Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is seeking by Sept. 29 information from organizations interested in establishing a relationship with CBP to review and accredit commercial training, programs, course materials, and other activities relating to a new continuing education requirement for licensed customs brokers.

Under a June 2023 final rule CBP is requiring individual customs broker license holders to complete at least 36 continuing education credits per triennial period, which works out to an hour per month. Brokers will be able to earn continuing education credits for a variety of training or educational activities, whether in-person or online, including the completion of coursework, seminars, webinars, workshops, self-guided activities, symposia, and conventions and, subject to certain limitations and requirements, the preparation and presentation of subject matter as an instructor, discussion leader, or speaker. 

Training or educational activity provided by CBP or any other federal agency that is relevant to customs business will automatically qualify as continuing education credit, but training or educational activity offered by corporations, non-profit organizations, or foreign government agencies will only qualify if it has been approved beforehand by a CBP-selected accreditor.

CBP has now issued a request for information that will later be used to prepare a request for proposals to become an accreditor of education for licensed customs brokers.

Criteria for becoming an accreditor include at least one key official possessing a customs broker’s license; a demonstrated knowledge of international trade laws, customs laws and regulations, and general customs practices for imported goods and goods subject to drawback; and a demonstrated knowledge of other U.S. government agencies involved in international trade transactions.

Accreditor responsibilities will include (1) reviewing materials submitted for accreditation, determining if the activity detailed in the submission is acceptable and eligible for continuing education credit, and responding in a timely manner, (2) developing an accreditation website where education providers can get instructions for submitting accreditation materials, (3) developing an internal mechanism or process to track all education submissions, approvals, and rejections, and (4) participating in monthly status meetings with CBP and other accreditors.

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