Washington, DC: The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) recently announced the startup of its long-awaited Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) Program with the on schedule launch of its Education Director platform. With this Internet-based education delivery system in place, anyone with one year of US customs industry experience may enroll between now and startup of the 2006 CCS certification distance-learning course, available in hard copy and on disk, which will run from January to November 18.

To encourage participation in the program, the NCBFAA is offering each of its Regular and Affiliate Members an opportunity to save $300 on one registration per firm. At the conclusion of the 2006 course, the NCBFAA will refund $300 to each NCBFAA member firm that had at least one employee complete the course.

In addition, under a Grandfather option, any Licensed Customs Broker, regardless of NCBFAA membership, may register through this site as a CCS until December 31, 2006. To maintain their designation, these grandfathered Licensed Customs Brokers, like all CCS designates, will have to fulfill the program’s continuing education requirements beginning in 2007 and pay the renewal fee of $95.

‘As in most professional fields, the rules of the game are not static, they are in a constant state of flux; the Customs Brokerage field is no exception,’ said NCBFAA President Federico Zuniga. ‘The CCS program is our attempt to keep the people, involved in our profession, updated on the changes being made to the regulations, which affect our industry.’

‘US Licensed Customs brokers will stay updated on all the new changes to the regulations used to govern the importation of international trade,’ he added, ‘while people involved in the movement of international trade will be made aware of the complex nature of moving goods over international borders.’

“The Certified Customs Specialist program reflects the commitment of NCBFAA to its members and of its members to professional development.’ NCBFAA Customs Committee Chairman Ken Bargteil said. ‘Knowledge is the cornerstone of customs brokerage, and with the CCS initiative NCBFAA will provide both a reliable learning resource and a hallmark certification for successful candidates.’

‘The cost to participate in the CCS program has been kept low,’ Mr. Bargteil noted, ‘to ensure that every individual with an interest to improve their knowledge of customs business has the means to do so.”

The NCBFAA CCS qualification is destined to become the new standard in the customs marketplace ’ recognized, and demanded, by those who use brokerage services throughout the country. This distance education course is paper based with an on-line component and designed for the adult learner who is interested in pursuing a career where customs knowledge is essential and where recertification has both personal and professional value and recognition.

In addition to a detailed review of the basic steps involved in US Customs clearance transactions (Reporting of Goods, Release of Goods, Accounting for Goods, Payment of Duties and Taxes and Recordkeeping), students will be taught the following:

  • The principal acts involved in the importation of goods
  • Customs Brokers licensing requirements and agency agreements
  • The US Harmonized Tariff Classification System
  • Tariff treatments and trade agreements
  • Valuation and Classification
  • Informed Compliance
  • Assessment of Duties
  • Marking of Imported Goods
  • Drawback and refunds
  • Special Requirements
  • Antidumping and Countervailing Duties
  • Foreign Trade Zones
  • Recordkeeping

Those who recertify as a CCS annually will demonstrate their ongoing commitment to professional development and the high quality of service expected from those with the CCS designation. Timely, complete information is critical to the Certified Customs Specialist and this NCBFAA program will provide these individua