Supply Chain Excellence – Customs Broker

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Excellence Series profiles jobs within the Supply Chain job family including jobs in demand, salaries, and employment prospects.

In this article, the role of Customs Broker is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role  

New Zealand’s trade regulations can be complex and difficult to navigate. The purpose of a Customs Broker is to represent importers and exporters (on behalf of businesses) for the ‘clearance’ of their goods. This is to ensure compliance with New Zealand customs regulations by reviewing import and export documentation, classifying goods using an international tariff-coding system, managing cargo documentation and coordinating with forwarders and transport providers to monitor the movement of goods during transit. The role of a Customs Broker is crucial to facilitating the smooth and compliant flow of goods in international trade and to protect New Zealand’s border security.  

Key Skills Required   

To be a Customs Broker you must obtain a Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation (CBAFF) Unique User Identifier (UUI). The CBAFF UUI Course Certificate requires the completion of four-course blocks, and there are additional courses for further advancement. Some companies or freight forwarders will pay for employees to gain the CBAFF UUI Certificate as part of their career development.  

In addition to obtaining a CBAFF UUI, a Customs Broker needs to have a keen eye for detail to ensure all documentation and clearances are correct, can adapt and keep up to date with changing regulations and procedures, but mostly they need to maintain the highest ethical standards and integrity, to ensure compliance with NZ Customs regulations. Great time management skills are also a must as uncleared cargo can incur additional charges. 

Career Prospects 

A career as a New Zealand Customs Broker offers various pathways. A Customs Broker may be employed by a freight forwarder, shipping line, customs brokerage firm or work as an in-house Customs Broker for importers and exporters. They could also work as an individual contractor. There is the opportunity to grow into being a Senior Customs Broker, managing more complex imports and exports or working towards a management position within Customs or Freight Forwarding. There is also the possibility of transitioning into roles within government agencies working in areas such as customs policy development, trade facilitation, or customs law enforcement.  

Recruitment Forecast  

There is always a need for Customs Brokers as New Zealand relies hugely on the importation and exportation of goods. Navigating compliance and regulations can be complex in NZ and Customs Brokers are essential for the smooth processing of cargo. While the shipping industry has been quieter in recent months, we will continue to see demand for skilled and experienced Customs Brokers in New Zealand.  

Salary Guide  

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

A Customs Broker salary varies depending on their level of experience and how they are employed as mentioned earlier. There are also further education courses which can be completed in the industry to advance and become more specialised in particular commodities. Some Custom Brokers may work towards Senior Broker roles or move into leadership or management positions to take on more responsibility.  

Below is an approximate salary guide of what we are currently seeing in the market for Customs Broker salaries.  

Entry/Junior Customs Clerk working towards CBAFF UUI 0 – 2 years’ experience – $55,000 – $65,000  

CBAFF UUI qualified Intermediate Customs Broker 2- 5 years’ experience – $65,000 – $80,000  

Senior Customs Broker 5+ years’ experience – $80,000 – $95,000 +  

If you would like to find out more about the role of a Customer Service Representative (International Freight Forwarding), please contact consultant Sarah Kennedy. Sarah specialises in the recruitment of Distribution and Logistics. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

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