LinkedIn Comment- Court of Intl Trade

Mike Smiszek

Senior Trade Compliance Advisor at Braumiller Consult

On April 25, 2023, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision by the Court of Int’l Trade (CIT) in Byungmin Chae v. Janet Yellen.  Mr. Chae sat for the customs broker exam in April of 2018, but fell short of achieving a passing grade.  He unsuccessfully filed two administrative appeals, and then decided to try his luck in the CIT, where again he was unsuccessful. And now the CAFC has had the final word (and no, this is not a case that the Supreme Court would even consider looking at).  The CAFC looked in depth at the three exam questions that Mr. Chae was challenging.  The first question discussed the types of customs transactions that were required to be performed by a licensed broker.  The second discussed whether certain mail articles were subject to inspection by CBP.  And the third question was a classification question: was a certain piece of wall art classified in chapter 49 or chapter 97?  The CAFC gave Mr. Chae credit only for his answer on the first question, which wasn’t enough to reach a passing grade.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t understand why anyone would spend so much time and effort pursuing multiple appeals that probably wouldn’t end well.  And, there have been TEN license examinations since Mr. Chae sat for the exam.  Why not just sit for one of these exams and pass it?  If he passed a subsequent exam he’d be looking today at his mahogany-framed license on the wall.  Instead, he’s back at square one.  Here is the CAFC’s opinion:

Status is online

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB  Hoc Logistics LLC, Licensed Customs Broker, International Logistics Consultant

I agree with you Mike. Many brokers have needed a couple of tries to pass the exam.