Customs Broker License Exam News

Commentary and Outlook

We will be taking a new direction – In light of recent developments in AI and automation, it seems the need for Customs Brokers will diminish.  Factually, all information can be created and verified at time export (similar to AMS) and the computer system will be able to determine admissibility, classification, duty rates, etc.  We think one should give careful consideration before considering this career path.  We will soon be pursuing an AI based system of learning and entry systems. 

April 2023 Semester is now closed

Watch this page for updates and new Course Information

Registration Date Changed

New dates to Register for the Exam – Open March 1 – Close March 27

Last Day to Enroll

The last day to Enroll in our course for the April 2023 Customs Broker Exam is March 15th, 2023.

April 2023 Exam Date

The next CBLE will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. Registration will open on February 24, 2023 and close on March 24, 2023.

All New Course Available January of 2023

Our New Course of the 2023 Customs Broker Exam  is Now Open 

Customs Broker Exam Pass Rate

The April 2022  pass rate was 39.6% nationwide. The pass rate for American Customs students was 84.6%

Remote Exam Option

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is offering a remote proctored exam delivery option for the April 21, 2021 Customs Broker License Exam (CBLE) available to a limited number of examinees. Remote proctoring allows the examinee the opportunity to take the CBLE in their home, or another private location, if their test environment meets certain conditions, requirements, and passes a system test prior to registration. Remote proctoring means a person (the proctor) will observe the examinee via the computer camera throughout the exam, from sign-in through completion.

CBP New Exam Dates for 2021

The April Exam will be on Wednesday April 21, 2021 and the October Exam will be on Thursday October 21, 2021

CBP change to October 2020 Customs Broker Exam Answer Sheet

Updated November 20, 2020

CBP reviewed the AM October 2020 exam answer key posted on the CBP Broker webpage and has identified a typo in the answer to Question 71.  While the posted answer key states “B”, the correct answer to question 71 is “C”.  Credit was given to all examinees who answered “C” to the question.   All examinees who answered anything other than “C”, did not receive credit. 

 If you have questions , contact Headquarters Broker Management Branch (BMB) via email at

New MPF 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has raised the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) minimum and maximum amounts by 7.167%.  The MPF will be assessed as follows:

Formal Entry – Min $26.70 / Max $519.76

Informal Entry – Min $2.14 / Max $2.14

Only the minimum and maximum amounts are changing. The MPF ad valorem rate remains the same at 0.3464%

USMCA – United States Mexico Canada Agreement – Begins July 2020

At first glance it appears similar to NAFTA with respect to imports into the United States. While there are specific requirements placed on
Canada and Mexico, the only significant change we see at this time is that Regional Value Content (RVC) will have to have a minimum
of 75% in order to qualify under the rules of origin. We will update our course after the HTS is published with final rules

TFTEA Drawback – 2020 Exam – New Part 190  Our course has been updated

Drawback will be under the new TFTEA Drawback procedures that have been added to Part 190 (new) of the CFR.

The new procedure fundamentally simplifies the entry into one electronic form versus the current three forms and must be completed in ACE.

Part 191 will be removed when all the previous entries under Part 191 are liquidated.

New Tariffs – China Aluminum and Steel

Section 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel – Tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum

Section 301 Tariffs – Higher duty rates on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports

Customs Broker Jobs

Ventura CA – Ontario CA – Laredo TX – Chicago IL – Charlotte NC – Miami FL (Free Trade Zone) . Contact Members Only to apply.

Regulatory Changes for CFR 19 and Customs Regulations

Customs Broker Permit fee – $147.89 as of 2020

MPF – Min $26.22 – Max $508.70

Informal Entry fee $2.05 (ABI) and $6.16 (manual) entry.

Informal prepared by CBP – $9.24

De minimis and Section Clearance – was $200 now $800

CBP has changed time for filing a PSC: New 300 days of the date of entry or 15 days prior to the scheduled liquidation date, whichever date is earlier. Previously was 270 days from entry, and not within 20 days from the scheduled liquidation date.

CBP Liquidations – Electronic Bulletin Board

Part 159 which calls for posting of liquidated entries in the Customshouse has been upgraded to an electronic bulletin board that is on the Customs website.  They are now posted at the link below.


Changes include 99% refund on duty, tax and fess (including MPF and HMF) – Elimination of Certificate of Delivery – 5 years for Claim. The transition period is two years (2019).  We do not expect any exam questions and it is not clear when these changes will be actually published in Regulations / CFR 19.

Custom Broker Exam Changes  FINAL RULE PUBLISHED

June 30,2017 – CBP publishes Final Rule. All exam will now be on the 4th Wednesday of April & October. The Exam will now be electronic.

The Exam fee has increased to $390.  Practice the electronic exam here: Sample Customs Broker Electronic Exam

October 2017 Exam – Answers posted.

Due to computer issues, CBP posted that if you did not pass the Oct 2017 Exam, you can re-take the exam in April 2018 for free.

We added ACE updates overview to prepare for the upcoming new laws

Streaming Video now offered on all Customs Broker Exam class lectures.

Keeping up with demand, all students receive hard copy DVD’s and can also stream the Lessons. We suggest the DVD or a better viewing experience because streaming videos are compressed for the internet.  However, streaming offers a connivent way to catch up or review a topic. The streaming video is compatible with all platforms including desktop, tablets and smart phones.

Additionally, to keep cost down for our students, we will begin offering reference material electronically to reduce cost and expedite delivery of information to the students immediately before the exam.

October 2015 Customs Broker Exam Date Changed

CBP announced that the October Exam will be on Wednesday Oct 7 2015, rather than on Monday due to Holiday conflict

April Customs Broker Exam Results

It took CBP nearly two months to mail out the results from the April Exam. Everyone should have them in the next 7-10 days. After your notification letter, you will receive a second letter with your actual score sheet enclosed so you will know which questions you missed.


Cuba – Recently our relations with Cuba have been in the news.  There are only two countries who receive Statutory Rates – N. Korea and Cuba.  This remains true.

In a Federal Register notice published January 16, 2015, some policy changes we announced to re-establish diplomatic, economic, and travel relations between the U.S. and Cuba.  These regulatory modifications do not lift the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba.  Some of the changes are:

Allow travel to Cuba for specific authorized purposes
Travelers may import no more than $400 worth of goods from Cuba, including up to $100 in alcohol or tobacco products
Allow US companies to enter financial and telecommunication agreements.

The embargo remains until changed by Congress, at which point the Regulations, HTS and our course will change.

CBP Announces April 2015 Customs Broker Exam

CBP Opened the Exam for Registration today –

Visit CBP.Gov for registration information – or click here: Register for the Exam

Customs Broker Jobs

We have a new request for a Licensed Customs Broker in Fairfield County, CT.

Customs Broker Wanted

Boston MA -ChicagoIL – Hartford CT – Houston TX – Laredo TX – Buffalo, NY – Contact Member Services for details.

CBP Announces October Customs Broker Exam – Today 8/24/2012

Visit CBP.Gov for registration information – or click here: Register for the Exam

April 2013 Customs Broker License Exam Course

Enrollment opens on Monday Sept 17 2012

October 2012 Customs Broker Exam will be on a Wednesday

Occasionally the Exam is given on a Wednesday – this is the case for Oct 2012 due to a holiday.

Obama Signs Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Colombia Free Trade begins May 15, 2012

October 2012 Course  United States – Korea Free Trade Agreement (UKFTA)

The Oct 2012 Course – Is now available and enrollment is open.   We updated the new changes to reflect the

US – Korea Free Trade Agreement along with nine other Regulatory changes that became effective on March 15, 2011.

Customs Announcement – April 2012 Customs Broker Exam

Applicants may now submit their Application – New On-Line Application  Application for the Exam

Customs Broker License Exam – April 2012 Enrollment now Open

The April 2012 Custom Broker Exam Course is now available and Enrollment is now open..

Customs Announcement for Oct 2011 Customs Broker License Exam

October 3, 2011 – CBP published the official Announcement for the October 2011 Customs Broker Exam.  Applicants may now submit their

Applications for the Exam.  Applications must be received on or before the close of business (COB) Friday, September 2, 2011 to be considered. Applications received by CBP after COB Friday, September 2, 2011 will not be accepted- NO EXCEPTIONS.

October 2011 Customs Broker Exam Course – Enrollment Deadline

Enrollment closes Friday Sept 19, 2011 for the Oct Customs Broker Exam Course

Customs Broker License Exam – April 2011 Announcement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will conduct its next customs broker license examination April 4 2011. All exam applications and fees must be received and accepted by CBP at the service port where the applicant intends to take the exam on or before the close of business March 4. Any applicant who files an application and subsequently wishes to withdraw from the exam must submit a written notice to the CBP service port where the application was originally tendered by close of business March 30.

The broker license exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and a score of 75% is required to pass. Exam topics typically include entry, classification, country of origin, trade agreements, antidumping and countervailing duties, value, broker responsibilities, fines, penalties and forfeitures, protests, marking, prohibited and restricted merchandise, drawback, intellectual property rights and other subjects pertinent to a broker’s duties.

To apply for a license, an applicant must be 21 years of age and a U.S. citizen at the time of the filing of the license application. 

Customs Broker Positions / Employment

We have been approached by a major corporation who is seeking to fill several Custom Broker positions.  The positions are in South Carolina and they are offering relocation assistance.  If you are a former student and want more information, contact Administration.

August 26 2010 – CBP Publishes Change for Customs Broker License Applicants

Today CBP published in the Federal Register a change for Customs Broker Applicants. In order to take the Customs Broker Exam the applicant must be a minimum of 18 years old and a U.S. Citizen.  The effective date is August 27, 2010 and applies to any applicant who will be taking the April 2011 Exam, not the October 2010 Exam.

July 13, 2010 – CBP Announces October 2010 Customs Broker License Exam

The official announcement for the 2010 Customs Broker Exam was released today by CBP.  Applicants may now submit their application

to their local port.  Applications must be received no latter than 30 days before the Exam.  ACA students should visit the Members page

for more detailed information

100% Air Cargo Screening

TSA has announced 100% Air Cargo Screening effective August 1 2010.


A Resolution was introduced by Congress for a Duty Free Program for Taiwan.  On May 7, 2010 it was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Drawback Offices Reduced

The LAX Drawback office has been consolidated with SFO, bringing the the number of offices down to four.

Enforcement Focus  Regulatory Audits

Regulatory Audits are up.  CBP now has 400 employees in Regulatory Audits and announced plans to increase staffing.

CBP has captured over $90 Million in additional revenue this year alone as a result of increased focus assessments.

April 2010 Customs Broker License Exam Answer Sheet

CBP has released the official answer sheet – April 2010 Answer Sheet

New 7501 Entry Summary

Beginning April 1, 2010 CBP will only allow filers to use the new 7501 (Revised June 2009).  All entry summaries filed with the older 7501 will be rejected.

January 6 2010 – CBP Announces April 2010 Exam

CBP has officially announced the April 2010 Customs Broker Exam.  Applications for the Exam are due by March 5, 2010.

ISF Begins Jan 26, 2010

Importer Security Filing (ISF) will be enforced by CBP on January 26, 2010.  CBP will take the “Informed Compliance” approach to the programs full implementation.  Acting Commissioner Jason Ahern stated that CBP will use the least punitive enforcement measures.  Penalties will be processed through Headquarters.  It should be noted that Jason Ahern announced his retirement from CBP – having served in the Ft. Lauderdale / Miami area prior to being promoted to Headquarters – we wish him well in his retirement.

GSP and ATPA Renewed

House Approves One-Year Extension of GSP and ATPA
The House of Representatives approved by voice vote Dec. 14 legislation (H.R. 4284) extending for one year the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preferences Act.

New Legislation – GSP and Informal Entry Limits

Informal Entry – On October 24 a Bill was introduced to Congress to change the dollar amount for Informal Entries from $2,000 to $2,500.  It is now with the House Ways and Means committee for review.  This should not impact April 2010 exam applicants because the exam is based on the 2009 Regulations, unless Customs issues a Directive before the Exam.

Duty Free Programs – One of the oldest duty free program is the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).  It is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2009.  Congress is working on a new Trade Preference Reform Act but it seems unrealistic to expect it to be completed by the end of the year.  Many, including ACA, have petitioned Congress to grant a temporary extension to GSP until the new Trade Preference Reform Act is approved.  We are following this legislation daily.

If this legislation is enacted we will distribute replacement DVD’s to all current students.

October 2009 Answer Sheet

We have a “first glance” answer sheet for the October Exam – This is not the OFFICIAL answer sheet, .however we are usually 95% in agreement with CBP on the official answers.

Much of the classification process is subjective and there is plenty of room for discussion for the correct answer.  We selected our answers based on a consensus of answers within Educational Services and the Help Desk.  Answer Sheet

CBP Advises Importers of Additional 35 Percent Ad Valorem Duties on Chinese Tires

Washington – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of International Trade today announced to the trade community plans to assess an additional 35 percent ad valorem duty on certain tires of Chinese origin entered or withdrawn from warehouses on or after September 26.

On September 11, President Obama signed Proclamation 8414 imposing additional duties on certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China for three years. The additional duty is 35 percent ad valorem the first year, 30 percent ad valorem the second year and 25 percent ad valorem the third and final year. This duty is in addition to the general rate provided in column one of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

A new U.S. note, number 14, and two new subheadings, 9903.40.05 and 9903.40.10 are added to Subchapter III of chapter 99, Temporary Modifications Established Pursuant To Trade Legislation of the HTSUS, to collect the additional duty.

Specifically, the tires subject to this additional duty are new pneumatic rubber tires, from China, of a kind used on motor cars (except racing cars) and on-the-highway light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles and are, generally, to be mounted onto the rims of passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks. These tires are classified in subheadings 4011.10.10, 4011.10.50, 4011.20.10, or 4011.20.50, HTSUS.

The following tires are not subject to the additional duty: pneumatic racing car tires, new pneumatic tires of a kind used on large trucks and buses; new pneumatic tires of a kind used on agricultural or forestry vehicles and machines and construction or industrial handling vehicles or machines; new pneumatic tires of a kind used on aircraft, bicycles, motorcycles, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, and vehicles for turf, lawn and garden, and golf applications; pneumatic tires that are not new, including recycled and rethreaded tires; and non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.

FDA Opens Electronic Portal for Food Registry

The FDA has opened an electronic portal for its Reportable Food Registry.

The reporting requirements apply to any person who has to submit registration information to the FDA for a food facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for human or animal consumption in the U.S.

The link to the FDA Web site at

New CFR Part – Part 149

Part 149 has been added to the CFR which outlines the requirements for ISF.  The deadline for compliance is January 26 2010. Potential for questions on the Customs Broker Exam

10 Percent Duty on Canadian Softwood Lumber Begins April 15

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of International Trade today advises the trade community that CBP will begin collecting a 10 percent duty on imports of softwood lumber from Canada beginning April 15

PERU – United States – Peru Free Trade Promotion Implementation Act

The US – Peru Free Trade Act is effective as of February 2009.


Costa Rica is now part of CAFTA – Effective January 2009.

ACA Grant Program – Nominate someone in need of a helping hand…

December 1, 2008 Update

Due to the large number of applications, we have increased the Grant Program to five courses, rather than three.

The five individuals have been selected today and will be notified this week.

Thank you for all that participated.

In the spirit of the holidays, the ACA Endowment program gives away free Customs Broker License Exam courses to individuals who want to improve their future, but are not able to pay tuition.

Three individuals will be selected based on the information you provide us. They will receive our entire course and privileges: DVD’s, Membership Services, Help Desk, Quick Cram, etc. without any restriction.

To nominate someone please send us an email with a brief background on the individual’s circumstance in one or two paragraphs. Please include your telephone number with your email so we can follow up with you. Perhaps a single parent who has recently became unemployed or similar circumstance.

We have created a special email account for your nominations at American Customs Please note there is an extra space in the email address (to prevent spam), so you will have to delete the space if you copy/paste the address.

The deadline to nominate someone is Monday December 1, 2008 and the course will Friday December 5, 2008.

The selected individuals can receive the course showing you as a sponsor or sent anonymously.

If you have any questions, contact Educational Services.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” – Mark Twain

DHS Announces New Requirements for Maritime Cargo Carriers and Importers – ISF

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced new information requirements on maritime cargo destined for the United States. The Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements interim final rule will require maritime cargo carriers and importers to submit additional data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before vessels are permitted entry into the country

The rule requires carriers to submit a vessel stow plan and container status messages under certain scenarios where cargo containers are destined for the United States. The rule also requires importers or their agents to submit an Importer Security Filing (ISF) with eight data elements, no later than 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a vessel

CBP will require an Importer Security Filing (ISF) prior to vessels leaving foreign ports destined for the U.S.

The ISF replaces the former “10 + 2” Rule and requires 10 elements of data from the importer and 2 elements of data from the carrier.

The interim final rule includes a delayed compliance for 12 months and CBP will show restraint in enforcing the rule. Complete information is on the DHS web site:

More information..

CBP to Hold 2009 C-TPAT Seminar in New Orleans

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will hold the 2009 C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Seminar from April 1-3, 2009 in New Orleans. Registration will begin on Monday, January 5, 2009 via the C-TPAT Members’ page on CBP’s website.

FDA Issues Import Alert on Milk Products from China

the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is detaining a wide variety of human food and animal food products from China that contain milk. Import Alert (IA) #99-30, issued by FDA, states that the agency is detaining, without physical examination, all milk products,

Burmese Jade Act

Burmese Jade, Jadeite or Rubies mined in or extracted from Burma are Prohibited Merchandise.  Non-Burmese imports of Jade, Jadeite with HTS headings of 7103, 7113 and 7116 now require Importer Certification.  There is a grace period until Oct 26, 2008 and CBP will begin enforced compliance on Oct 27, 2008

New First Sale Rule

A grace period that is being granted to importers with regard to the implementation of the First Sale Declaration Requirement established under section 15422(a) in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill.

The First Sale Declaration Requirement was implemented on August 20, 2008 and CBP has extended a grace period of September 19, 2008 for importers to comply.

What is “First Sale” and how does it impact importers and Customs Brokers?  The entire explaination… more

Rules of Origin

CBP publishes proposed rule change for Rules of Origin.  Under the proposal, Substantial Transformation and Country of Origin would be determined using NAFTA like rules for tariff shifts found in 19 CFR Part 102.. The exceptions would be countries that have trade agreements in place with their own tariff shift requirements, metal flanges, printed greeting cards, glass and fiber optics and certain prepared rice products.

The noticed was published in the Federal Register for public comment.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of International Trade recently implemented e-Allegations, an online trade violation reporting system, that will allow individuals to anonymously report suspected violations of customs laws and regulations to CBP.

Under CBP’s new e-Allegations system, individuals may report information regarding suspected violations of customs laws, such as misclassification of merchandise, false country of origin markings, health and safety issues, valuation issues and intellectual property rights, via an online form on the CBP web site.

New Change for 9802.00.80

Customs has issued a Final Rule and amended 19CFR 10.16.  The Final Rule stems from a court case filed by Chrysler v. United States.  Chrysler ships automotive body parts and sends the body parts to Mexico for assembly.  In Mexico the assembler would prime, heat treat, then paint the body panels prior to assembly.  Chrysler argued painting as an “incidental” operation and thereby permitted. The case went before the US Court of Appeals and CBP issued the Final Rule.  More

Customs Broker License Exam – Proposed Rule Change

May 27, 2008 – A proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register by CBP changing who may sit for the Customs Broker Exam.  The proposed rule change would roll back to the previous requirement – that to be eligible to take the Customs Broker Exam, the applicant must be 21 years old and a citizen of the United States at the time of the Exam.  Comments must be submitted by July 21, 2008.  This will not have an impact on anyone preparing for the October Customs Broker Exam, but may impact applicants on the April 2009 Customs Broker Exam.

Relief for Burma Disaster

The Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized Financial transactions in support of humanitarian activities in Burma for the next 120 days. 

31 CFR 537 prohibits financial transactions in Burma has been amended for relief efforts. General License 14 has also been amended for 120 days.

New Country of Origin

The United States has now recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state.  During the transition, U.S. Customs will permit the importation of merchandise with the Country of Origin marking of “Republic of Kosovo” or “Serbia”.   Quick Cram has been updated.

“10 + 2” Security Filing

American Customs Association published Federal Register

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) requiring importers and carriers to electronically submit additional information on cargo before it is brought into the United States by vessel. The Security Filing, also known as “10+2,” is another step in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) strategy to better assess and identify high-risk shipments to prevent terrorist weapons and materials from entering the United States. More.

PEA – Post Entry Amendment

US Customs has terminated the use of Supplementary Information Letters (SLI) to change an Entry Summary prior to liquidation. The intent is to reduce paperwork for both importers and the CBP. The requirements are fundamentally the same; PEA must be filed at least 20 days before liquidation – more