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  5. Customs Broker Continuing Education

Customs Broker Continuing Education

CBP has published a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit information from the broker community on what should be included in a Request for Proposals (RFP) to become a recognized accreditor. The RFI has been issued in the System for Award Management (SAM). To review the RFI, visit the SAM website at On the Search tab, type in “broker education” in the provided search field. You can also search by the Notice ID: 201400XX. All instructions for submitting information are included in the RFI. The RFI is open for submissions until September 29, 2023.

Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers Final Rule

Licensed Customs brokers play a critical role in protecting revenue and facilitating the movement of compliant cargo. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers Final Rule (88 FR 41224), which amends CBP regulations to require continuing education for individual customs broker license holders (individual brokers) and creates a framework for administering this requirement. The new regulations will help ensure customs brokers remain up to date on evolving customs rules and related U.S. trade laws. The new regulations will require brokers to have the necessary training needed to facilitate compliant trade in the modern operating environment and will allow brokers to act as an additional layer of security to prevent illegal goods from entering the U.S. commerce.

CBP collaborated with the broker community and the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Council (COAC) for several years to develop the continuing education requirement. CBP incorporated many of the COAC’s recommendations in the Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). CBP took all public comments received in response to the NPRM into consideration during the development of the Continuing Education Final Rule.

While the Final Rule states that brokers must complete 36 continuing education credit hours per triennial status period, CBP will allow brokers to complete fewer than 36 hours to meet the requirement for the initial 2024-2027 triennial status period. Further guidance on how many continuing education credits will be required for the 2024-2027 triennial status period will be published on and in a Federal Register notice.

CBP and U.S. partner government agencies (PGAs) will offer a variety of continuing education credits at no cost to customs brokers. Training and educational opportunities offered by a third-party outside of CBP, or PGAs will require approval by a CBP-selected accreditor. Information on the accreditation process and details on courses offered by CBP and PGAs will be posted on this page as they become available.

Additional Resources

Question: Will a certain number of credits be required for a specific topic? 

Answer: CBP is not requiring that a minimum or specified number of continuing education credits be on any specific topic. These regulations do not require individual brokers to fill the 36 continuing education credits with specific training or educational activities, such as ethics training. Individual brokers are encouraged to seek the training, educational activity, and topics that best suit their needs during each triennial period. 

Question: Will training taken in January 2027 count toward the 2027 triennial submission? Can that same training be counted again in the 2030 triennial submission?

Answer: CBP will provide additional guidance on this upcoming situation as the date draws closer. Once you have submitted your triennial status report in eCBP, any course you take after that will count toward the credit for the next triennial period.

Please note: for the 2027 triennial period, only those activities that have occurred after the Federal Register Notice has published with the number of credit hours required will be considered eligible for credit.

No activity will receive credit in two different triennial periods.

Question: I am attending a trade-related conference this fall. Does this count toward my continuing education credit for the new requirements?

Answer: No.

Until CBP selects accreditors, CBP cannot say for certain whether conferences or other activities will qualify for continuing education credit. Additionally, CBP will not be making the determination of whether conferences held by the private sector will qualify for continuing education—that is the function of the accreditors.

The continuing education requirement is not yet fully in place. CBP will be soliciting for information, then release a Request for Proposals, then go through a selection process with parties who would like to become accreditors. Once CBP selects the accreditors, we will publish a Federal Register Notice announcing the accreditors. In that Federal Register Notice, CBP will announce how many credit hours will be required between that date and the end of December 2026 (when the triennial reporting period on opens). Any activities conducted before that Federal Register Notice is published will not be considered eligible for continuing education credit because none of these activities will have been reviewed and approved by an accreditor.

While participating in activities prior to this Federal Register Notice will not count toward the continuing education requirement, CBP does not want to discourage any broker from attending conferences or training that provide value and knowledge to the individuals participating.

Question: What happens if I fall just short of completing the continuing education credit hours in the given triennial reporting period? If I don’t complete the continuing education credits 2027 and my license is suspended, how do I reinstate my license?

Answer: If you do fall short of credit hours, then your license is at risk of being suspended. Unless you take corrective action to make up the credit hours, then CBP will move to suspend your license (See § 111.104(b)(2)). You will be given notice that your license is about to be suspended, and you will then have 30 days to take corrective action (See § 111.104(c)). If you fail to take corrective action during this 30-day window, then your license will be suspended.

If an individual broker license is suspended, you can still take corrective action on or before 120 calendar days from the date of issuance of the order of suspension (See § 111.104(d)). Corrective action can range from certifying completion of the requirement to completing 36 continuing education credits.

In setting this 120-day window (approximately four months), CBP believes that we have provided sufficient time in the most extreme situation for a broker to complete all 36 hours of education and return to good standing. You as an individual broker should be aware that CBP is serious about compliance with the continuing broker education requirement. CBP also wants to ensure minor mistakes and life circumstances can be addressed and mitigated with a limited effect on your license.

Question: Will corporate trade compliance training qualify as continuing education?

Answer: Until CBP selects accreditors, CBP cannot say for certain that trade compliance training offered by a company employing customs brokers will meet the continuing education requirement. Once the continuing education requirement goes into effect and accreditors have been chosen, brokers who work for a corporation should collaborate with each other and the corporation’s management to submit their corporate training materials to one of the selected accreditors for consideration. The criteria for receiving approval and instructions for submitting materials for consideration will be provided by each accreditor as part of their public-facing website. In-house training is, presumably, intended to provide individuals within the company the most relevant information on that company’s processes and best practices, something that is vital to a business’s viability. CBP supports these activities and believes they should be considered by an accreditor for potential continuing education credit.

Question: I have retired but would like to keep up my license. Will I have to meet the continuing education requirement?

Answer: Yes. If you would like to keep your license active even if you are no longer working as a customs broker, you will need to obtain the continuing education credits (36 hours over 3 years) and continue to meet all reporting requirements and payment of applicable fees. Even brokers who are not actively engaged in transacting business as a broker might be leveraging their broker license in other ways—for example, as an employee of a company or as a consultant. A broker can become active at any point after a period of inactivity and then must meet the same levels of professionalism and knowledge as any other broker who has been actively engaged in transacting business. If you expect to not actively engage in transacting business as a broker for an extended period of time, you may want to consider having your license voluntarily suspended (see 19 CFR 111.52) and, thereby, not be subject to the broker continuing education requirement during the period of voluntary suspension.

Question: Will the Certified Customs Certification (CCS) and the Certified Export Specialist (CES) designations/certifications count toward the new continuing education requirement in Part 111?

Answer: Until CBP selects accreditors, CBP cannot say for certain whether the education requirement for a CCS or CES will meet the new continuing education requirement. CBP has not evaluated the specific training materials required to attain these certifications. As of now, there are no qualified trainings or educational activities because CBP has not identified nor have any CBP-selected accreditors approved any such activities. However, CBP envisions future accreditors will likely determine that trainings and activities designated for CCS and CES will qualify as continuing education under § 111.103, given the history of these certificate programs and their reputation in the broker community.

Question: Can an individual broker obtain all the required continuing education credits in one year or do they have to be spread over all three years?

Answer: The 36 continuing education credits can be completed at any time during the triennial period. The new regulations also do not require individual brokers to fill the 36 continuing education credits with specific trainings.

If a broker wants to attend a week-long trade conference sponsored by the U.S. Government, an association, or a private company, that will likely cover, or come close to, covering the 36 hours for that reporting period. If instead a broker wants to obtain their education in smaller units that does not involve travel, hotel stays or time away from their workplace, they could choose shorter, virtual options like webinars and online courses.

The purpose of the regulatory requirements as finalized is to encourage individual brokers to seek the trainings, educational activity, and topics that best suit their needs during each triennial period. During our August 3 webinar, CBP encouraged individual brokers to “take stock” of the activities they already do that would likely qualify for continuing education credit. CBP also wants to encourage brokers to continue to attend the trainings, conferences and webinars involving customs business that provide them knowledge and value.

Question: I am an individually licensed customs broker. What do I need to do for continuing education between now and December 2023 when the next triennial reporting period opens?

Answer: Individual Customs Brokers are not required to complete any continuing education for maintaining their individual customs broker license in the current triennial period (2021-2024). The continuing education requirement will begin in the 2024-2027 triennial period. CBP will announce the start date and the number of education credits that will be required during this period in a future Federal Register notice and on the CBP website.

CBP encourages all brokers to take this time before the requirement is in place to take stock of their education activities over the past several years. Individual brokers may start to identify those activities that could likely qualify for education credit once the new requirement is in place. Individual brokers will likely find that many education activities currently pursued will likely meet the continuing education requirements. Some examples to consider:

  • Attended a meeting of your local broker association
  • Participated in a commodity webinar hosted by CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division
  • Participated in a local Trade Day hosted by the CBP Port Director
  • Took an online training course, such as those conducted by a trade association
  • Attended a CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit

CBP encourages individual brokers to continue monitoring this website for updated information on the new Broker Continuing Education requirement.

Have a question? Please submit your questions to: CBP will continue answering questions that come to this box in future updates to this website.

Webinar (August 3, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. ET)

CBP hosted a webinar on August 3, 2023, which provided an overview of the new regulations for customs brokers, which mandates a continuing education requirement to maintain an individual license. The webinar presented an implementation overview as well as next steps for brokers to take to meet the upcoming program requirements. In the coming weeks, the webinar will be linked in this location. The slides and questions asked during the webinar, with answers, will be posted here, as well.

Continuing Education: New Requirements for Licensed Customs Brokers | Homeland Security (

August 3, 2023, Webinar Slides Powerpoint Presention

Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS)

  • CSMS# 57625703 - Request for Information for Continuing Education Accreditors for Licensed Customs Brokers Issued in SAM
  • CSMS# 56727800 - Final Rule Published: Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers
  • CSMS# 56927521 - Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers Webinar- August 3, 2023

Press Release: CBP Introduces Customs Broker Education Requirements

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