CBLE Results

The October 2023 CBLE (Customs Broker License Exam) resulted in a 34% pass rate prior to appeal decisions. Previous pass rate information is listed below. The exam and answer key are posted on the CBP website.

Congratulations to all who passed! You are now eligible to go through the application process, background check, and fingerprinting to obtain your license. The process can be lengthy so be patient.

Many brokers have needed more than one try, so don’t be discouraged if you came up short. If you want to challenge any of the questions here is the link explaining how to appeal.


Pass Rate Information

The October 25, 2023 CBLE resulted in a 34% pass rate prior to appeal decisions.

The April 26, 2023 CBLE resulted in a 5.5% pass rate prior to appeal decisions. 

The October 26, 2022 CBLE resulted in a 11.1% pass rate prior to appeal decisions. 

Scot Snyder Government Logistics | Talent Mentoring | Troops2Logistics | Recruiting | US Army Veteran & Advocate |

That’s a high pass rate. I hope it’s the same or higher in April. Thanks for sharing Mitch Kostoulakos,

Mitch Kostoulakos, Ad Hoc Logistics LLC, Int’l Logistics Consultant/Licensed Customs Broker

As Mike Smiszek pointed out the exam questions now have 4 answers to choose from vs 5 in previous exams. This means less time needed to consider answers. Also if forced to guess you have a 1 in 4 chance vs 1 in 5. May have been a contributing factor to the higher pass rate. 34% is still low compared to other licensing exams.…

Mike SmiszekView Senior Trade Compliance Advisor at Braumiller Consulting Group

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB Thanks for sharing this pass rate data. Though we’ll never know for sure, I’ll bet the pass rate was boosted by the question format change. It will be interesting to follow the pass-rate trend over the next few years (if CBP sticks with the four-answer format).

Mitch Kostoulakos, Ad Hoc Logistics LLC, Int’l Logistics Consultant/Licensed Customs Broker

Mike Smiszek Yes it will be interesting. I’m never sure if I should encourage others to take the exam and put in all that effort with such low pass rate,

Heads Up Customs Brokers-Annual Permit User Fee

The annual user fee for each national permit held by a customs broker, whether it may be an individual, partnership, association, or corporation, is due no later than February 9, 2024.

The customs broker permit user fee payable for calendar year 2024 will be $174.80. CBP is also announcing that customs brokers may pay the fee electronically via the electronic Customs and Border Protection (eCBP) portal.


LinkedIn Comment- Infrastructure

Ken Davis • Regional Vice President of Sales at Omni Logistics

I don’t normally wade into to these issues but, this is important ! Everything you have in your home, business, manufacturing plant, eat and drink comes in on a truck. Those of us that drive everyday know, our roads are in need of repair, bridges need to be rebuilt, infrastructure needs a lot of work. We need safe places for our road drivers to layover and get fuel, eat and shower. We need safe bridges. We need better software at our airports to handle the flights. We need modern equipment at our ports to bring us into the 21st century! 

Mitch Kostoulakos, LCB • Ad Hoc Logistics LLC, Int’l Logistics Consultant/Licensed Customs Broker

Thanks for a great post…a few points to consider:
1) Infrastructure does not get better with age and can’t fix itself.
2) Spending on infrastructure is an investment. It provides good paying jobs and wages will be spent in local economies. Recycle the dollars.
3) It can be done. Visit any EU country and compare the roads, airports, etc to the US. They are way ahead of us.

Let’s Go Chiefs

C- Level executives, perhaps you have been “looking the other way” when it comes to export compliance. If you are lucky there have been no consequences for this negligence. Why not start off 2024 with a little executive action and move your organization towards compliance?

While a complete Export Compliance Program is the ideal solution, you may not be ready to commit the resources needed at this time. However, there are some steps that can be implemented immediately at little cost.

Here are a few best practices to help you get started :

1) Review and confirm correct Harmonized Tariff and Schedule B codes and maintain master list as updates occur. Proper classification follows established protocols and is the starting place for compliance.

2) Check Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for correct ECCN and license exception codes. Are you automatically using EAR99 and NLR? https://www.bis.doc.gov/ can help.

3) Confirm Country of Origin for all imports. This info is needed for your Commercial Invoice and is not always obvious, so consider consulting a Licensed Customs Broker.

4) Check common “Red Flags” such as denied parties lists, entities lists, and unverified lists. Once again, https://www.bis.doc.gov/ provides details and training.

5) Review export documentation for possible improvements.

Make export compliance a front-end process, not a last minute shipping function. Remember, while Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) are valued partners, the exporter bears primary responsibility for compliance. Finally, if exporting under ITAR you need a responsible trained officer.

Contact mitch@adhoclogistics.com for immediate assistance.