How to Become a Customs Broker / Customs Broker Exam - Course FAQ

The average person can complete our Customs Broker Course in 6 weeks. A survey of students with no experience who passed the exam on the first attempt after taking our course spent a total of 52 study hours. That includes the time to complete the reading assignment, watching the lecture and doing the homework. You can study at your own pace, repeat lessons as often as you like. See complete course info here.

All in printable format. Hard copy, which is now optional, can be purchased at a discount – CBP will provide an electronic version in the exam room.  We strongly encourage to use to electronic HTS as it will save a tremendous time in the exam room. Hard copy HTS is a thing of the past.

We include everything else required to take the Customs Broker Exam, plus additional reference material for future use. *The Directives below are subject to CBP changes for each unique exam:

Included in Course

American Customs Course

 Full Customs Broker Course – 23 Lessons and Streaming Video

 U.S. Customs Regulations

 Live Help Desk

 Members Only Web

 Previous Exams

 Interactive Testing

 Customs Forms


 Quick Cram Study Guide & Review

Customs Regulations

CATAIR * Business Rules & Process

Ace Entry Process

Glossary of Terms

 Right to Make Entry Directive 

Instructions for CBP 7501

Post Entry Amendments

Ace Entry Summary Business Process








American Customs Course

Registered students receive unlimited use of a Help Desk for one semester. The Help Desk is staffed full time from 9:00 – 5:00 EST. Students also receive private e-mail accounts to the Help Desk. E-mail questions received after hours and will be answered the next morning by 8:00am EST.

No previous experience is required for our Customs Broker License Course. In fact, one-third of all of our students have no experience and come with a background in other industries such as accounting, banking and freight forwarding. Of course, any background in transportation or logistics is a plus.
It depends on the level of difficulty of the topic; anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours per Lecture.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the 2017 average Customs Broker salaries range from $70,590 to $92,710

Experienced Customs Brokers holding management roles in logistics or purchasing average $94,145 a year. Customs Brokers with college degrees average $137,642 in states with large metropolitan areas and heavy international trade activity, such as California, Texas, New York and Virginia.

Career Outlook
Customs brokers are a vital component in an expanding global business environment. The position has a bright outlook, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which predicts the number of customs broker jobs will grow an average of 10 to 19 percent from 2015 to 2025

1. We believe nothing is difficult – if it is explained properly.

2. We keep it interesting – you will understand and remember more – if you are interested.

3. We have a Live Help Desk

4. Constant Improvement – We are always improving the methods of delivery, our teaching standards and learning tools available to the student.

5. The Proof is in the Passing: See testimonials from students with no prior experience who passed on their first attempt. Testimonials

The Custom Broker License Exam course is divided into 23 Lesson Plans. It is very easy to follow. Each Lesson Plan has a reading assignment and a video lecture that matches the reading assignment. Reading Assignment 1, matches Lecture 1 – Reading Assignment 2, matches Lecture 2, etc.


Just as in any class, you complete a reading assignment prior to entering the classroom. The only difference with this course is that you do not have to commute to class and can study at your own pace. If you have any questions during your study, simply call the Help Desk toll free.


We have two semesters per year; April and October. Privileges will end on the day of the exam for that particular semester.
We have never had a refund request in our history. It should be noted that DVD’s are similar to software and music CD’s, which when opened, can not be returned. However we will refund any purchase 7 days from the date of purchase, minus a 10% restocking fee. Our limitations are strictly for copyright protection.
While multiple users may share course material, to prevent misuse of our support services we limit the use of support services to the original student based on enrollment information originally provided, including e-mail and IP address.
American Customs reserves the right to refuse or terminate enrollment. Our main objective is copyright protection. In the event of termination, ACA will refund 100% of tuition when course material is returned in original condition and not copied. DVD’s are encoded for our copyright protection. See our Copyright Protection Policy or Contact Legal Affairs for complete details.

How to become a Customs Broker

Customs brokers are private individuals, partnerships, associations or corporations licensed, regulated and empowered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in meeting Federal requirements governing imports and exports. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to CBP on behalf of their clients and charge them a fee for this service.

Brokers must have expertise in the entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the rates of duty and applicable taxes and fees for imported merchandise.

There are approximately 11,000 active licensed Customs brokers in the United States.

Corporations, partnerships and associations must have a broker license to transact Customs business. Each of these businesses must have at least one individually licensed officer, partner or associate to qualify the company’s license. Failure to have a qualifying officer or member (of a partnership) for more than 120 days will result in the revocation of the broker license.

To be eligible, you must:
•   Be a United States citizen at least 21 years old.
•  Not be a current Federal Government employee.
•   Possess good moral character.

1. First, you must pass the Customs Broker License Examination.
2. Second, you must submit a broker license application with appropriate fees.
3 Third, your application must be approved by CBP.

The Customs Broker License Examination

A: The Customs Broker License Examination is an open book/open test with 80 multiple-choice questions based on:
• The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
• Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations / Customs Regulations
• Specified Customs Directives
• Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements document (CATAIR)

You now have 4 1/2 hours to complete the Customs Broker examination. (new)
This examination is normally given at CBP service ports on the 4th Wednesday in April and the 4th Monday in October. The examination application and $390 fee at least 30 days in advance of the examination.
Each applicant is responsible for bringing proof of registration, a picture identification, and the recommended reference materials to the examination.
Yes, you must be a citizen on the date of the examination.
A passing score is 75 percent or better.
You may retake the examination until you pass. You are also entitled to submit an appeal of your examination score to CBP in accordance with 19 CFR 111.13(f)

Applying for a Customs Broker License

Assuming you are eligible, you may apply after you pass the Customs Broker License Examination.
You must apply to a CBP port director within three years of the date of the letter notifying you that you passed the Customs Broker License Examination.
There is a $200 application fee (plus a fingerprint check and processing fee).
Apply to the port where you want to transact Customs business as a broker.
There are three levels of review. First is a multi-agency background investigation. Second, the CBP port director reviews the background investigation and any other pertinent information, and forwards a recommendation to CBP Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Finally, CBP will carefully evaluate each application, and the Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade, will advise the applicant whether his or her application is approved.
Each broker license applicant must undergo a background investigation that includes a fingerprint analysis and a review of character references, credit reports, and any arrest record. Arrests or convictions do not necessarily preclude the issuance of a license.
The length of time it takes to complete the license application process can vary depending on multiple factors. Some of the factors include but are not limited to the amount of different locations the applicant has lived in, the workload of the agent conducting the background investigation and the national security threat level. Under the new procedure starting in 2012, CBP can process a license within 90 days.
Yes. Appeal procedures are outlined in 19 CFR 111.17.