Customs brokerage is a profession that involves the 'clearing' of goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation (and usually the payment) on behalf of the client of duties,and taxes and facilitating communication between the importer/exporter and governmental authorities. Customs brokers in Belize will often prepare and submit documentation to notify or obtain the clearance from other government agencies such as the Belize Agricultural & Health Authority (BAHA), BELTRAIDE, Ministry of Finance, Supplies Control Unit and many other Governmental Agencies . Customs brokers need to be familiar with the Tariff Schedule, a listing of duty rates for imported items. For example, a customs broker may need to advise an importer regarding country of origin marking requirements or the precise paperwork requirements for a commodity subject to specific requirements. Knowing the requirements of each type of import can avoid costly delays or seizure of the merchandise. Many customs brokers specialize in certain types of transactions, such as wearing apparel, perishables, or general clearance.
Customs brokers can be located near the main port to clear merchandise sent for direct consumption, in-transit or in bond but most are located around the major port of entry eg: Santa Elena at the Northern & Western Border Stations and throughout the City of Belize. Customs brokers normally arrange the transshipment or local delivery of cleared merchandise through relationships with trucking companies and others.