knowledge that can complete all of the customs paperwork and other formalities in your place. And if you’re quite worried due to the sudden changes in the customs regulations, a licensed customs broker is always required to be updated at all times to make sure that you will not experience any unnecessary hassles in transporting your goods.

2. Discover new and potential markets

Out to customers abroad is a challenging task, especially for small businesses. Fortunately, licensed customs brokers can help you accumulate more customers across borders as they have a wider significant presence brought by the nature of their profession. They can also aid in formulating strategies on locating new and potential markets so that you can gradually increase your profits over time.

3. Make good use of modern technology for a more affordable and time-efficient service

Is not the only tool of licensed customs brokers. Taking advantage of modern technology, customs brokerage is now more advanced thanks to the development of automated systems that enables the faster exchange of data across geographical borders. Some licensed customs brokers can even provide you access in specific systems that can be used to optimize your productivity and also minimize that chances of non-compliance, saving you more money and time in the process.

4. Offer personalized services

Businesses are precisely the same, and licensed customs brokers are aware of this fact. To be more versatile in offering their services, they are always ready to satisfy the needs of their clients by making it more personalized. Even a small business can attain benefits by hiring a licensed customs broker!

5. Provide expert advice

A professional licensed customs broker can make the most of a customs brokerage service by hearing expert advice from their trusted broker. The essence of being a licensed customs broker far exceeds in making a living out of clearing shipments, but to enlighten and guide their clients on the customs regulations, tariffs, valuation, classification, etc. So, if you’re new to the industry, you can study its nuts and bolts by simply hiring a licensed customs broker.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics conducts free orientation for those who are willing to learn. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience worth more than a decade in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.

What’s the Difference Between a Freight Forwarder and a Customs Broker – Infographic

Some exporters nowadays often mistook a freight forwarder for a customs broker and vice versa. While may be working in the same industry, both are fairly different from each other. Here are some of the telltale facts that draw the fine line between the two professions.

Difference Between a Freight Forwarder and a Customs Broker - Infographic

1. Definitions

A Freight Forwarder is an agent or company that specializes in logistics and organizing of shipments in place of an individual or a company, to transport their goods. This kind of service usually requires a great deal of connection in the supply chain.

On the other hand, a Customs Broker is a private individual or firm that serves as guide for both importers and exporters in meeting the necessary requirements given by the customs authorities.

2. Duties and Responsibilities

Freight Forwarders are the ones responsible for handling all the processes when it comes in exportation of a cargo. From bringing the goods to its mode of shipment (e.g. truck, plane, or ship) to its arrival at the target destination, the freight forwarders have it all covered.  They also give advice as to how to get the best deal for the cost of transportation, as well as guarantee the safety and timely arrival of the goods. To know more about the importance of a freight forwarder please check out the infographic


Customs Brokers are in charge of submitting all important documents like clearances in order for the shipments to be legally allowed to enter its country of destination. They also tend to have a wide area of knowledge when it comes in every entry procedure, including other payments like taxes and fees for imported merchandise. In addition to that they can also help shippers through the following:

  • Customs bonds
  • Importer Security Fillings
  • Dispatching for final delivery
  • Duty drawback
  • Reconciliation

One thing custom broker can be similar with freight forwarders is that they can as well give recommendations. Only this time, they do it for the purpose of providing the client on getting the most efficient way of clearing their goods in accordance to customs entry rules and regulations.

3. Can a Freight Forwarder be a Customs Broker at the same time?

Since Freight forwarders can be a wider term compared to customs brokers which has a more specific job, there are cases in which a freight forwarder can offer services similar to that of a customs broker. However, not every customs broker can be a freight forwarder.

For many business owners trying import or export their goods, having both freight forwarders and customs brokers are very critical in ensuring its proper arrival on time while adhering to the complicated rules and process of international shipment.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn more about importation and exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience for 17 years in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.

6 Signs that it’s Time for you to Find a New Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker (Infographic)

Many businesses resist changes because they overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they might gain by giving that up, including finding a new freight forwarder and customs broker. Yes, finding a new and better one may cost a lot of time and effort, but it’s still not enough reason to settle for a partnership that doesn’t work anymore. Here are six signs that it’s time for you to find a new freight forwarder and customs broker:

6 Signs that it’s Time for you to Find a New Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker (Infographic)

Your business is growing

As your business grows, your service needs also increase that’s why you need a freight forwarder that can provide you with a complete range of services.

Your freight forwarder must also be stable and established so that you won’t have to jump from one freight forwarder to another all over again, considering that your business is on the verge of developing and expanding.

If your current freight forwarder is not stable and established, you can’t guarantee whether they will last in the business or not. One day, it might even get dissolved while you’re caught unprepared and have adverse effects on your business. It’s best to look for a freight forwarder that you can grow and succeed with.

Poor customer service

In every business transaction, effective communication skills are highly essential because it fosters efficient service provision and a healthy business relationship between two (or more) parties.

If you are having a hard time communicating with your current freight forwarder and customs broker, if it’s not because of poor communication skills perhaps you’re dealing with another contact person every time.

If you don’t make a move as early as now, it won’t only make you uncomfortable with the business relationship; it might also affect the productivity and profitability of your business.

Outdated technology

Using modern technology doesn’t only help a business save time and avoid hassles, it also helps in keeping ahead of the competition.

Most freight forwarders now use online tracking, electronic proof of delivery, and electronic billing among others to make sure that the products will reach its destination intact and on time.

However, there are still some freight forwarders who refuse to keep up with the trends, thinking that it works just the same or it’s too expensive. What about your freight forwarder? Are they helping you keep ahead or are you falling behind your competitors?

Recurring service failures

Although occasional problems are unavoidable in the freight forwarding business due to factors like weather, calamities, strikes, and transportation problems, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for recurring service failures because it’s probably caused by lack of knowledge and experience, poor customer service, or outdated technologies as mentioned above.

Uncompetitive rates

Is your current freight forwarder charging you a reasonable rate? Do the quality of service that they provide match its price? If you think that you’re paying more than how much you should, why not canvass on other freight forwarders and compare the amounts? Who knows, you might even find a freight forwarder with cheaper yet better services or one that you can bid with for a lower rate.

Is it a partnership?

Last but not the least, you should assess whether your freight forwarder and customs broker treats you like a partner. Are they committed to providing you with the best services? Do they care about your success?

In the end, it’s not just the skills and knowledge that counts. It’s the business ethics that make transactions smooth and business partnerships last.

Here at Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics, we treat our clients as partners. We also conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn about importation & exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experience for 17 years in the business. 

Contact us today at (063) 525-9775 or visit our website www.excelsior.ph



Is Your Customs Broker Helping You Save Money from Import Cost?

Is Your Customs Broker Helping You Save Money from Import Cost?

When getting your goods into a country as an importer, passing through customs is an inevitable hurdle. As with any situation, you can either decide to whether or not you should do all the legwork alone or use a local customs broker to help you steer through often-rough seas of customs compliance.

Another question to be answered when looking at using customs broker is whether the price of doing so affects total import cost.

An Honest Customs Broker Can Impact Your Total Import Cost

If you to clear their goods at customs alone, you’re going to have to be at points of entry to receive goods, handle the tariffs, taxes and documentation and get the goods warehoused and/or moving into the supply chain themselves. Working with an honest customs broker that are experienced with all of the above is the best way to stay compliant and up to date with the importing process.

As a business owner, it is very important to work with someone who understands your unique requirements and delivers the level of service you need to succeed in your marketplace. And most importantly, you only want to work with a broker that will help your business save money in a legal and ethical manner in all your import dealings.

To know if your customs brokers are helping you save money from import cost, you must ask yourself if they are providing you with the following benefits:

  • Saving time on paperwork

The customs clearing process can be an extremely laborious task. If your customs broker is still giving you tons of paperwork to fill out, you may be missing precious time from other aspects of your business. Your customs broker should take care of all the necessary documentation for you, which will help you save time, which in the business world, equates to money.

  • Reduce errors on customs documentation

In relation to previous point, all the documentation that your customs broker has done on you behalf must be free from any mistakes or issues. If your current broker filled out the forms and made a mistake, your goods may be held up at the customs yard.

Ultimately, that can slow order processing down significantly. It can also make clients unhappy, which can tarnish your business reputation. Finally, it may result in product returns. All of that can cost your business but turning to a trusted and reliable customs broker can help you avoid costly documentation mistakes.

  • Handling duty payments

Lastly, an honest customs broker should help you create a reasonable appraisal of your items. If necessary, they should also be able to negotiate with the customs officials to keep the valuation relatively low, and subsequently, keep the duties low as well. These negotiations are another way that a customs broker helps to save your business money.

Excelsior Worldwide conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn about importation & exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experienced for 17 years in the business. Visit our website today at www.excelsior.ph to learn more about our service.

Customs Compliance for Philippine Importers: Things to Know About the Tariff System of the CMTA (Infographic)

On 30 May 2016, the Republic Act (RA) No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act was implemented signed, which amended many sections of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).

This Act changed the course of the relationship between Customs and Trade by modernizing Customs rules and procedures for faster trade, reduce opportunities for corruption while improving Customs service delivery and efficiency of the supply chain.

Customs Compliance for Philippine Importers - Things to Know About the Tariff System of the CMTA

What Happened After the CMTA Was Signed?

From the CMTA, several new concepts emerged – all of which aim to facilitate a smoother transaction between businesses and the Customs, adoption of internal best practices, and simplified and harmonized processes, among others. These new concepts include:

  • Expansion of the customs mandate to include trade facilitation
  • Promotion of ‘paperless’ transactions through the use of information and communication technology.
  • Definition of “free zones” to harmonize rule and regulations governing all special economic zones, free ports, and similar authorities.
  • Provision for tax and duty status in on ‘relief consignments’ to, among others, promote donations and international aid during calamities and major disasters.
  • Provision for legal interests in case of non-payment of duties and taxes.
  • Procedure for an advance ruling to allow early resolution of customs issues even if there is no actual importation involved.
  • The provision on ‘Authorized Economic Operator’ or AEO, an expansion of the original concept of ‘Authorized Operator’ under the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and adoption of the expanded program of the World Customs Organization (WCO) to promote both trade compliance and security in the supply chain.
  • Definition of ‘Alerts’ to harmonize and simplify rules of the apprehension of shipments, to make the process transparent for the trading community, and to prevent abuse by customs and enforcement officers.
  • Provision for summary remedies such as distraint on personal property and levy on real property to collect duties, taxes, and other charges arising from a customs audit.
  • Creation of a Forfeiture Fund for outsourcing customs functions, facilitating processes, capacity building, and modernization through automation; and
  • Creation of Congressional Customs and Tariff Oversight Committee to oversee the implementation of the CMTA.

Changes in Tariff System

The Tariff Administration and Policy (Title XVI) of the Act are composed of three chapters, with most of the provisions being based on the old code.

  • Chapter 1 – Tariff Commission

A major change in the old code provides the commission the power and function to issue an advance ruling on the tariff classification of imported goods and render rulings on disputes over tariff classification. This section also restates the jurisdiction of the commission over trade remedy measures – dumping, safeguard, and countervailing duties.

  • Chapter 2 – Flexible Tariffs

This section restates the old provisions on “flexible clause” and “promotion of foreign trade.” The flexible clause empowers the President to:

  • Increase, reduce, or remove existing rates of import duty.
  • Establish import quotas or ban imports of any commodity.
  • Impose additional duty on all imports not exceeding 10% ad valorem.
  • Chapter 3 Tariff Nomenclature and Rate of Duty

This section restates many of the old provisions of the provides the tariff classification and duty system for imported and exported goods. This chapter is composed of 3 sections as follows:

  • General Rules on Interpretation (Section 1610)
  • Tariff Nomenclature and Rates of Import Duty (Section 1611)
  • Tariff Nomenclature and Rates of Export Duty (Section 1612)

Implications of the Revised Tariff System

Under the revised tariff system, certain adjustments (depending on the INCOTERM used) may be made on the invoice price to arrive at the dutiable value. The classification process for regularly imported goods remains simple and straightforward, while the opposite can be expected for finished and processed goods as well as for new products that involve composites or mixtures.

The new product classification system provided is mainly based on the 8-digit ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN), the first six digits of which is based on the Harmonized System (HS) while the seventh and eighth digit codes are assigned to ASEAN subheadings with more than 10,000 tariff lines. Beyond the 8-digit level, member countries are allowed to create national subheadings.

How can Importers Make Sense of These Regulations?

All importers are encouraged to review this document on an annual basis to support their due diligence in exercising Reasonable Care in all international transactions with Customs.  Importers and their trusted brokers should work through the questions in this publication annually to ensure that both are using the information, tools, and guidance provided by BoC to submit accurate entries every time.

If you have further questions regarding the Tariff System under the CMTA, contact Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp. by visiting our website at www.excelsior.ph, or you may reach us by calling (063) 525-9775 or send us an e-mail through wecare@excelsior.ph

Excelsior Worldwide conduct free orientation for those who are willing to learn about importation & exportation. It is our advocacy to share our knowledge & experienced for 17 yrs. in the business.

Customs Broker vs. Attorney in Fact

During the process of importing-exporting, many companies will decide to hire a licensed Customs Broker to clear goods through customs and ensure all documentation is filled correctly. Customs Brokers are regulated by the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BoC) and are therefore authorized to assist importer-exporters in meeting the rules and regulations governing imports and exports.


However, with the passing of Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in 2016, the BoC has declared that engaging the services of licensed customs broker by an importer or exporter is now optional. According to BoC, the Act provides the importers and exporters with the option to

  • 1) engage the service of a licensed customs broker,
  • 2) assign an attorney in fact that will deal with the customs authorities on their behalf,
  • 3) clear their import/export goods by themselves.


Since the customs clearing process involves a series of tedious tasks, the latter may not be a viable option for most importer-exporters. This leaves us the question of who is more apt to do the customs clearing process: a customs broker or an attorney in fact?


What is a Customs Broker?

The Section 102(n) of the CMTA states that term Customs Broker refers to any person who is a bona fide holder of a valid Certificate of Registration/Professional Identification Card issued by the Professional Regulatory Board and Professional Regulation Commission pursuant to Republic Act No. 9280, as amended, otherwise known as the “Customs Brokers Act of 2004”.


Advantages of Hiring Customs Broker


  • Expertise in customs laws, rules and regulations for the clearance of imported or exported goods.
  • Has basic knowledge of how to prepare customs documentation and ensure that shipments meet all applicable laws to facilitate the import and export goods.
  • Can sign documents under power of attorney.


What is an Attorney in Fact?

According to Investopedia, an Attorney in Fact is a is a person who is authorized to perform business-related transactions on behalf of someone else (the principal, or in this context, the importer/exporter). To become someone’s attorney in fact, a person must have the principal sign a power of attorney document. This document designates the person as an agent, allowing him to perform actions in the principal’s stead.


Two Forms of Attorney in Fact

  • General Power of Attorney – Allows the attorney in fact to conduct all business and sign any document on behalf of the principal.
  • Special Power of Attorney – Allows the persons to sign documents and conduct business on the principal’s behalf only in specific situations.


Advantage of Hiring Attorney in Fact

  • Has knowledge on legal matters.

Overall, a licensed customs broker can provide more specific expertise about customs regulations and laws compared to an attorney in fact. This specialized knowledge very handy especially if you are new in the import-export business.


At Excelsior, we value your business and your time. This is why we want to offer you a customs brokerage service that is efficient, professional, and ethical.


Allow Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp. to help you navigate the world of import and export. For any queries that you may have about our customs brokerage service, you may call us at (063) 525-9775, or you can send us an e-mail through wecare@excelsior.ph

Is Your Broker Really a Licensed Customs Broker or A Fixer? (Infographic)

When it comes to importing, it’s extremely important to hire a customs broker who can clear your goods safely, quickly, and most importantly – ethically and legally.

However, it’s a common knowledge that there are still unscrupulous importers who use illegitimate people, known as “fixers” to conduct questionable transactions at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) primarily to save on cost or enter illegal shipments insider the country.

Here are some key points that will tell you if the broker you hire is a licensed customs broker or a fixer.

Is Your Broker Really a Licensed Customs Broker or A Fixer

How to Release Your Cargo in Customs Without Delay

In our previous post, we’ve discussed the process of clearing your imported goods from the Philippine Customs.
While nobody enjoys getting their freight shipments suspended by customs, it can also result in frustrating and costly delays, especially if the goods awaiting customs clearance are meant to be sold at retail. Not only that but with the possibility of some rather sharp penalties for non-compliance, it’s crucial to follow correct customs procedure at all costs to ensure no additional costs or charges on your cargo.

With that in mind, now that you know the step by step of customs clearing, it’s time for you to learn the ways to fast-track the release of your consignment once it reached the Philippine soil. Here’s how:

1. Have Specific Description of the Cargo in All Documents

Make sure that all necessary import documents are properly filled-out to avoid any delays of you receiving your cargos in a timely manner. By detailed description, it is good to follow your SKU description. If it is a box of red shirts, size medium, indicate that exactly. This will aid the process if an exam is required.

Moreover, you need to mark your goods legibly and conspicuously with the country of origin unless exempted. Exemptions usually apply to goods that cannot be individually marked, like tiny items, such as screws. You should, however, mark the sale packaging of these types of items.

At the bottom of customs invoice, including any markings on the packages, and add a notify party, such as your customs broker.

2. Be Ready for the Import Permit (if necessary)

If you’re an accredited importer, the Bureau of Customs will grant you a special permit in the form of a document which you may need to present during the customs clearing process if you’re a first-time importer. Prepare this, along with other necessary documents to prove that you’re a legitimate importer in the Philippines and to avoid possible legal troubles.

3. Provide Proof of Payment

All goods coming from a foreign country needs to be declared, such as their description, quantity, and their value which will be the basis for assessment of duties and taxes. After the right duties and taxes are paid and registered by the customs authority, you will be provided with a proof of payment which you also need to provide during the customs clearing process.

4. Hire Trustworthy Brokerage Company

Having the wrong person handle your customs brokerage can be very problematic. Shipping containers are warehoused as they go through customs clearance. Warehousing and storage fees can add up quickly. If there is a problem with your customs brokerage and your customs clearance does not happen smoothly, your shipping costs could go up by hundreds to thousands of dollars.

By a hiring legitimate and trustworthy brokerage company, you will be able to experience many advantages – one of such is faster customs clearing process. A trustworthy customs broker not only know the shipping industry, but they know the laws better than anyone and can help you not only meet deadlines, but they can save you the headaches associated with importing. Overall, they help ensure the clean reputation of your business in the eyes of the government and market as well.

If you need a professional help to ensure a fast and hassle-free release of your import goods, contact Excelsior Worldwide Logistics Corp. today at (063) 525-9775 or send an email to wecare@excelsior.ph

How to Release Imported Item from Philippine Customs

In this post, we will walk you through the steps by step guide on how to release your imported shipments from the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BoC)

Step 1: For new company or individual who wants to import any commodities with commercial value and or in commercial quantity, you first need an Import Clearance Certificate from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Then you need to apply for Importer’s Accreditation to the Bureau of Customs. Only accredited importers have the privileges to imports any commodities whether regulated imported commodities or freely imported commodities.

Step 2: Import documents required for shipments to the Philippines include:

1. Commercial invoice/Pro-Forma invoice

  •  Should include a detailed description of the goods i.e. what is it made of, what is it part of, what is it used for.

  • The value indicated must be correct. If the shipment consists of more than one item, the importer must provide a value breakdown and ensure that the total amount tally to the total value of the shipment.

  • The value must be transaction value – the price paid or payable – for the item/s in case the item has been provided free of charge or as a gift.

  •  Putting “No Commercial Value” will lead to Customs asking the consignee to provide value evidence such as proof of payment, purchase order, or telegraphic transfer.

  • The invoice should also include the quantity, weight, unit price, currency and country of origin (COO).

2. Bill of lading (for sea freight) or air waybill (for air freight)

  •  Should be filled out completely and accurately.

  •  Make sure all the information is consistent with the commercial invoice.

  •  A revision in the declared value once a shipment reaches the destination port is subject to Customs approval.

  •  Make sure to include a reachable consignee contact so the destination port can easily inform them about the shipment’s arrival and advise of any necessary clearance paperwork.

3. Packing list – A document that details the merchandise in the shipment, along with information on how it was packed, how the items are numbered, the serial numbers, and the weight and dimensions of each item.

4. Applicable special certificates/import clearance/permit depending on the nature of goods being shipped and/or requested by the importer/bank/letter of credit clause, e.g., Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license; and

5. Commercial Invoice of Returned Philippine Goods and/or Supplemental Declaration on Valuation.

6. For a Letter of Credit (L/C) transaction, a duly accomplished L/C, including a Pro-Forma Invoice and Import Entry Declaration for Advance Customs Import Duty (ACID) is required. A Pro-Forma Invoice is required for non-L/C transactions (e.g., Draft Documents against Acceptance (D/A), Documents against Payment (D/P), Open Account (OA) or self-funded documentation).

7. Additional documents for certain imports – Importers bringing in animals, plants, foodstuff, medicine or chemicals must additionally obtain a Certificate of Product Registration from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.

Step 3: File an Entry
Entry must be filed in the Customhouse within 30 days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel, which shall not be extendible. Failure to file the entry constitutes implied abandonment and will result in the ‘ipso facto’ forfeiture of the goods/shipment.
You or your customs broker may have the software to file Bill of Entry at office or home. If you do not have such facility, you can approach private EDI (Electronic Data Information) service providers who can arrange to submit the data on behalf of you.

Step 4: Payment of Duties and Taxes for ATRIG

  •  An ATRIG is an authority issued by the BIR, addressed to the Commissioner of Customs, allowing the release of imported goods from customs custody upon payment of applicable taxes, or proof of exemption from payment thereof, whichever is applicable.

  • The BIR Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 1-2016 directs all applications for ATRIGs for excisable products be processed and issued centrally at the BIR National Office in Quezon City.

  •  Only applications of importer-applicant and broker-representative who are duly registered BIR taxpayers will be processed.

  •  An individual importer-applicant must present a photocopy of his/her latest annual income tax return together with the audited financial statements duly stamped received by the BIR. These will be used in the valuation of the individual importer-applicant’s financial capacity to import.

  •  Prior ocular inspection of the imported goods would be conducted if necessary.

Step 5: Release of Cargo
Upon satisfying all these requirements of, you can now retrieve your import goods from the Customs.

The import customs clearance procedure in the Philippines can be very lengthy and tedious, especially for those small and medium businesses. If you need a professional help to ensure a fast and hassle-free release of your import goods, contact Excelsior Worldwide Logistics Corp. today at (063) 525-9775 or send an email to wecare@excelsior.ph


Excelsior Worldwide Logistics Corp.