Overview Demo

The U.S. Customs broker exam is written and administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection twice a year. It is comprised of 80 multiple choice questions, the minimum passing score is 75%, meaning you can miss up to 20 questions and receive a passing grade. The exam is open book, consider this mandatory because if you do not bring proper documents you will not pass.

Major topics of the exam and prep course (click to see the most cited answer location for each topic):

ACE Entry Summary Business Process
Antidumping/Countervailing duties
19CFR191- Drawback
7501 Instructions
19CFR10- Articles conditionally free, subject to a reduced rate, etc.
19CFR113- CBP bonds
Broker Compliance
19CFR111- Customs brokers
19CFR163- Recordkeeping
HTS Catalog
19CFR134- Country of origin marking
19CFR132 – Quotas
19CFR141- Entry of merchandise
19CFR12- Special classes of merchandise
19CFR159- Liquidation of duties
Fines and Penalties
19CFR171 – Fines, penalties, and forfeitures
19CFR162- Investigation of claims of evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties
19CFR172- Claims for liquidated damages; penalties secured by bonds
Foreign Trade Zones/Warehouses
19CFR146- Foreign trade zones
19CFR19- Customs warehouses, container stations and control of merchandise therein
Free Trade Agreements
19CFR182- United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
19CFR10- Articles conditionally free, subject to a reduced rate, etc.
HTS General Notes
Intellectual Property Rights
19CFR133- Trademarks, trade names, and copyrights
19CFR134 – Country of origin marking
Powers of Attorney
19CFR141 – Entry of merchandise
19CFR111- Customs brokers
Practical Exercises
19CFR24 – Customs financial and accounting procedure
7501 Instructions
19CFR152- Classification and appraisement of merchandise

It is impossible to memorize all of the information you will need to successfully pass the exam, which is why US Customs has made it an open book exam (consider that there are about 2260 pages in the 19cfr and 3700 pages in the HTS). The secret to passing is learning how to quickly find the answers in the material you bring to the actual exam. There are 4 major considerations when studying for the exam:

  1. How to read the 19 CFR
  2. How to classify goods with HTS codes
  3. How to read a CBP 7501 form
  4. How to handle Customs valuation

This course was designed to help you pass the exam, not necessarily to learn more about the day-to-day details of a broker or import compliance professional (even though we hope this course helps!).  By learning how to quickly maneuver through the legal citations in 19 CFR, properly classify HTS codes, understand the CBP7501, and general valuation knowledge, you will have a much better chance at passing the actual exam.

Because the exam is open book, you will need the following for the exam:

It is important to take note of the exam notification provided by CBP before the exam is administered. The list provided is the common requirements but seem to be changing over time. You will also need to bring a copy of the admittance letter, a driver’s license and/or passport in order to be signed in when you arrive.

The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions (4 possible answers for each question); you will have 4 ½ hours to complete the exam (about 3 minutes to answer each question). Each question is designed to have a single best answer, but this can be subjective. While there is no guarantee, due to poorly written questions and/or lack of a correct answer, usually 1-3 questions end up being marked as “credit given to all”. When you take the exam and come across a question with no correct answer, or poorly contrived answer, make note of it as you may need to protest the question later on.

Test your memory with regulation topics below.

Use the flash cards below to help you memorize the sections of the 19 CFR.

[qdeck] [q] Packing Stamping; marking

[a] 19 cfr 11

[q] Customs Broker

[a] 19 cfr 111

[q] CBP Bonds

[a] 19 cfr 113

[q] Rules of Origin

[a] 19 cfr 102

[q] Customs Warehouses

[a] 19 cfr 19

[q] Customs Financial and Accounting Procedures

[a] 19 cfr 24

[q] Quotas

[a] 19 cfr 132

[q] Trademarks, trade names, copyrights

[a] 19 cfr 133

[q] Country of Origin Marking

[a] 19 cfr 134

[q] Entry of Merchandise

[a] 19 cfr 141

[q] Entry Process

[a] 19 cfr 142

[q] Foreign Trade Zones

[a] 19 cfr 147

[q] Classification and Apartment of merchandise (Valuation)

[a] 19 cfr 152

[q] Liquidation of Duties

[a] 19 cfr 159

[q] Recordkeeping

[a] 19 cfr 163

[q] Inspection, search and seizure

[a] 19 cfr 162

[q] Fines, penalties, and forfeitures

[a] 19 cfr 171

[q] Protests

[a] 19 cfr 174

[q] North American Free Trade Agreement

[a] 19 cfr 181

[q] Drawback

[a] 19 cfr 191


Click on the “Classification Demo” topic below to learn more.

Lesson Content
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