The references necessary to take the October 2020 Customs Broker License Exam were:

– Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2019 Basic Edition, No Supplements)
– Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (2019 Revised as of April 1, 2019, Parts 1 to END)
– Instructions for Preparation of CBP Form 7501 (December 2019)
– Right to Make Entry Directive 3530-002A
– Business Rules and Process Document (Trade External 9.75, Section 1 – 12)

CBP states in their instructions for the April 2021 U.S. Customs Broker License Exam that reference materials will be provided electronically on exam day. The reference materials will have basic search functions. However, examinees still have the option to bring and use their own paper reference materials if desired.

CBP admits that some October 2020 CBLE examinees experienced a technical issue while attempting to access and download the electronic reference materials. CBP states that the technical issue has been resolved.

If the basic search functions on the electronic reference materials work well and the technical issue does not recur, it may help examinees find relevant information quickly, saving time.

However, if the search functions are very rudimentary or do not work well or the technical issue recurs, then examinees may be left stranded if they do not have any printed reference material with them.

It is therefore probably a good idea for examinees to practice using electronic reference material and be prepared to use them during the exam. But examinees may be well advised to take printed and tabbed reference material to the exam room as a fall back option and for use as additional references.

While taking old exams for test practice, it is both necessary and good practice to search the reference material for relevant information. This forces you to read chunks of material at a time, making you more familiar with the content. It also helps you identify the locations where to look for specific information. Taking old exams for practice will therefore help you save a lot of time during the actual exam and improve accuracy and speed which will enable you complete the exam within the allotted time.