Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Customs Broker?
A Customs Broker acts as an agent for an importer in conducting Customs business on their behalf. A Customs Broker can either be a private individual or a company. In order to be a Customs Broker you must be licensed by US Customs and Border Protection‚ Department of Homeland Security.
What does a Customs Broker do?
A Customs Broker prepares and files the necessary Customs entries‚ arranges for the payment of any duties found due‚ and takes steps to affect the release of the goods in Customs custody on behalf of a client. Additionally‚ a Customs Broker will assist the client with advice on transportation options‚ types of carriers‚ and shipping routes. The Broker will also assist the client with exchange rates‚ appraisals‚ and proper classifications and duties. In dealing with Customs‚ the broker must be aware of any potential problem involving every entry item represented‚ including cargo handling. This includes all factors affecting appraisement‚ exchange rates and the many regulations concerning calculation of duties. To do this a Customs Broker must have an excellent understanding of trade requirements‚ procedures‚ US Customs and tariff regulations‚ be fully aware of the vast number of commodities subject to quotas‚ be well-versed in determining proper classifications‚ and keep abreast of all amendments made through the constant changes in the law and administrative regulations.
Do I need previous experience?
It is not necessary to have any import or customs broker experience for any of our classes. We start all our students at the same level. This allows us to correct any misunderstandings or inaccurate information the student may have absorbed from another venue and to properly train the student with no expertise. Our textbook has two sections called History and Background and Prelude to Entry‚ specifically written for the student‚ with little or limited background in the business. These chapters give the new student both a history of Customs‚ and "the big picture" of the entire importation process‚ thereby orienting the new student before they start studying.
You can be assured that with Logistics Training Systems‚ you will always be studying with the most complete‚ innovative and current materials possible in US Customs Broker License Training.
Check student comments on the Basic Study at Home, the Distance Learning Program, the Miami Evening Classes and Distance Learning + 5-days of classroom & Independent Study + 5-days classroom Programs.
What are the requirements to take the U.S. Customs Brokers Exam?
The requirements needed to take the exam changed with the April 2011 test‚ these are the current requirements:
While anyone can take the course‚ to take the exam you have to be a citizen of the United States‚ you must not be employee or officer of the US Government - this includes the US military (the National Guard are exempt‚ because they are state and NOT Federal) and the United States Post Office - and you must be at least 18 years of age. Note: Because of a recent law suit, reservists - not on active duty - will be allowed to take the exam. This law suit may bring about a change in CBP policy sometime in the near future.
To apply for your US Customs Broker License‚ you must score a minimum of 75% on the exam‚ be at least 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States. You cannot be an officer or employee of the United States Government - this includes the US military (the reserves are exempt) and the United States Post Office. You will have three years after you take and pass the test to apply for the license.
For example: You are a citizen of the United States‚ you do not work for the US Government‚ and you are 20 years old. You can sit for the exam‚ but you will not be able to apply for your license until you become 21 years old and are still NOT working for the US Government.
Once you have your license‚ it is valid in all 50 States and Puerto Rico.
What is the exam like?
The exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions. It is an open book test‚ four and a half hours in duration, with an additional half hour for paperwork. The exam tests the applicants' knowledge and understanding of US Customs law and regulations as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States‚ CATAIR‚ C-TPAT and several Directives. The 19CFR‚ HTS‚ and our textbooks‚ are permitted reference material during the examination - the CATAIR‚ C-TPAT and the required Directives are included with our Textbooks. Students will need to purchase their own copy of the 19CFR and the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the US. These can be ordered at a discount here.
When is the exam given and how much does it cost?
The exam is given only in states/cities with Service Ports.The exam is held at private testing centers and administered by professional proctors. It is now in electronic format (on a computer) and the fee for the exam is $390.00. The dates for all exams will be on the fourth Wednesday in April and October.
Your grade will be available sooner than with the paper exam, but not immediately. CBP is hoping to hit four weeks for the electronic exam and eventually, move to within one week for future exams. At this time, even with an electronic exam, letters are generated and approved by CBP. The test is given at the same time all across the country‚ and in Puerto Rico‚ at most service ports. The application to take the exam is online. You must fill out the online form and have a Credit Card for the registration fee. The form is posted about 60 days before the exam, and you will have 30 days from that date to go online to register. We include the application instructions online in your class Students Corner. After you pass the test‚ CBP will send you a packet‚ which you are to fill out (credit report‚ fingerprints‚ references‚, etc.) and return to them‚ along with a $200.00 check. CBP will then do a background investigation on you. When that investigation is completed, a special agent will contact you for an interview. After that interview, you will be sent your license. This process may take 3-12 months.
What are the HTS & 19CFR? Are they included in the cost of the course?
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that exists. The HTS is a reference manual that is larger than an unabridged dictionary. It weights about 13 pounds and is best used when placed on a catalog rack. It is released by the government for publication in January of each year.
The Code of Federal Regulations (19CFR) is the law that governs Customs Brokers. It is released by the government for publication in April of each year. However‚ it usually has a delayed release date and sometimes is not available until August or later of each year.
HTS and the 19CFR are NOT included in the cost of any of our courses‚ and must be ordered separately, except for our Bundled Programs. The US Customs Broker Exam is based‚ along with other publications that are included with our programs‚ on these two reference materials.
Because of issues that our students have had over the years with the government publication of the 19CFR‚ such as the spines breaking‚ pages falling out‚ and the very thin pages ripping‚ we now print these books‚ specifically for this exam‚ in a unique spiral binding‚ on heavier paper. The spiral binding makes the books easier to handle when studying. It also makes them easier to handle while taking the exam. Instead of fumbling while trying to hold the 19CFR's open and trying to write‚ these books will lay flat! Additionally‚ the heavier paper is perfect for adding notes‚ highlighting and underlining. But the best part is...we sell them at a discount!
We also print the HTS on heavier paper‚ because it is unbound we strongly suggest the use of a catalog rack for this publication. The HTS is a very heavy awkward publication and a metal catalog rack will hold it upright at an angle‚ making it both easier to see and use.
We provide a suggested tabbing system for both the 19CFR and the HTS.
You can purchase both of these reference materials here.
Which course should I take?
We are often asked this question because we offer such a variety of courses. You should make the decision, on which program to choose, not only by cost, but by determining your individual learning style. Do you know how you learn? Can you study on your own or do you need a teacher? What study materials do you feel are important to you? Are you audio or visually oriented?
All of our programs are complete study courses. If you are a dedicated student (example: recent college grad) and can follow instructions independently‚ then the Basic Study at Home‚ is a complete course and may be all you need. If you require more visual instructions, online quizzes, videos on Classification, Special Programs and Valuation, a midterm and a final, and visual memory ticklers then consider the Enhanced Online. If you only do well under the guidance of an instructor‚ who can answer your questions as they arise‚ then the Distance Learning Program might be best for you. The Distance Learning Program includes everything in the Enhanced Online, but there are three advantages to the Distance Learning Program. The Distance Learning Program provides you with both an online textbook, for use while traveling as an example - in addition to the printed copy - and an instructor‚ who will correct your quizzes and answer any course related question. After you finish the textbook, you can review the entire textbook- right before the exam - with our On Demand Review Videos. But if you feel that you need the classroom experience‚ then seriously consider either the Five Days of Classroom with Independent Study Preparation, which is the Enhanced Online Program with Five Days of intense classroom or the Five Days of Classroom with Distance Learning Preparation which includes a modified Distance Learning Program and the five days of intense classroom review. If you are lucky enough to live in Miami‚ then the evening program with PreClass Study would be an excellent choice for you.
We also have a new set of Bundled packages that include all of our Instructor led programs, a 19CFR and an HTS, along with a guarantee that you pass the exam or you can continue your studies into the next Semester with the Enhanced Online Extended Study for Previous Students Program, all of this at a Discounted Price.
What are the instructors like?
We have very rigid requirements for our instructors. They must be currently licensed Customs Brokers and well respected professionals. All of our teachers have a law‚ CCS (Certified Customs Specialist)‚ corporate training‚ or teaching background. As members of ICPA (International Compliance Professionals Association) they are currently working as Customs Brokers and/or Customs Consultants. Our instructors teach with the authority that can only be gained by working in the field! We only hire people who have the experience in this business needed to impart to our students‚ what they will be facing‚ in the "real world" as a Customs Broker. Good oral presentation skills and classroom dynamics are very important to us. At the end of each course students are asked to evaluate the course‚ the textbooks‚ and the instructor to ensure that we are meeting the students' needs.
How much study time will be required?
There are 34 chapters in the textbook. Each chapter will take approximately 3 hours to complete. Three chapters‚ Classification‚ Valuation and Special Programs may take 3-6 hours. This includes completing the reading in the textbook‚ the corresponding reading in either the HTS or the 19CFR‚ as well as the After Chapter Review Questions. This does not include doing the 800+ Previous Test Questions or the section of Classification Questions in your Workbook. Nor does it include doing any of the Previous Exams. Our recommended start date for all the programs is: As Soon As Possible. The sooner you start -- the more time you will have to study!
How do I enroll?
Our online credit card processing is done through SSL secure connections with Authorize.net. LTS accepts Visa‚ MasterCard‚ American Express and Discover. If you are paying by Visa‚ MasterCard‚ Discover or American Express‚ you can now register online by using the Register Button you will find on each of the program pages or by going to the navigation bar at the top of any page and clicking on REGISTRATION and click on the program of your choice. You can also print out the FAX/MAIL Order Form on this website and fax it to us toll free: 1-877-684-7916. If you are sending a check/money order mail it to: PO Box 175‚ Fleetwood‚ NC 28626. If you intend to send your check or money order overnight‚ please contact our office for a physical address. Our toll free number is : 1-877-818-5834. Checks are to be made payable to Logistics Training Systems‚ Inc. Please remember to sign the bottom of the form. Once you have registered you will be sent an e-mail confirming your acceptance into the program.
What if I need extra help?
Our students who are enrolled in either the Distance Learning or the Distance Learning with Five Days of Classroom receive unlimited access to an instructor via e-mail for any course related questions. All e-mails are answered on or before 48 hours. For the Evening Classroom Programs a teacher is always available for the student either before or after class‚ or by e-mail.
If you register for a program that does not have an instructor and later feel that you need an instructor or the study aids found in a more advanced program‚ you can upgrade to any other program by just calling the office. We will give you complete credit for your current program toward the more expensive program. This offer is ONLY good for the semester for which you are registered.
What happens if I fail the exam?
You can take the US Customs Broker Exam as many times as you wish. We have several Extended Study Programs for Previous Students that are designed to help you through the next exam process. All of the Extended Study programs will give you the necessary updates to your study materials that you need for the next test. Once you register for one of the Extended Study Programs you will be assigned a new password and username‚ which will be good until the day of the next exam. The Extended Study Programs do not include new textbooks or audio. However‚ if you wish‚ you can order new textbooks and audio‚ with any of the Extended Study Programs‚ for a small additional charge.
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How are the curriculum tools shipped?
You will have your choice of shipping when you register for your class. Charges are shown on both the online and the fax registration pages. All orders are subject to inventory availability. Orders placed Friday after 12 noon through Sunday will ship on the second or third business day‚ after your order is placed. Please Note: a business day is defined as a weekday (Monday thru Friday) excluding national holidays. This is an Estimated Processing Time‚ which is the amount of time it takes from the moment you submit your order until we pack it and FexEx picks it up for delivery to you. Estimated Processing Time varies based on the Shipping Method you select‚ when you order‚ and the order volume at our warehouse. Our credit card processing is done through SSL secure connections with Authorize.net. LTS accepts Visa‚ MasterCard‚ American Express and Discover. Although a company‚ organization‚ or some other entity may provide the funds to purchase a program‚ the person registered is to be the sole recipient of the study materials‚ the passwords‚ and or seminars. There will be no replacement or substitution of personnel once the passwords have been issued. By placing an order you represent and warrant that you are 18 years of age or older and that all the information you are providing‚ including your e-mail address‚ is accurate‚ current and complete. Unless your order is being shipped within the State of North Carolina‚ it is your sole responsibility and not that of Logistics Training Systems to pay any applicable sales and/or use taxes that may arise from your order. No deliveries will be made on Sunday or holidays. FedEx HOME will deliver on Saturday, but not MONDAY. Please choose either Overnight or 2nd Day delivery for: Alaska, Hawaii‚ Puerto Rico and US Possessions. For international shipments‚ please contact us at shipping@LogisticsTS.com with your name and shipping address‚ and we will give you a quote for shipping to that address. Failure to do so may result in your order being delayed. Ground Service is not available to P.O. Boxes‚ so please supply a physical address for delivery. Some rural addresses may require an additional day for delivery. All orders are shipped out of Connecticut‚ if you require a quick delivery please choose either Overnight or 2nd day delivery. If you choose a residential delivery, and you live in a high density area, make sure that there is someone at the delivery address to receive your package, or you can call our office for signature delivery. Any lost or stolen packages are your sole responsibility. Logistics Training Systems is not responsible for delivered and then stolen packages. Your only recourse, if this occurs, is to contact FedEx directly.
Can you send me a brochure on your programs?
We have made our brochures instantly available to you! Each one of our programs has a downloadable and printable brochure:
Basic Study with Audio
The Enhanced Online Program
Miami Evening Classes
The Distance Learning Program Brochure
The Independent Study with Five Days in Orlando Brochure
The Distance Learning with Five Days in Orlando Brochure
Extended Study - Basic Study Program
Extended Study - Enhanced Online
Extended Study - Distance Learning Brochure
Extended Study - 5 Day Distance Learning Brochure
Extended Study - Miami Evening Classes Brochure