The role of customs declarant is a highly technical and detailed one, which is essential to maintaining the flow of goods in the logistics and freight forwarding sectors where cross-border goods shipments are being made. You’ll be checking consignments before they have left the factory or warehouse, whether that’s in person or via local teams charged with ensuring everything is in order.
As a customs declarant, you’ll find yourself dealing with customers, overseas departments of your own company and suppliers on a daily basis. You’ll also be dealing with the HMRC in the UK regularly, or the equivalent customs, duty and taxation bodies in foreign countries. In some roles, the job can be much deeper, visiting manufacturers and buyers to check up on their processes, stock and paperwork and making sure it’s compliant for the proposed contracts. Often, it is all done remotely, however, and this can open the role up to hybrid working arrangements for certain declarants.
The skills required
Primarily, you’ll be experienced in customs and duty procedures, but since that is a huge subject, some companies are looking for talent that’s experienced in a certain field, for example chemicals, pharmaceuticals or aviation. The number of years’ experience desired varies from business to business, but most are looking for at least 2 years, while others want as much as 5 years in the job.
You’ll be knowledgeable in customs classification, and should know your own jurisdiction’s rules inside out, while being a fast learner when it comes to getting to grips with the rules in other nations and specialised sectors. Your attention to detail and accuracy will be second to none, and you’ll be able to communicate complicated legal concepts succinctly and unambiguously.
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