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Broker Compliance: Misuse of Licenses, Permits and Filer Codes

CBP issues Customs broker licenses to persons (i.e., individuals, partnerships, associations, and corporations) who have successfully satisfied the applicable regulatory and statutory requirements.  Recently, CBP has identified activities in the brokerage community that warrant immediate corrective action:

  • A Customs broker license may not be transferred among persons. For example, an individually licensed Customs broker may not solicit and/or engage in “Customs business” as a corporate Customs broker without a corporate Customs broker’s license.
  • Unlicensed persons may not use a Customs broker’s filer code, permit and/or license for the purposes of soliciting and/or engaging in “Customs business.”  For example, an unlicensed freight forwarder who employs and utilizes a Customs broker’s license, permit, and/or filer code may not engage in “Customs business” or present itself as a Customs broker.

Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1641(b)(6), unlicensed persons who transact “Customs business” without holding a valid broker’s license are liable for a monetary penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each such transaction.  In addition, a licensed Customs broker who allows an unlicensed person to use his or her Customs broker’s license or filer code for purposes of engaging in “Customs business” subjects the Customs broker to monetary penalties and refusal by the Port Director of the Customs broker’s use of his or her assigned entry filer code.

Both licensed and unlicensed members of the trade community who are engaging in the above identified illegal activities must cease and desist such activity.  Should you have any questions regarding these rules, please contact the Broker Management Branch.

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