Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Customs Broker Exam Pass Rate - 20.6%

For all of you who have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting on the results of the April 2008 Customs Broker Exam, CBP expects to have the answers posted their web site some time this week. CBP will start mailing letters at the end of this week, so you should start camping out by your mailbox next Monday.

The pass rate for this exam was 20.6%, which is higher than the 9.2% on the October exam. We’ll be watching the CBP web site for the answers so we can provide an updated list of correct answers and a list of potential protest questions. For those of you who purchased the Boskage Study Plans that included the detailed exam commentary, we’ll be completing that information and posting it as soon as possible after the official exam results are posted.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

One Quick question.
Does CBP call people who passed their exam to notify prior to send the letters out?
I know CBP did make phone calls last year.

distraught said...

Answers are posted on the CBP site now.

http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_programs/broker/broker_exam/exam_and_key_downloads/

I can't really say I'm too happy about the official answers. The trade agreement questions really killed.

Anonymous said...

Answers for the April 2008 exam are posted in CBP's website. Note that answers for questions 40, 57 and 62 do not match the Wizard's answers. I have to appeal atleast 2 of them to pass.

Anonymous said...

The answer key for April 2008 exam is posted to the CBP website.

Wizard said...

According to CBP, the letters will be mailed starting at the end of this week - "as fast as they could stuff the envelopes." They did not mention calling anyone. Who received a phone call? The Wizard knows of an applicant who received a call after protesting a question, but cannot imagine that CBP would have the manpower to call everyone.

Wizard said...

Comment to "Must Appeal 2 Questions"

Could you appeal Questions 45 and 61?

Yes, the Wizard was torn between two answers on Questions 6 and 40, but at least the winning answer was among the two. Of course, that wouldn't work on the exam and the Wizard would have had to take a guess and select one of them! The Wizard was thrilled to have only missed three of those six horrible trade agreement questions (#57, 61 and 62) and wishes CBP or one of our blog readers would explain them.

Anonymous said...

I went 1 for 6 on the trade agreement questions. Those were a joke. Can anyone explain 61 & 62? The answer for 61 makes no sense to me. If silk fabric is cut and sewn in SG, doesn't that make the tariff shift? Also 62 should be A in my opinion. Someone needs to protest!!

Anonymous said...

My co-worker received a call today from CBP that she passed. Just FYI...

Anonymous said...

Can you provide a list of protestable questions? Do you think that there will be any throw away questions?

Anonymous said...

Can you list all protestable questions?

Anonymous said...

Customs in Charlotte just called me. They asked me to verify the last 4 of my SSN and then she said Congrats, you passed your exam!! My score was an 81 (first time test taker)

So... Customs CLT is calling with results...

Wizard said...

Comment - Protest Questions

The Wizard might consider protesting questions 45 and 61. Check back here and in the comment area for the article announcing the "potential" results. Maybe other bloggers will post their suggestions. Maybe you could get together and draft a protest that each of you could submit.

Anonymous said...

Wizard, do you think question 64 is protestable?

Anonymous said...

I received a call from CLT customs yesterday informing me that I passed (88), first time taker. They said that the letters were taking longer than expected to send, but they were allowed to call those who passed and inform them that they would receive their application packets before receiving the actual passing letter.

Wizard said...

Comment - CBP Phone Calls

That's great that some of the CBP offices are taking the time to call people. Sounds like Charlotte might be the place to take the exam! For the rest of you who have not received a phone call, do not be discouraged. Not receiving a call doesn't mean you didn't pass. Some offices might have time to make the calls, but others may not have the staff to do it. Just look for those letters in the mail!

Wizard said...

Comment - Protest of #64

Is Question 64 protestable? Yes and No. The Wizard could argue with a fence post and believes that looking at problems from all sides makes for the best arguments. If you think you can present a convincing argument that your answer is better or as good as CBP's answer, then you should go for it. However, do not count on CBP approving any protest. Continue to study for the next exam. People have passed on protests, but many protests are denied. Maybe you can communicate with others to create a great argument for Question 64. Then you could all submit that argument for your protest.

Anonymous said...

I received my pass notice in the mail on Sat., but no phone call prior to that.

Anonymous said...

CBP's officer from New York/Newark port contacted me on Friday and informed that I have passed the exam with a score of 92.5% for first-time test-taker. On the same day, I received a mail notification from CBP.

Anonymous said...

I'm in LAX, and I still haven't received my letter, anyone else in LAX who hasn't received their letter?

Wizard said...

Comment to "Passed with 92.5"

Congratulations! That's a great score for a first time!

Would you like to share your thoughts on some of the trade program questions that have most of the bloggers stumped?

Anonymous said...

I got the same answers as wizard did on 57, 61, 62. If there is a good explanation or if this can be appealed that would give me a passing score!! My score was 71.25 by the way.

Wizard said...

Comment to Bloggers

Be sure to check out some of the comments being made to the posting of potential exam answers on April 8th blog! You may find some information that will be useful in a protest or to explain why one answer is better than another.

Anonymous said...

I got 22 wrong, does anyone can help me out to find protestable questions?

Wizard said...

Comment to "Got 22 Wrong"

Check out the comments made under this article and in the one published on April 8 (Potential Results of the Exam). The Wizard has provided a few potential questions and other bloggers have mentioned a few more. Write and submit your protests, but don't stop studying for the next exam. It's not likely you will receive a response from CBP until several days before the next exam, if even that soon.

Anonymous said...

If protest is acceptable, all other people who took a test will get corrected or only person who protest will get an approve?

Wizard said...

Comment to "Protest Credit"

Only the people who protest questions will be given credit if CBP decides their protest has merit. Let's look at an example.

John Doe protests Question 1 because CBP stated the answer was "A" and he argued that "B" was a better answer. CBP agreed with his argument and grants him credit. CBP would not automatically give everyone credit. Each person must file their own protest with CBP in order to obtain credit.

Anonymous said...

I have been told that customs sometime throws out questions after the send out the resaults. I know a broker that when he recieve his results he had missed it by 4 question. Wile preparing his protest, customs through out 3 of those questions and he protested 1 and thats how he passed the test.

Anonymous said...

Need 2. I need two question. If anyone wants to share there reasoning for protesting feel free. I think the following question are protestable.12(a)16(d)39(b)40(b)44(e)45(b)50(d)57(e)59 (c)61(b)62(a).Ok seriously.12 39 40 44 45 62. what i listed above were other question I missed. If anyone can help me reasoning I willing to listen. Wizard what do u think

Wizard said...

Comment to "Needs 2 Questions"

You might stand a chance with 40, 44, 45 and 61. Protest them, hope for the best, but continue to study for the next exam. While many people do pass based on protests, many more count on them and are disappointed. The Wizard could argue with a fence post, so some of the arguments might be a little "off the wall". Take a look and see if you can come up with some additional information that will make your appeal a "winner". When you receive a response, please post and let us know how you did!

Q40: A possible argument for allowing both A and B to be correct answers is the lack of information provided in both answer selections.

Q44: Ruling HQ 964502 provides a detailed explanation of how to classify this product; however, examinees do not have access to these rulings in the exam room.

Using the ruling itself as an example and some of the specific language of the ruling might add some weight to the protest. The argument could be made that the examinee did not have enough information available to make the correct decision.

45: Answer A appears to be the best answer since the commercial invoice provided states that the goods are not subject to antidumping or countervailing duties. In a real transaction, the invoice would be reviewed for accuracy and anything that appears to be questionable would be researched. This demonstrates reasonable care by the broker. A statement concerning “antidumping” on a commercial invoice would be a red flag to a conscientious broker. Consulting one of several sources available, the broker would find that at the time of the April 2008 exam, frozen shrimp from Vietnam were subject to an antidumping case (A552-080). Be sure to cite some credible sources that show antidumping for the shrimp.

Q61: The fabric was knit in China, cut and sewn in Singapore. The goods did change from silk fabric (CH50) knit in China to the pullover (CH61). The goods appear to meet the tariff shift required by GN 25(o) 61/59; “a change to 6109 through 6111 from any other chapter…. provided the good has cut (or knit to shape) and sewn or assembled in Singapore…. These goods were cut and sewn in Singapore and appear to meet the tariff shift requirements, so Answer A should be incorrect.

Since the goods make the tariff shift, they should be considered country of origin Singapore which eliminates Answer B ; however, the goods were cut and sewn in Singapore. We are not provided with information that the goods were “knit to shape” in Singapore. Therefore, there does not appear to be a correct answer.

Anonymous said...

So for Question #44, if you throw out the answer Customs gave would D be the best answer without the ruling?

Anonymous said...

Wizard I am disputing. I need just 1. I came up with A for62. Do you think I have a chance in disputing this one

Wizard said...

Comment - Question 44

For a protest, one could argue Answers C, D and E could be correct. Should the salsa be considered “other tomato sauces”, a “tomato-based” preparation for sauces or other sauces? Without additional resources such as CROSS Rulings and the Explanatory Notes, it is very difficult to determine an accurate answer.

Wizard said...

Comment to Question 62

A helpful blogger posted an explanation for Question 62 in the other article that was posted on April 8. Check out that explanation. Absent that information, the Wizard would have made the argument that the Indian fabric might disqualify the goods since GN 29(n) 62/12 requires a change to subheadings 6203.31 through 6203.33 from any other chapter except headings 5204 through 5212. The cotton fabric from India is classified under 5208 - 5209 which means it didn't make the tariff shift. Don't gamble on getting this one approved. Scan this blog and the one from April 8 to see if you can come up with another question or two to protest. If you file three good ones, your chances of getting one approved might be better.

Anonymous said...

wizard
is this a good protest
Question 44, which read as follows:

What is the CLASSIFICATION of the salsa?

2002.90.8050
2005.91.9700
2103.20.4020
2103.90.9051
2103.90.9091


1. Country of Origin: Mexico
Salsa: Ingredients - Tomato puree,
peppers (jalapeno, ancho, cascabel), vinegar,
onions, garlic, salt, cottonseed oil, bay leaves,
and spices. 10000 pieces 0.35 USD $3500
PN: HOTSAUCEFI
One pound jar

The answer sheet states C Chapter 21 ; HQ Ruling 964502.
I have reviewed both sections and chapter note and I did not see anything referring to salsa.
According to CFR 141.87(d) - invoice is to be in English hence the word "salsa" in the dictionary relates to dance and not "sauce". This word is a "Spanish" word for the English word for sauce. For this reason the word and/or invoice is not expectable, therefore you would continue the classification based upon the ingredients which the percentage of ingredients are not broken out, in this opinion would be classified as E 2103.90.9091 or the question should be eliminated based on the above reg.
As you see the ingredients are not broken out so there no way i can use gri 1 2(a)(b). 3(a)(b) so I would have to use 3(c) which would be 2103909091.
Also I will have to question the way the preparer came to his answer.
Here are the reference’s Custom states the information for the exam will be written from.

Anonymous said...

Possible Protest for Question 3: "When one of the units of quantity is underlined for merchandise found in chapters 50 through 63 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, the______"

C. underlined quantity is the only reporting quantity that is required to be reported
This is ALSO a correct answer because the question asks: WHEN ONE OF THE UNITS OF QUANTITY IS UNDERLINED. Argument: The question very specifically refers ONLY to the unit of quantity that is UNDERLINED. If a unit of quantity IS underlined, then it IS the ONLY REPORTING QUANTITY that is REQUIRED to be REPORTED! Answer C is a valid and true response to the question, because the question ONLY asks about the underlined quantity, period, and it is the UNDERLINED quantity that is required to be reported!

Anonymous said...

When does everyones official answer keys get mailed out? Was wondering since I heard we have to send it in with our protests.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the argument for "SALSA" not being an English word will work. The Dictionary definition is: sal·sa (säls)
n.
1. A spicy sauce of chopped, usually uncooked vegetables or fruit, especially tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, used as a condiment.
2. Music A popular form of Latin-American dance music, characterized by Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Cuban big-band dance melodies, and elements of jazz and rock.

Thesaurus definition is: Noun 1. salsa - spicy sauce of tomatoes and onions and chili peppers to accompany Mexican foods condiment - a preparation (a sauce or relish or spice) to enhance flavor or enjoyment; "mustard and ketchup are condiments" .

I would persue the argument that the HQ Binding Rulings are not part of the reference materials for the exam, so the question should be credited as the examinee would not have the necessary information to obtain the answer that CBP states is correct.

Wizard said...

Comment - Exam Protest Contents

Thank you to all of the bloggers who have submitted various questions and potential arguments for protests. There may be postings in this blog that will help you in writing your protest. As stated in the blog disclaimer on the main page, the information posted is not to be considered legal advice. Remember to prepare your own protest using your own words and any legal support you find in the CBP Regulations, HTSUS and other CBP resources. The protest should include all of the required information listed by CBP and be written using the professional demeanor expected from a potential licensed broker. Consider having someone you work with or a friend review your letter for spelling and grammar errors before submitting it. View the link below containing the information CBP requires for submitting a protest. Good luck to everyone!

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_programs/broker/broker_exam/how_to_appeal.xml

tere said...

Any chance that Customs will change their answers or throw out questions after they have sent out the results letters?

Wizard said...

Comment to Tere

The only way to pass the exam at this point is to file an appeal in compliance with all of the requirements. File an appeal and start studying for the next test. That's probably not the answer you wanted to hear, but we wouldn't want you to be disappointed or waste time waiting on CBP to announce they were allowing another answer. Filing an appeal or taking the test again are the only options after the results are posted. It's better to file the best appeal(s) you can and continue to study. The Wizard doesn't know how many you missed, but if you are two or three short of passing, you should be able to come up with some great arguments for an appeal. Take a look at some of the comments here and on the blog posted around April 8. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I want to take the Oct exam and with no experience. What study material should I use to past the exam.

Boskage Staff said...

Annonymous -

You definitely need the Required Testing Material, which is what the government tests you on. You can't pass without this.

I also strongly suggest you pick up a preparation course. All our listed courses contain the same curriculum and materials; the only question is if you want printed books, online access or both.

Click the banner on the right side of the screen for more information about the Required Testing Material and our Preparation Courses.

Robb said...

Wizard,

I received a call from CBP today wanting to set up an "interview" for my brokers license. Any idea what questions they will ask or what it will be about?

Wizard said...

Comment to Robb
I hope others who have been through this process more recently will respond to you too. They'll ask some basic questions about your jobs, residences, references and drug usage. Depending on who does your interview, they may or may not be looking for information that they do not directly ask you. For example, when you give them your home address, they may go talk to all of the people who live around you. You may not have provided the agent with the names of your neighbors, but that doesn't mean they won't go talk to them. Be calm and honest. Remember, lying is grounds for not getting your license or having it revoked! I sat through an interview with and agent an employee who had passed the exam. The agent was very straightforward in his questions. Just the basics and no surprises. He ended up being more interested in getting information on our company and looking around than he was in talking to my employee about her license. Just be honest and don't worry; the hardest part is behind you!

Anonymous said...

I applied for license about 2 months ago. how long does the process take at the port of ny? is there anything i can do to speed up the process?

Wizard said...

Wizard to "Applied for License"

What I've heard from other ports is that it may take up to a year for you to see that license. Hopefully, someone from the NY area will respond to you with more specific information.

city4601 said...

Has anyone who passed the April 08 exam been contacted for their interview yet ?? I handed in my application on May 13th, 2008 and still have not heard from the office of investigations... It's a bit frustrating because there is not much I can do other than speak to my port's broker relations office... I filed for my license in the port of Newark.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone comment on what the timeline or process that CBP will perform that will give some hint as to where they are in the reviewing process after a person has submitted their application for their Customs Broker License? Also can anyone comment for the port of New York/New Jersey?

Seems as though NY/NJ are taking really longer than usual.

Anonymous said...

I passed the April 2008 exam. Submitted my application in October of 2008. Was contacted by Customs for an inter view January 25, 2010. They said I will probably need to wait another month for that to process. I'm hoping its sooner.

Has anyone been denied a license?

What are grounds for denial after your interview??