Customs brokers are persons who clear shipments of imported or exported goods. They are responsible for ensuring that the items meet all the regulations, laws, packing, and other requirements that are mandated by law. In addition, they must be certain that all taxes, fees, documentation, and other needs have been fulfilled. They are the gatekeepers of local, national, and international commerce. This is a massive responsibility that has severe repercussions if not done correctly.
The ability to import and export goods is how countries around the globe maintain their economies and provide their citizens with the things they need. Without these global markets, people would be isolated, and their lives would be less comfortable. Regulating what comes in and out is the responsibility of a country's legislative structure. Assuring that only what is allowed comes in and out of a country is the job of the customs department. A broker works with these departments to ensure their client is not breaking any rules.
Clients and governments hire brokers to keep abreast of all the latest rules and regulations, taxes, and documentation needed to bring items into or out of a country. This information varies wildly from place to place, making it exceedingly difficult for a business to keep up with everything, so the business hires a broker to do it for them.