Character Counts

Congratulations to all who passed the May 2024 Customs Broker License Exam! You are now eligible to go through the application process, background check, and fingerprinting to obtain your license.

It may come as a surprise that it can take up to a year before your license is issued. In addition to a passing grade on the CBLE, eligibility to become a customs broker requires applicants to be a US citizen at least 21 years of age, not be a current Federal Government employee, and possess good moral character.

Character is determined by an extensive background investigation. From the CBP website:

“Each Broker license applicant must undergo a background investigation that includes a fingerprint analysis and review of character references, credit reports, and arrest records.  Arrests and convictions do not necessarily preclude the issuance of a license.  In partnership, association, or corporation applications, individuals identified as principals with controlling interest, officers, partners, or members will also undergo a background investigation.”

Licensed Customs Brokers, via their entry filings, are responsible for the assessment of revenue for the United States in the form of duties and taxes. They must also ensure that they, and their clients, comply with the laws and regulations in all transactions. So the background check is more than a mere formality. Be patient applicants!

Are You Appealing?

I recently posted about CBLE (Customs Broker License Exam) results including a link for appealing specific questions.

From the CBP website: The applicant must submit a compelling argument why his or her answer is correct or why the appealed question has no possible correct answer.

We are well within the 60 day period for first appeals, but let me suggest a different strategy. If you are considering an appeal you are most likely very close to a passing grade and hoping to gain a reversal on a small number of incorrect answers.

In fact it is very difficult to gain additional points upon appeal, and preparing a compelling argument is time consuming. I know many brokers who have passed the exam on a second attempt. So, since you came close to passing the exam on May 1st, a better use of your time would be to begin preparing to pass the October exam instead of appealing your recent score.

I’m happy to discuss exam strategies. Contact

CARM Update

If you are a Canadian importer or NRI (Non-Resident Importer) you will want to keep up to date on CARM . Many US exporters act as Non-Resident Importers in Canada. A Non-Resident Importer is a business located outside of Canada that ships goods to customers in Canada and assumes responsibility for customs clearance and other import-related requirements.

The launch date for CARM has been pushed back to October 21, 2024. To register contact your Canadian Customs Broker or access the Client Portal on the CBSA website.

As a reminder, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-year digital initiative that will change how CBSA collects duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada. Through CARM, the CBSA will modernize and streamline the process of importing commercial goods.

The Government of Canada has amended the Order that brings into force the final legislative changes for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) digital initiative. These legislative amendments, and associated regulations, will now come into force on October 21, 2024. On this day, CARM will be made available to trade chain partners as it will become the official system for the collection of duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada.