“Customs broker” means a person who is licensed under 19 CFR Part 111 to transact customs business on behalf of others.

“Customs business” means those activities involving transactions with CBP concerning the entry and admissibility of merchandise, its classification and valuation, the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected by CBP on merchandise by reason of its importation, and the refund, rebate, or drawback of those duties, taxes, or other charges. “Customs business” also includes the preparation, and activities relating to the preparation, of documents in any format and the electronic transmission of documents and parts of documents intended to be filed with CBP in furtherance of any other customs business activity, whether or not signed or filed by the preparer. However, “customs business” does not include the mere electronic transmission of data received for transmission to CBP and does not include a corporate compliance activity.

Each person granted a broker’s license will be concurrently issued a permit for the district in which the port through which the license was delivered to the licensee is located, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the port director that the person intends to transact customs business within that district and the person otherwise complies with the requirements. With some exceptions, a licensed broker will be required to obtain a separate permit for any other district in which the broker conducts customs business.

Customs business is usually done through business entities. In order to qualify for a broker’s license, a partnership must have at least one member of the partnership who is a broker. In order to qualify for a broker’s license, an association or corporation must be empowered under its articles of association or articles of incorporation to transact customs business as a broker; and have at least one officer who is a broker.

The failure of a customs broker that is licensed as a corporation, association, or partnership to have, for any continuous period of 120 days, at least one officer of the corporation or association, or at least one member of the partnership, validly licensed shall result in the revocation by operation of law of its license.

Before transacting Customs business in the name of his principal, a customhouse broker is required to obtain a valid power of attorney to do so. He is not required to file the power of attorney with CBP. Customhouse brokers shall retain powers of attorney with their books and papers, and make them available to representatives of the Department of the Treasury.

A power of attorney may be executed for the transaction by an agent or attorney of a specified part or all the Customs business of the principal. Powers of attorney issued by a partnership shall be limited to a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of execution. All other powers of attorney may be granted for an unlimited period. A power of attorney executed in favor of a licensed customhouse broker may specify that the power of attorney is granted to the broker to act through any of its licensed officers or authorized employees.