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Despite what they may say in their marketing materials, most US companies don’t deal exclusively with fellow US companies. For example, auto companies may need small parts from China, clothing companies may need fabric from India, and furniture makers may ship items to Russia for sale. Anytime something leaves or comes into this country, Customs is involved. Customs Compliance Managers make sure that involvement goes smoothly.
Customs Compliance Managers spend much of their time completing paperwork. The Customs department simply adores paperwork, and it must all be filled out accurately and completely in order for the shipment to move forward.
As a Customs Compliance Manager, you detail things like how much the shipment weighs and what it will be used for, and you figure out how much tax you have to pay to import or export it. You then prepare that tax and pay it. You may do these tasks yourself, or supervise a staff that does them.
If something goes wrong with the shipment, the Customs office will likely call you. You should be prepared to provide duplicate copies of your paperwork, if the originals were lost, and to beg and plead for more time if something catastrophic happens, so you can notify your boss and come up with a solution.
At times, you may be required to produce reports showing that your company complies with all related Customs rules and regulations. This means that you have to train your vendors and the people in your company’s supply chain, so they don’t make errors that you’ll have to explain away in your reports.