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Broker License Exam Modernization Reflected in CBP Proposed Rule

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to update its regulations concerning the customs broker’s license examination by transitioning to an automated exam, increasing the exam fee, and adjusting the dates of the exam. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Nov. 14.

A person (an individual, corporation, association, or partnership) must hold a valid customs broker’s license and permit to transact customs business on behalf of others. An exam may be conducted to assess an applicant’s qualifications for a license. 19 CFR part 111 sets forth the regulations regarding broker licensing and permitting, the qualifications required of applicants, and the procedures for applying, including exam procedures and requirements.

To modernize these regulations CBP is proposing to make the following changes.

- removing the reference to a “written” exam to allow for greater flexibility in test administration and the April 2017 transition to automated exams, which will be held at private testing centers and administered by professional proctors

- removing the requirement for the exam to be graded at CBP headquarters

- changing the dates of the exam from the first Monday in April and October to the fourth Monday in April and October to provide greater predictability in years where federal budgets are uncertain

- publishing additional notice of each exam on the CBP website to increase transparency and the availability of exam information

- increasing the exam fee from $200 to $390 to recover the costs associated with administering the exam once it is made electronic

- removing the provision providing for a special exam when a partnership, association, or corporation loses the member or officer with the individual broker’s license required by the regulations, which has never been used

- directing applicants who fail to appear for an exam to the Broker Management Branch within the Office of Trade instead of the port director

- directing applicants wishing to appeal a failing exam grade to the Broker Management Branch instead of Trade Policy and Programs

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