Customs Seminar

Customs Brokerage Exam Class

We are pleased to announce the details for our series of classes for preparation for the October 2019 Customs Broker Examination.  The date for the exam will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019.

Classes are scheduled to begin on August 1st and will meet every Monday and Thursday night.   Our final class will include a full day session on Saturday, October 12th, which will be a timed practice examination.


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Our Calendar

All classes will run from 6:00-8:30 and will be held at the Courtyard Marriot in Woburn.  It is conveniently located off of Rte. 128 on Mishawum Road and there are several restaurants and stores in the area.  The hotel also features a restaurant and Market Place in the lobby. In addition, there is ample free parking.

The fee for the class will be $850 which will include 40 hours of instruction, a manual, required Customs Directives, copies of past examinations and additional hand-out materials.

This course will prepare all attendees for the exam.  Topics covered include Broker Regulations, Entry, Classification, Valuation, Free Trade Agreements, Antidumping/Countervailing Duty, Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures, Bonds, Country of Origin Marking, Liquidation, Search & Seizure, Intellectual Property and other topics covered on the exam.

All attendees must also purchase the required publications including the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and the 19 Code of Federal Regulations, Customs Duties.  Both publications will be available through the Government Printing Office, or in the alternative, Boskage Publications,, also sell them.    The approximate cost for these materials is about $300-$400.  Attendees who purchase the materials from Boskage will also receive a 10% discount on the materials.  Please contact me for the order information.  The publications should be brought to class and for your information, on the date of the examination, Customs will allow attendees to bring both publications and any other written materials to the exam as it is considered an open book examination.  No electronic devices are allowed.

Although the notice has not yet been published, it is likely that Customs will write the exam with 2017 versions of both publications.  If you are purchasing the materials for the first time, I recommend purchasing the 2017 versions.  If purchasing through Boskage, they will guarantee that you receive the correct versions of each publication.

In addition, under the proposed Federal Register notice making changes to 19 CFR 111, CBP is considering giving this exam electronically.  Currently I do not have confirmation on this or any additional information on how or where the exam will be given.

All candidates must submit the test application documentation directly to Customs and pay the examination fee of $200.  However, I also want to mention that the proposed Federal Register notice also is considering an increase in the exam fee to $390.  This has not yet been confirmed.

Additional information and a copy of the examination notification application will be provided at the first class.  All exam applications are now processed electronically through the Customs website.

Candidates should understand the requirements for receiving a customs broker license from the Department of Treasury prior to submitting the application to Customs.  The requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a S. citizen
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must attain at least a 75% grade on the examination
  • Must be of good moral character(a background check is performed on all candidates who have met the other requirements prior to the license actually being issued)

Also, please note that there are several significant changes to the requirements to actually sit for the Customs broker exam.  First, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen to take the exam.  Second, the applicant must be 18 years of age to take the exam. Finally, the applicant cannot be an officer or employee of the U.S. government.

Several years ago, Customs Headquarters formed a working group of trade professionals to assist them with helping to improve the broker exam.  I am fortunate to be part of this group and have received a substantial amount of input from the group and Headquarters on the exam.  I will share much of this during class but one important item I would like to mention is that Customs included some survey questions on the last exam for test-takers.  In my opinion, the most important survey question is the amount of time that people had put in for exam preparation.  The vast majority of those who passed stated that they spent many hours preparing for the exam.  Out of 1200 who took the test, 500 stated that they spent 25-100 hours in preparation with 118 of those passing, while 545 stated that they spent over 100 hours in preparation with 161 of those passing.  Thus, it is important that people understand the time commitment involved to pass the exam.  We will spend 40 hours in class time and you will have many hours of homework, particularly when we begin working on practice exams.  Thus, it is likely that you will end up close to 100 hours with class related work.

Due to an overwhelming response, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $100 from each person to ensure a spot in the class.

Payment can be made by check made payable to the Law Office of Paula M. Connelly or in the alternative, we will accept credit cards(Mastercard/Visa).

Checks should be mailed to the following address along with the attached reservation form

Law Office of Paula M. Connelly
100 World Trade Center
Suite 660
Woburn, MA 01801

Finally, a customs broker license is a valuable asset to anyone working in the international trade arena.  As you may know, the examination is difficult and the pass rate is often low.  Preparing for the examination itself involves a significant commitment of your time and effort and we hope that our classes will provide you with knowledge that will help you to pass the exam and will also help you in your career in international trade.

Please keep in mind that homework assignments will be given at every class and students should make every effort to complete the assignments and do the requisite out of class studying needed to pass the exam.  Merely attending the classes twice a week will not be adequate preparation for the exam.

If you have any additional questions, please contact me at your convenience.


The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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Our Address

Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly
100 Trade Center
Suite 660
Woburn, MA 01801