U.S. Customs and Border Protection is continuing to implement recent changes to its customs broker regulations but has yet to indicate when a related requirement for continuing education for brokers might take effect.

Broker Regulations

In October 2022 CBP issued a final rule updating the customs broker regulations in 19 CFR 111. Major changes included switching from a district permit system to a national permit system, updating the reasonable supervision and control oversight framework, requiring brokers to have direct communication with importers, increasing the broker license application fee, and a new online system for processing broker submissions and electronic payments.

The changes made by this rule were effective Dec. 19, 2022. At a recent meeting of CBP’s Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, the committee’s Broker Modernization Working Group said CBP had made two extensions to that effective date based on input from the brokerage community.

- Powers of attorney executed prior to Dec. 19, 2022, were required to comply with the updated regulations by Feb. 17, 2023. As of that date, POAs must be executed directly between the broker and the importer of record or drawback claimant, not through a freight forwarder or other third party.

- The deadline to report broker employees in the Automated Commercial Environment is April 19, 2023. The subcommittee said this requirement improves awareness of employee status for brokers and CBP and thus helps determine potential risks to U.S. revenue or the U.S. public.

CBP published a guidance document on the new rule Oct. 18 and updated it Dec. 19 based on input from the broker community. The next version of this guidance is anticipated this spring.

The subcommittee noted that CBP transitioned 395 brokers operating under a district permit only to a national permit on Dec. 19, 2022.

Continuing Education

CBP issued in September 2021 a proposed rule that would subject individual licensed customs brokers to a new continuing education requirement. The subcommittee said this rule remains under review within the Department of Homeland Security but offered no insight into when a final rule might be issued.

Once the rule is finalized, the subcommittee said, brokers will need to comply with the education requirements in the 2024-2027 triennial period and report their completion on the 2027 triennial status report. Also at that time CBP will set up an accreditation process for qualifying education.

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