Customs, Ship and Other Brokers

(NOC 1315)

in All Business, Finance, and Administration

Customs brokers clear goods through customs and to their destination for importer and exporter clients. Shipbrokers buy and sell cargo space on ships and buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft for clients. This group also includes other brokers who negotiate commercial transactions, logistics or other services between parties for clients. They work for customs, ship or other brokerage firms or may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate 3555 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 9370 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Customs, Ship, and Other Brokers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 63% of Customs, Ship, and Other Brokers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$36,707

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$27.85

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,754

Minimum

$36,515

Median

$70,271

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Customs brokers clear goods through customs and to their destination for importer and exporter clients. Shipbrokers buy and sell cargo space on ships and buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft for clients. This group also includes other brokers who negotiate commercial transactions, logistics or other services between parties for clients. They work for customs, ship or other brokerage firms or may be self-employed.

Job duties

Customs brokers:

  • Prepare and process import/export documents for clients according to customs regulations, laws and procedures.
  • Sign import/export documents for clients, using power of attorney.
  • Pay duties, taxes, storage and transportation of imported goods and bonds to cover duty goods.
  • Quote duty and tax rates on commodities for clients.
  • Provide advice to clients on export and import restrictions, tariff systems, letters of credit, insurance requirements and other custom related matters.
  • May represent clients before administrative tribunals or in other dealings with government officials.

Shipbrokers:

  • Buy and sell cargo space on ships for individuals, companies and governments.
  • Consult trade publications and other sources to provide information to clients on available cargo space, destinations, rates and departure locations and times, and arrange ship charters for clients.
  • Negotiate rates and terms and prepare contracts and other papers.
  • Buy and sell ships, yachts and other watercraft on behalf of clients.
  • Inspect vessels, explain features and negotiate price when purchasing or selling for clients.
  • Arrange for insurance coverage for cargo or for ships.
  • Arrange for registration and licensing of ships.

Sample job titles

  • cargo broker
  • chartered shipbroker
  • customs broker
  • gas broker
  • licensed customs broker
  • shipbroker
  • ship line agent

Skills

  • You need excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. You must have good negotiation skills and be attentive to detail. The ability to analyze detailed information accurately and quickly is necessary to make decisions. You must have initiative and be willing to accept new ideas and take risks. You must be efficient and aware of customer needs. Familiarity with computers would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • High school is required and some college or university education in commerce or a related field may be necessary to work in these jobs.
  • Customs brokers need several years of on-the-job training and a customs brokers training program through the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers.
  • A customs broker licence, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency, is required for an individual or company to operate a customs brokerage business.
  • Shipbrokers selling cargo space on ships usually need several years of on-the-job training or related experience like shipping company scheduling experience.
  • Shipbrokers selling watercraft usually need in-depth experience with, and knowledge of, various watercraft.
  • Correspondence courses from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers are available for shipbrokers.

Other considerations

  • There is no movement between the different types of brokers in this group.

By the numbers

Quick look

< 50

employed in 2016

87.5%

employed full-time

25.0%

self employed

37.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
62.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
35.1

median age

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

63,775

employed in 2016

78.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

73.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
26.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.9

median age

Where will I likely work?

60.0%

Halifax

N/A
20.0%

Southern

N/A
20.0%

North Shore

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

71.4%

Transportation and warehousing

28.6%

Wholesale trade

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

25-34

30.0%

45-54

20.0%

65+

20.0%

35-44

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

26.3%

45-54

22.6%

55-64

19.4%

35-44

16.7%

25-34

7.5%

65+

Top levels of education

37.5%

High school

N/A
37.5%

Bachelor

N/A
25.0%

College Diploma

N/A
25.0%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

33.8%

College Diploma

$36,304 median annual income
23.8%

High school

$32,903 median annual income
22.8%

Bachelor

$41,755 median annual income
5.8%

Trade Certification

$34,807 median annual income
4.9%

Less than high school

$23,174 median annual income

Education & training

Business Administration and Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. They include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Business/Commerce

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. They prepare students to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Customs Broker

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Canada Border Services Agency
Halifax, NS
Certified Customs Specialist

Professional Designation: Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Ottawa, ON
Certified Trade Compliance Specialist

Professional Designation: Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Ottawa, ON

Contacts

Supply Chain Canada - Nova Scotia Institute
Halifax, NS
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Ottawa, ON
Canada Border Services Agency
Halifax, NS
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Canada
Vancouver, BC

Additional resources