Customs Broker Regulation

The Firm offers courses in preparation for the semi-annual April and October Customs Broker License Examinations. The Firm has held highly successful exam preparation courses in Boston, Charleston, Greensboro, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York/Newark and Savannah.

The examination consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and lasts 4 hours. A passing score of 75% or more is required. Exam topics typically include: Entry, Classification, Trade Agreements, Value, Broker Responsibilities, Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures, Quotas, Country of Origin, Protests, Marking, Prohibited and Restricted Merchandise, Drawback, Intellectual Property Rights, and other subjects pertinent to a broker’s duties.

The courses take a practical approach to the examination and have consistently achieved a pass rate exceeding the national average. In addition to reviewing prior examinations, the courses offer in depth review of customs classification and customs regulations proving insight and understanding to their requirements. The classroom preparation material covers those areas that have historically received the most attention on exams. Classification, value, customs broker regulation, entry, marking, and penalties always get attention. We have recently added more material on “special deals” (that is, 9802 assembly, Generalized System of Preferences, Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and a few others) since those areas have been the subject of more exam questions in the last couple of years.

Our instructors are attorneys and licensed customs brokers with extensive experience in customs and trade matters. We provide carefully considered study materials including a reference handbook of directives, outlines, rulings, examinations, and other materials to assist the student in preparing for the examination and understanding the requirements of a Customs Broker.

We will provide course materials in a three-ring binder. You must provide your own copy of the:

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations

The Customs Regulations are now available in two versions. The first is the paperback copy (Title 19 C.F.R. Parts 1 to 199) that is sold in the US Government Bookstore in most major cities. You will want to use the most recent April edition. They have broken up Parts 1 to 199 into two volumes. (There is a third volume covering Parts 200 to “End”; do not buy this volume, you do not need it and you are not allowed to take it into the exam.) The second version of the regulations comes in a loose-leaf, subscription form available from the GPO in Washington. On recent exam, Customs has stated the exam is based on the most recent paperback version, but people have done well using either. Many people prefer the loose-leaf version because the print is larger. Either is fine.

We recommend that you purchase the HTSUS in loose-leaf, subscription form directly from the GPO in Washington at (202) 512-0132. Of course, if you wish to order the loose-leaf version of the regulations, you can add that to your order. You can charge your purchase to VISA or MasterCard. For an extra charge, the GPO will send your materials by UPS, and they will arrive in approximately seven days. If you do not specify UPS, the order can take as long as six weeks. When you call, you will get a fancy electronic switchboard that will ask you to press touch-tone buttons to place your order. Press the button that gives you a live, human operator; otherwise, you can’t specify UPS. The GPO says the best time to call is between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m.

US Government regulations require applicants for the test to be twenty-one (21) years of age and US Citizens. The exam application fee is $200, which must be remitted with the application. An exam application can be secured at your local CBP office. Applications to take the examination must be received by CBP at the port where the applicant intends to conduct business no less than thirty days prior to the date of the examination or for further information and restrictions.

It is advisable that students have some experience in import operations or customs brokerage.