Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Customs broker?

A Customs broker is a person or company, who acts on behalf of an importer in the filing of Customs entries and communication regarding imports. For more information, check out CBP Broker Info website or read Part 111 of the Customs Regulations.

I'm an importer. Do I need a Customs broker's license?

No. Importers may file entries without a license or hire a licensed Customs broker. Large import companies encourage employees to be licensed to show they are compliant with Customs regulations through informed compliance and to show reasonable supervision.

I want to get a general understanding of import terms and jargon. What do you recommend?

Download and Read "Importing into the United States", a free government publication. For a guided study program, L+A's Basics of Importing will take you step by step through the import process from sourcing to final record keeping. The Basics is for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of international terms and conditions, documentation, transportation, Customs Regulations and trade agreements.

Why are the Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) demands so capricious, expensive and time consuming?

Like all government agencies, Customs rules must be obeyed or your shipment could be delayed, redelivered or penalties imposed. Once you understand the regulations, you will anticipate their demands and efficiently comply with import laws.

Who is eligible to be a licensed Customs Broker?

You must be at least 21 years of age, be a citizen of the United States of America, and pass the Customs exam with at least a score of 75 and a back-ground investigation.

When is the exam given?

The exam is given twice annually, on the first Monday in April and October (or if that Monday falls on a holiday, CBP may reschedule to accommodate various holidays. The EXAM NOTIFICATION is generally posted 3 months prior to the exam.

Although I've been in the industry for years and want to get my license, I've never read the regulations or the general notes of the tariff. Am I ready to take the CHB Exam Prep Course?

Students with regulatory knowledge prior to beginning exam preparation have a greater chance of passing and study fewer hours. We recommend reading through the General Notes of the Harmonized Tariff and Parts 111, 134, 152, & 163 of the Customs Regulations before deciding to study for the exam. Take our free placement quizzes.

I have an MBA with an emphasis in International Trade. Do I have sufficient background to study for the exam?

Students with no direct Customs brokerage experience typically are not ready for the CHB Exam Prep Course. Take our free placement quizzes.
You will need to establish a Customs foundation of terminology and learn how to classify commodities in the Harmonized Tariff.

Since Customs laws are constantly changing, are your course materials up-to-date?

Yes! We update our the textbooks when regulatory changes occur.

Couldn't I just read through the old exams and pass?

The chances are that you would not pass since very few questions are repeated.

Do you guarantee that students will pass?

Given that each exam varies in difficulty and each student's back-ground, study habits and commitment vary tremendously, we only guarantee focused and supportive study assistance from our tutorial staff and materials.

What if I fail the exam?

If your score was close to 75, why not evaluate the questions missed and contact Leaphart + Associates to help you determine if a successful appeal is likely? If not, we will help you identify why you failed and concentrate on those areas for the next exam.

What happens when I pass?

The CBP will investigate your personal, financial, and professional background. Be prepared to speak directly with an investigator and be asked questions, which confirm your application information and your integrity. References are also interviewed.

How will the license help me professionally?

The license certifies that you have strong technical skills and have personal integrity. To advance within the profession, you will also need to hone your management skills. Work experience within the industry (brokerage, importing, logistics) are required to be considered for a management position. Advanced classes in human resource management, finance and leadership are the next steps to succeeding in management positions. The license alone is not sufficient for consideration within the industry. Take a look at the jobs posted at our JOBS bulletin board.

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