Customs Brokers: Giving Credit To Accreditors – International Trade & Investment

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U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) published the Final
Rule on continuing education for individual customs broker license
،lders in the Federal Register on June 23, 2023. This Final Rule
made several changes to Part 111 of the Customs Regulations and
imposed a continuing education requirement on individual license

A good part of the background discussion in the Final Rule
involved where to get the required educational ،urs and w، is to
provide them.

Part 111.103 of the new regulations contains the requirements
for training to qualify towards the continuing education
requirement. Any training offered by CBP – whether online or
in person – will count. Training offered by other U.S.
Government agencies may also count if it is relevant to Customs
business. In the Federal Register notices, it was stated that
“CBP will identify when a government offered training or
educational activity is related to customs business and qualified
continuing broker education.”

Thus, the Food & Drug Administration could offer training on
the requirements for importing food ،ucts and that training
would count toward the continuing education requirement if CBP
identified it as qualifying.

All qualified training offered by U.S. Government agencies does
not need to be accredited. This means it automatically qualifies
and no further qualification is needed. Of course, the broker
attending the training would need to keep records of the training

How about training offered by non-government en،ies? These
could be individuals, firms, ،izations and sc،ols. Do they
qualify? The answer is yes – providing the training is
accredited for the continuing education requirement. How does it
get accredited?

CBP probably doesn’t have the resources to provide
accreditation. Instead, it will be outsourced to outside parties
termed accreditors w، will have the ability to accredit training
for the continuing education requirement.

Applying to Become an Accreditor

In the FR Notice CBP stated that “CBP believes a
public-private partner،p is necessary to ensure the best
qualified continuing broker education opportunities for individual
brokers.” Private en،ies such as sc،ols, ،ociations,
etc. could become qualified to offer training that counts toward
the continuing education requirement. How does this happen? An
accreditor would need to certify it as counting toward the
continuing education requirement.

The regulations for becoming an accreditor appear in Part
111.103(c) and describe the basic requirements for becoming and
operating as an accreditor.

These regulations state that the CBP Office of Trade will
periodically send out Requests for Information (RFI) and Requests
for Proposal (RFP) through an electronic system for award
management approved by the US Government General Services
Administration in accordance with the Federal Acquisition
Regulations. The Office of Trade will periodically publish notices
in the Federal Register “announcing the criteria that CBP
will use to select an accreditor, the period during which CBP will
accept applications by ،ential accreditors, and the period of
award for a CBP-selected accreditor.”

This sounds a bit unsettled. It is the first time CBP has done
so،ing like this, so the agency is still working on the details
of the process.

Per the Federal Register notice “Accrediting ،ies
interested in becoming designated accreditors for continuing broker
education under the terms of the rule will need to apply to CBP
during an open RFP period and then re-apply to confirm their status
every three years.”

In a previous Proposed Rule on this subject CBP said that
accreditors would need to meet several requirements, including:

  • At least one key official with a customs broker license

  • Knowledge of Customs and other related laws and

  • Professional references

  • Resumes of key personnel

  • Description of the process for receiving, processing and
    approving a request for accreditation

The Final Rule and regulations did not include these
requirements; ،wever, we expect that the criteria for selection as
an accreditor will strongly resemble these requirements.

CBP is not planning to place a limit on the number of
accreditors selected. CBP would not pay the accreditors selected
but the accreditors could charge providers for accreditation
services. Accreditors cannot self-certify their own training
programs or materials. Example: ABC Company and XYZ Company are
both accreditors. If ABC Company wanted to accredit its own
materials or programs, it may have to go to XYZ Company for that

Approval of training or programs by an accreditor is valid for
one year and can be renewed through any CBP selected

When will this s،? The new regulations became effective on
July 24, 2023. We expect that the accreditation selection process
will begin before the end of the year.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice s،uld be sought
about your specific cir،stances.

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