View Full Version : More good work news!

9-7-11, 7:06pm
I had some pretty good news at work today. I'm in international shipping.

My manager wants me to sit for the US Customs Broker license exam. My company has only one other licensed broker. The exam is tough. Apparently only about 3% pass, and it's considered tougher than the bar exam to pass. Both my manager and the customs brokerage department manager think I'll have no problems passing it. It's apparently much easier to pass if you've not been doing customs-related things that much with your job, as you don't know the short cuts, and have no bad habits to deal with.

Open book exam, 80 questions, four hours. Held first Monday in October and first Monday in April. The key is knowing where in the big customs books where to find stuff. I happen to have photographic memory for what I read, particularly where in a book something is (right or left hand page, for example).

You have to have 75% to pass the exam. $200 for the exam. Then another $300 for the licensing application, fingerprint cards, credit history check, and multi-agency background check. I'll have no trouble passing any of the background/credit history check. Three letters of reference, one of which is best from a licensed broker (our brokerage manager), the others just have to be from people who can attest to your character (I know several people who are good possibilities).

I'm aiming for the exam the beginning of April. You can take 10-week prep classes, but I'm very much a self-starter. The brokerage manager told me she has lots of helpful aids from when she took the exam about 12 years ago, as well as other stuff she's collected since. We think we'll do it by her just giving me specific things to study, I do some homework (sample exam question type stuff) and she goes over it.

So, I'm going to get the customs reference books, make copies of stuff the brokerage manager has, and then as soon as I'm done with this fall semester for my theological education and the two take-home finals I have to do for that, I'm going to start working on this.

This is pretty big stuff. The license follows you wherever you work and is tied to you, not to any particular company. Makes me MUCH more marketable. I was going to begin doing some customs related things when the company merge is complete.

I'm kind of geeked. I'm already used to studying... :D

9-7-11, 7:17pm
That is a real feather for your cap, Tradd! Go for it and best wishes for your success.

iris lily
9-7-11, 11:17pm
Tradd that is excellent news, really great!

9-7-11, 11:19pm
Break a ledger!

9-8-11, 3:26am
That is great, go for it!
About the prep classes: Are they given by people who have lots of insider knowledge? Then it might be worthwile to use them.
Could you repeat? Then I would try once on my own and, if it does not work out, use a prep class for the 2nd run.

9-8-11, 7:55am
Congratulations, Tradd! That is some truly awesome news!

San Onofre Guy
9-8-11, 10:47am
Why not take it October 1 as practice, who knows, you might pass it now!

9-8-11, 11:19am
Why not take it October 1 as practice, who knows, you might pass it now!

Because you have to study the gov't regs, plus pay $200 a minimum of 30 days in advance. I know nada about the regs. They are more complicated than you can imagine. The tariff reference book is at least 1K pages.

9-8-11, 1:53pm
For those of you who were wondering just what a broker does, I found this somewhere online:

A Customs Broker prepares and files the necessary Customs entries, arranges for the payment of any duties found due, and takes steps to affect the release of the goods in Customs custody on behalf of a client. Additionally, a Customs Broker will assist the client with advice on transportation options, types of carriers, and shipping routes. The Broker will also assist the client with exchange rates, appraisals, and proper classifications and duties. In dealing with Customs, the broker must be aware of any potential problem involving every entry item represented, including cargo handling. This includes all factors affecting appraisement, exchange rates and the many regulations concerning calculation of duties. To do this a Customs Broker must have an excellent understanding of trade requirements, procedures, US Customs and tariff regulations, be fully aware of the vast number of commodities subject to quotas, be well-versed in determining proper classifications, and keep abreast of all amendments made through the constant changes in the law and administrative regulations.

9-8-11, 2:12pm
Best of luck Tradd! Sounds like you have a great attitude, and that's almost everything!

9-8-11, 3:46pm
I'm sure you'll do well....and in today's economy, all those things that make you more marketable are well worth investing time and energy in....good for you! Also, sounds like your company must think highly of you, which is always nice to know, huh?

Good luck......

9-8-11, 5:25pm
Great News....Congradulations

9-8-11, 5:29pm
Wow! Looks like you'll be spending a lot of time preparing for the exam. Good luck with your preparation and in taking the exam!!