March 5, 2024

King Bros. Limited has been helping importers since 1911

VICTORIA – As customs brokers and ship’s agents, King Bros. Limited has been helping importers safely bring goods into the country since 1911.

It’s their business to know the requirements of importing, and their expertise helps their clients. This year there’s a paradigm shift in how the Canada Border Services Agency (formerly Canada Customs) collects duty and tax from importers with the arrival of CARM (CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management).

“With CARM, the responsibility and liability get transferred to individual importers,” says King Bros. Limited President Simon Smith. “We as a broker will still be providing brokerage services, but we have to guide every client through the registration process.  As brokers, we are here to take care of all those details, but importers will need to register individually with CARM, and we can help direct them through that process. Importantly, payment responsibility also now shifts to the importer.”

Simon Smith, President of King Bros. Limited

Smith says this has been years in the making, and stems from an Auditor General’s report that was critical of how Canada Customs and the CRA accounted for import duty and tax.

“Currently, the customs broker provides financial security in the form of an import bond to all its clients,” Smith explains. “Under CARM, each individual importer will need to post their own bond, and to register on a CBSA portal. At King Bros., we have been preparing for this new process, and we are entering the final few months of client communication and onboarding.”

Smith states that CARM represents the biggest challenge the importing community has ever experienced.

“It will be critically important for all importers to make this transition, and we are committed to assisting our clients in this process,” he states. “Our expertise and knowledge, as well as the ability for clients to easily connect with one of our skilled brokers, is second to none.”

In 2012, Smith became a partner in the business founded in Victoria in 1911 by brothers Edward and Henry King, and he became the sole owner last year of the 100 percent Island owned company.

“I am the current owner, or custodian as I like to say,” he says. “Over its 113-year history the firm has only seen a few owners, all of them long term employees, so it still retains its family feel.”

I started with the company as a very green customs broker shortly after I finished university in 1992. Over the subsequent 32 years I worked my way up the proverbial corporate ladder becoming a partner in 2012 and ultimately the sole owner last year.

“I think the success of King Bros. comes down to our simple yet integral approach to business,” he says. “Providing consistent, professional, and genuine customer service is by far the most critical component, and it is a philosophy that I live by. Without satisfied clients there would be no business – it’s that simple.

Smith observes that many businesses and industries have struggled with a shift in customer preferences, with people putting low-cost services or products ahead of professional service and knowledge.

“Our industry has not been immune to these changes, but I have not wavered from our commitment of providing personalized service from knowledgeable and professional employees,” he states. “We have seen clients try the discount alternative, but almost all return having been disappointed by the result.”

Besides importing, King Bros. is also a marine agency that provides port agent services, employed directly by shipping lines or indirectly through other agents throughout the country to represent their needs while vessels are in port.

“We’re always looking for new, skilled people to join our team, and we’re growing,” he adds.



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