According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the eligibility requirements to become a Licensed Customs Broker are:

  • be a United States citizen at least 21 years old.
  • not be a current Federal Government employee.
  • possess good moral character.

To become a Licensed Customs Broker, you must first pass the Customs Broker License Examination. Then you have to submit a broker license application with appropriate fees. And finally, your application must be approved by CBP.

Each broker license applicant must undergo a background investigation that includes a fingerprint analysis and a review of character references, credit reports, and any arrest record. Arrests or convictions do not necessarily preclude the issuance of a license.

The Customs Broker License Exam is designed to determine the individual’s knowledge of customs and related laws, regulations and procedures, bookkeeping, accounting, and all other appropriate matters necessary to render valuable service to importers and exporters.

The Customs Broker License Examination is an open book/open test with 80 multiple-choice questions based on designated editions of:

  • The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
  • Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations
  • Specified Customs Directives
  • Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements document (CATAIR)

Examinees have four and one half hours to complete the examination.

In order to be eligible to take the examination, an individual must on the date of examination be a citizen of the United States who has attained the age of 18 years and who is not an officer or employee of the United States Government. An application for an individual license must be submitted within the 3-year period after the applicant took and passed the examination