Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 2, Part 1: Mastering Apprehension & Anxiety

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 1: Mastering Apprehension and Anxiety

Many students could take a lesson from those who have attempted the CBE and failed. With each succeeding attempt, the hidden problem of anxiety diminishes and the real work of study, memorization, and strategy formulation begins. Talk to someone who is about to take the test for the first time and the comments are most often sprinkled with apprehension, but those who have tried and failed make specific commitments: “The next time, I’m going to start studying earlier,” or, “The next time, I’m going to take more practice tests.”

If you probe deeply enough, there is little doubt that anxiety – and its detrimental effects on study habits and performance – is the single most common reason for failure to pass the CBE. No one goes into the CBE without some level of apprehension, no matter how experienced they are. A manageable level of apprehension can actually heighten mental prowess and result in improved test scores. Low-level apprehension can be beneficial as it can keep a student from becoming complacent.

For many, apprehension remains slight, sometimes virtually undetectable. For unfortunate others, however, apprehension evolves into anxiety. Anxiety is destructive; before it runs its course, anxiety can become completely debilitating. Therefore, its presence invites failure. In the clutches of anxiety, we tend to invent excuses for why we cannot succeed. We become ill. Sometimes we back out of the exam only days before we are due to take it, simply because of anxiety. By itself, it can destroy all other preparations, all methods of study, all abilities to use our carefully collected, hard-won knowledge.

The Results of Anxiety

• Anxiety causes us to invent sudden, additional responsibilities to avoid making a strong
• commitment to success. We leave ourselves an “out.”
• Anxiety causes us to procrastinate, avoiding the kind of intense study sessions necessary to pass the examination.
• Anxiety can make study time less effective.
• Anxiety can cause sleeplessness.
• Anxiety can cause us to back out at the last minute.
• Anxiety causes confusion and frustration in the examination room.
• Anxiety can cause us to avoid reaching out to knowledgeable people for help.

As you can see, anxiety can manifest itself in a myriad of subtle, unproductive ways. Once anxiety sinks in its claws, it is difficult to get rid of it – in many ways more difficult than fear. The reason is that fear in general is directed toward an object, like dogs, tall buildings, or airplanes. Confront or remove the object, and the fear generally disappears. This is not the case with anxiety. One must not conclude that by simply removing the object of anxiety, one will eventually destroy the negative emotion, because the “object” of anxiety is probably comprised of dozens of bits of information gathered in the course of our lives and (perhaps) bits of information given to us as a genetic “gift.”

Anxiety is not focused, as is fear, but is diffuse and therefore difficult to combat. Difficult, but not impossible, because like all emotions, anxiety is an emotion selected by us. We choose to be anxious as a response to feelings and thoughts. We cannot say that the object of anxiety is simply our fear of failure.

Failure in itself is not a direct object, but a collection of possible objects. Fear of failing the CBE carries with it dozens of implications of what our boss, friends, spouse might say or think of us, of our own self-doubts about our ability to succeed, of our personal esteem, and so on. We must learn to leave all of this out of the process of examination preparation.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Customs & Border Protection is Hiring!

Unemployed? Need a job? Customs & Border Protection is hiring!

To prepare for vacancies that will be created as the baby-boomer generation starts to retire in the next few years, Customs and Border Protection intends to hire approximately 11,000 people to fill positions in the variety of agencies that operate under its umbrella.

What kinds of jobs are available? CBP and the agencies reporting under their umbrella have a wide variety of careers available including student employment. Some of the job titles include:

· Border Patrol Officer
· CBP Officer
· CBP Agriculture Specialist
· Import Specialist
· Contract Specialist
· Intelligence Research Specialist
· Attorney

These jobs include the standard benefits such as health, dental and vision insurance, vacation days, holidays, paid training and more. Depending on the job, location and experience, pay rates for full time positions range from $30,000 to over $100,000 a year. Click HERE to learn more about the various positions. Additionally, you can learn more about the jobs, salary and requirements by checking the current job listings at USAJOBS, the official job site of the U.S. Federal Government.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 1, Part 5: Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 5 : Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety - Diet

Notes on Diet

In addition to physical activity, one school of thought believes that diet is particularly important, and would have you blasting your system with vitamin supplements while preparing for the test. It is true that a vitamin deficiency can affect you in a variety of negative ways, both physical and mental. However, in America we live in a boundless ocean of diverse foods, and hopefully we have been taught by our mothers to adhere to a balanced diet. If you really want to add something to your diet, you might try vitamins B6, B12, niacin, and/or magnesium supplements if you are habitually nervous; B1 might help your memory; calcium is suppose to relax you, as is pantothenic acid found in rice, beans, etc. Of course you can be analyzed by a reputable nutritionist capable of diagnosing vitamin deficiencies and who can recommend a good diet and vitamin supplement program. Some find that eating too much makes them drowsy and they perform under stress slightly better if they are somewhat, though not excessively, hungry.


To summarize what you can do physically:

1. Find out how much rest you need naturally.
2. Routinize your sleeping patterns.
3. Be wary of outside demands – real or imaginary – that seem to be suddenly infringing on your sleep time.
4. Consider sleeping aids if nothing else works.
5. Begin immediately to establish a routine of physical exertion.
6. Make certain your diet is balanced.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Customs Broker Exam Study Tip 3: Using Looseleaf and Bound HTSUS and Regulations

Let’s face it; the materials necessary to study for the Customs Broker Exam are burdensome. Who wants to carry around a bunch of big heavy books? While it’s possible to use online versions while studying, we don’t recommend that you make a habit of this practice. Why? Because you cannot use the online version of the Regulations or HTSUS on the day of the exam. You will also want to make notes in your materials and highlight key words, phrases and sections. Use the online versions after you’ve passed the exam or when you need a quick answer to a client question and you have the online version readily available.

Now that we’ve determined that printed versions are best, what are the options? There are three primary options, looseleaf, paperback (perfect binding) and coil bound.

The looseleaf version is bulky; however, it can be easily updated when supplements are issued quarterly for the Regulations and in summer for the HTSUS. The print is larger than other versions, making it easier to read. There is also more room for making legible notes in the margin. If you use the looseleaf version, make sure you purchase a good quality binder so the pages turn easily and do not fall out of the binder.

Looseleaf editions can also be used in a publication rack, which allows them to sit open on a desk. The pages tend to turn more easily with a publication rack, and the disadvantage of bulkiness is essentially negated. This makes publication racks a popular choice for exam day.

Paperback/Perfect Binding

The Regulations produced using perfect binding resemble smaller paperback versions of the loose-leaf version (The paperback HTSUS is the same size as the looseleaf). The cover is made from heavier paper and is glued together at the spine with strong flexible glue. These books are lighter and slightly less expensive than the loose-leaf versions; however, they cannot be updated. If you are going to use the book regularly and make notes in the book, these might not be the best options. However, if you are looking for a book that is easy to carry for quick reference, then the paperback edition would be an excellent choice.

Coil binding is commonly used for publications that are frequently opened so that the pages lie flat or back-to-back. Generally, binding is accomplished by punching holes along the entire length of the spine of the page and winding a wire through the holes to provide a fully flexible hinge at the spine. Coil bound versions are smaller and more lightweight than their looseleaf counterparts are (they are the same size as the perfect-bound). Coil binding is similar to looseleaf; however, the pages cannot be removed and they cannot be updated.

For persons taking the exam, we suggest that you consider the looseleaf book or a coil bound version. Both books are sturdy and the primary differences relate to the ability to update the looseleaf version versus the ease of carrying the coil bound version.

Click HERE to view the various binding options for the CBP Regulations.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 1, Part 4 : Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 4: Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety - Exercise

The Role of Exercise in Combating Anxiety

Still, there remain the waking hours. We have examined what happens physically when the body begins the anxiety cycle; when the body, by way of a generous imagination, prepares for important action by rehearsing failure. Your mind cries “wolf!” and your body prepares physically for the wolf. When the wolf cannot be found, your imagination invents it. Extra energy is summoned forth, and what happens to this energy? It seems that there is nothing to do, but we are consumed with the notion to do something.

Humans move energy from place to place, trying different circuits for action. We tend to believe that if energy is present in this form, there is a need for it, and the consequent energy generated from the onset of anxiety is no exception. We look fervently for the wolf. Not finding it, we plumb our energy to our imagination, which creates a kind of “wolf” for us. This increases our anxiety, of course, so we create more protective energy, which we dutifully plumb back to our imagination. The dreadful cycle has begun. Our imagination systematically becomes a cruel conjurer, whipping up tales of failure and woe for this excess energy to feed on. But what we must realize is that the greater the wolf, the greater the biological, energetic reaction to it.

One preventive measure for avoiding this cycle is physical exertion, which will employ the excess energy in less destructive ways. If you are typical of ninety-nine percent of the people who take the CBE, you probably spend the majority of your days in a sedentary manner. After all, the Customs brokerage business is not a particularly athletic one.

Your choice of physical activity and the degree of it are yours and will reflect your personal habits and character. Don’t overdo, but you might try pulling a few of the less important muscles.

I can promise that a routine session of physical activity, no matter how slight, will reduce the likelihood of more destructive uses of anxious energy. Additionally, a routine schedule of physical activity has the accompanying benefit of bolstering your confidence through improved self-image and greater discipline of your being.

And finally, while exercising, we become mentally preoccupied by the physical activity. I have been impressed by the mind’s ability to be enormously distracted by such things as breathing, perspiration, leg pain, muscle fatigue, and certain injustices to the feet, and to therefore forget such things as imagining yourself telling your boss that you failed the CBE. But again, the choice of physical activity is an individual one. If you have never exerted yourself physically, don’t try to repent suddenly now - you really could injure yourself. Talk to a doctor first and start slow. Even the simplest form of routine physical action is helpful.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are American Flags Made in America?

What is red, white and blue and made in China? Take a look at your American flag for the answer.

Although U.S. companies still dominate the flag market, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from other countries in 2006, mostly from China. On February 13, 2009, Rep. Dan Boren [D-OK] introduced the “Genuine American Flag Act”, H.R. 1082 which proposes a prohibition on the importation of American flags manufactured by foreign countries.

Several states already have laws containing various provisions from requiring American-made flags for use in schools and public offices to banning the sale of foreign-made flags in the state. While the proposed law may not meet with much opposition, it may violate international trade agreements with other countries. Current World Trade Organization policy states that products made in foreign countries cannot be treated "less favorably" than those made in the home market.

We want to hear from you. Do you think this bill violates the WTO policy? Do you think this bill pass even though it may violate an international trade agreement?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 1, Part 3: Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 3: Physical Techniques to Reduce Anxiety – Sleep Patterns

Having pointed out the importance of the CBE and subsequent license, it is relevant to discuss what can be done, from a physical standpoint, to reduce harmful anxiety. Anxiety is principally a mental phenomenon and functions as a mental detriment to performance, but it has physical qualities as well, and there are steps you can take to combat anxiety on a physical level. In this chapter, we will be discussing some common-sense actions one can take to physically fend off unproductive anxiety and physically prepare for the CBE.

Sleep Patterns
If I were helping my over-imaginative friend to pass the CBE today, I could offer ideas for avoiding a repeat performance. One of the first things I would suggest is that he routinize his sleeping patterns. He complained that certain demands kept him from sleeping regularly, but the fact is that one greatly reduces one’s chances of overcoming anxiety in a state of physical stress caused by lack of sleep or irregular sleeping patterns. Criteria for a routine sleep pattern are largely individual. All of us, for whatever biological or psychological reasons, need different amounts of sleep, but we should additionally admit that we need different amounts of sleep at different points in our lives. To determine how much sleep is sufficient for top mental performance at this particular point in your life, try this exercise: simply choose a regular time to retire each night, say 10:00, and then allow yourself to sleep undisturbed until you awaken naturally, without an alarm clock. Repeat this method for five days, and by the fifth day you should be able to average the number of hours spent in slumber each night, and arrive at a fairly realistic indication of your personal sleeping habits. Violate your sleeping requirements and you increase your chance of failure accordingly.

You may imagine, as my friend did, that demands from outside sources are suddenly infringing upon your sleep time. Carefully examine the circumstances that interfere with achieving routine sleep. It is highly probable that what appear to you to be legitimate reasons for not sleeping regularly are, in fact, inventions you yourself are creating as obstacles to success. If this seems to be happening, ask yourself: Am I really suddenly required to spend 12 hours a day at the office? Or am I preparing a case of justification for my predicted failure? Is there a correlation between the number of days left before the CBE and the increased demands on my time by outside sources?

If you seem to have an unresolvable conflict between the demands of preparing for the CBE and demands from outside sources, test the conflict by asking yourself if there is a course of action that you can take, no matter how difficult the action may seem, that will satisfy both demands.

It is true that certain personalities seem to have a compulsion for justifying failure in ways that are perceived to be acceptable to their peers, long before the failure occurs. One of their favorite tricks is to push themselves to the point of exhaustion due to seemingly unavoidable demands placed upon them by outside sources. They do not sleep. They drag themselves, hollow-eyed and stoop-shouldered, into the examination room on the verge of collapse. These people do sometimes succeed, but if they fail it is with the reassurance that their peers will see how unfairly they were beset by destructive and time-consuming demands.

All of this is calculated to avoid humiliation and to preserve the notion that they could have passed, had those outside demands not occurred.

One further note: be wary of too much sleep. It can be as detrimental as not having enough. Too much sleep may be symptomatic of depression or regression from the perceived demands of the upcoming test. Sleep too much and you’ll find your mind feeling fat, groggy, generally sluggish and unresponsive. The key is to “routinize” your sleep to the correct amount you require.

Most of all, pay special attention to the night before the CBE. If you are prone to sleepless nervous nights, you may want to consult your physician for a mild, sleep-inducing drug, or a natural supplement such as melatonin. If you do take this alternative, try the substance out a few weeks before the examination to check your mental preparedness the next day.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Customs Broker Exam Study Tip 2: Exam Study Aids

In our first study tip, we discussed the importance of obtaining all of the required resources that are necessary to take the exam. This study tip will focus on the various study aids and materials that will help you prepare for the exam.

The percentage of people who pass the Customs Broker Exam the first time is low, ranging from 3% to 25%. While it is possible to pass the Customs Broker Exam using only the required exam materials, most people find using a variety a supplemental materials and exam study courses significantly increases their potential of passing the exam. The use of additional study materials also improves comprehension and makes better use of limited study time.

Some people learn better by actually doing a task, while others need to read the instructions or hear the instructions. Determining your style of learning and how you learn the best is the key to studying for the exam. If you do not have time to go to lectures, you may prefer correspondence or online courses. If you comprehend better by hearing the information, you may prefer audio lectures or classroom instruction. You should seriously consider the time you have to commit to studying and your learning style when selecting study courses and training materials. We have listed just a few options for using supplemental study aids and courses here.

1. Past Exams
Taking the past exams is a good way to become familiar with the format and types of questions that appear on the test. Using past exams as a study aid also helps you learn the materials, boosts confidence, shows your progress, as well as areas that need improvement.

2. DVD's and CD's
If you want the convenience of learning at your own pace CD's and DVD's allow you to study from the comfort of your home or office and may be reviewed as often as you like. CD's provide audio which is great for listening to on your daily commute. The DVD's usually simulate a classroom environment but the advantage is that you can view the lectures at your convenience rather than commute to a class.

3. Online Study Courses
For students who want the convenience of studying at their own pace, online courses provide instruction, examples, quizzes and other tools that are usually available 24/7 and anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Boskage Commerce Publications offers a variety of courses, study plans and other materials designed to fit different learning styles, experience levels and needs of students. Click HERE to view a variety of materials and courses. Consider your learning style as you review each of these options. We sincerely believe you will find that one or a combination of several that fits your needs perfectly; however, we may be able to customize plans to fit your needs. Be sure to check out the Customs Broker Exam Room Guide, a perfect resource for regular study and use on test day. This coil bound book contains all CATAIR sections, Directives and miscellaneous resources that will be tested on the upcoming exam. The Guide also contains includes quick-reference fact sheets such as Incoterms, trade program indicators, types of appraisement, acronyms, CBP fees and more.

Stay tuned to the Boskage Trade News for more helpful hints on studying for the Customs Broker Exam! The next article will provide the pros and cons of using the loose-leaf version of the CBP Regulations. We also welcome any suggestions on topics you would like to see discussed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 1, Part 2: Hidden Cause of Failure

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 2: The Hidden Cause of Failure

Behind each of the five main reasons given for failure to pass the CBE lies an evasive culprit: the problem of anxiety. When students are asked why they failed, their answers fall into one or more of the five categories of causes. Discuss the problem further, and the problem of anxiety will nearly always surface.

Students enter the examination room on test day and find that the test is more difficult than they thought. They are surprised at the questions asked the level of knowledge required. “How could this be?” the student may wonder. In fact, tests change very little from year to year. The wording and format of questions may change, new questions are added to accommodate new Regulations, but the areas of law that are tested remain fairly consistent.

The reason students are surprised at the difficulty of the test often has to do with anxiety. When taking practice examinations, they simply were not honest with themselves when evaluating their study progress. To do so is to confront the fear of failure. To avoid accurately and honestly simulating the test in order to evaluate progress is to suppress the fear of failure or the anxiety over the possibility of failure.

Other reasons – that there was not sufficient time, that work or personal demands interfered – have a similar root in anxiety, or fear of failure.

The truth is that behind the justifications, the prevalent cause of failure is test anxiety that is present (in greater or lesser degrees) in all broker aspirants prior to and during the taking of the CBE. Such fear prevents a student from preparing properly prior to the examination, and can greatly impede the student’s test-taking ability during the actual time in the examination room.

Solve the problem of anxiety and you will greatly increase your chance of success, but the secret is to first recognize its presence. Simple anxiety, as opposed to acute or clinical anxiety, is a debilitating emotion, rather than a crippling one. In most cases, the presence of simple anxiety merely makes the effort at hand more difficult without actually bringing progress to a halt. It is for this reason that the first two chapters of this book are devoted to understanding the effects of anxiety and understanding ways to work toward overcoming those effects. Time spent with these two chapters will influence the degree of success you will have in learning from the other chapters.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, Ch. 01, Pt. 01: Causes of Failure

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 1: Why Most People Fail the Customs Broker Examination

The Customs Broker Examination (CBE) can be a long and arduous exam, generally 80 questions and four hours long. The test is given in a quiet examination room. Test takers are usually allowed a desk, a pencil, a calculator and printed material, including notes and reference materials.

Few people pass the CBE – a pass rate below 10 percent is not uncommon, and one higher than 20 percent is rare. That means that, on any given examination day, it is likely that out of ten students seeking a license, nine will leave the examination room without a passing score. But what is perhaps even more phenomenal is that of the 1 in 10 that are likely to pass, most have failed the test before. They pass on the second, third, or fourth attempts.

Causes of Failure, as Stated by the Student

There are perhaps as many reasons for failing the CBE as there are students attempting to pass. However, as you can see by looking at the most common reasons given for failure, there are some predictable problems:


Quite common for first time test takers who may, nearly on a whim, use one or two prior tests and a few hours of study as preparation for the CBE. Their first encounter is shocking and sobering at the same time. Typically, this student will decide that the test is either not passable or not worth the effort. For this student, the first attempt is often the last attempt. For a smaller percentage of those who fail the first time, the failure serves as motivation to take more time preparing: study harder, seek help, and take a lot more practice examinations without sneaking a peek at the answers (which gives a false sense of knowledge).

The best way for the student to gauge readiness for the CBE is to take several previous CBE's under controlled conditions. This means carefully timing the test-taking period and using only the resource materials allowed in the examination room when taking the practice test. If none of the practice scores are below 75 percent and the average score is in the 80-percent range, the student can walk confidently into the examination room on test day. Anything less is questionable preparation. If you have purchased this book as part of our Study Plan, the last six exams are available as part of our software.


This catchall excuse is really a variation of the above justification. “I didn’t have enough time to study” often means, “I didn’t realize how much study was involved.” Confront the difficulty of the CBE and you will either find the time for adequate preparation, or will simply retract the license application in anticipation of a time when more preparation time will be available. The test is so demanding that unless a student is prepared and able to allocate 100 or more hours of preparation toward study, drill, and memorization, the chances of success are very small.


When a student sits for the CBE, it is often at the request of an employer. Employer decisions often can lag behind need and are made as a result of an existing problem instead of being made in anticipation of a problem. Hence, at a time when the company is increasing business or broadening its services, the employed student must allocate additional time to prepare for the CBE. This two-hammered demand is a common element in failure.


Because a number of months must be dedicated to preparing for the CBE, and because few students can exclusively devote their time to preparation, personal demands frequently interfere. True failure of this kind is rare, however, and this justification for failure serves most often as a comforting excuse.


The final cause of failure is the least-often admitted: that the materials themselves – the U.S. Customs Regulations, related trade and tariff acts, and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) – were simply too difficult for the student to comprehend. Soon after reviewing the material, most students conclude that it is the volume of material, not the level of difficulty, that impedes comprehension. Most students believe that if they can find the time and materials to help them prepare, they can pass the test. The few students who cite reason number five as the cause of failure are often students for whom English is a second language or those who are far removed from school and therefore are not accustomed to study and testing.

But there is another cause of failure, one that is rarely stated, and one that, once comprehended, can be avoided.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Customs Broker Exam Study Tip 1: Required Resources

Now that you have made the decision to take the October Customs Broker Exam, it is important develop a study plan that guarantees your chances of success. Boskage wants to help you achieve your goal of passing the exam; therefore, we are starting a series of articles to support you on your journey to success! Our first topic in this series focuses on exam resources.

The first step in your plan should be acquiring the required texts and study materials. These materials come in two categories, “required” and “study aids”. Required materials are those that students must have because questions on the exam have been selected from these sources. CBP lists the required materials in the Notice of Examination. The required materials are listed below and you should obtain them now if do not already have them. All of the required materials can be purchased from Boskage Commerce Publications.

Required Exam Resources
1. Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2008 version - Supplement 1)

2. Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (revised as of April 1, 2008 Parts 0 to140, 141 to 199 and 200 to End) (no supplements)

3. Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR)

• Appendix B - Valid Codes
• Appendix D - Metric Conversion
• Appendix E - Valid Entry Numbers
• Appendix G - Common Errors
• Appendix H - Census Warning Messages
• Appendix L - Drawback Errors
• Glossary of Terms

4. Instructions for Preparation of CBP Form 7501 (8-30-2005)

5. C-TPAT - Minimum Security Criteria for Customs Brokers (3-20-2007)

6. Submission Changes for Supplemental Information Letters and Post Entry Amendments

7. CBP Directives

• 3510-004, Monetary Guidelines for Setting Bond Amounts
• Amendment to 3510-004 for Certain Merchandise Subject to Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Cases
• 3550-055, Instructions for Deriving Manufacturer/Shipper Identification
• 3550-067, Entry Summary Acceptance and Rejection
• 3550-079A, Ultimate Consignee at time of Entry or Release
• 3560-001A, Census Interface-Processing Procedures
• 5610-002A, Standard Guidelines for the Input of Names and Addresses Into Automated Commercial System (ACS) Files

Note: The use of any versions of the listed references other than those recommended is at the applicant's own risk.

Seeing this list of resources on paper and as a stack of documents on your desk can seem quite overwhelming. We’ll discuss organization of your materials in an upcoming article. Stay tuned to the Boskage Trade News for more helpful hints on studying for the Customs Broker Exam! The next article will cover the second category of exam resources, the “Exam Study Aids”. We also welcome any suggestions on topics you would like to see discussed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coming Soon: Boskage Book Club

Boskage Trade News is excited to announce a groundbreaking new blog series, which will feature excerpts of popular international trade publications from Boskage Commerce Publications. The book we choose will be serialized, and when we're done, a very large portion of the selected book will be available for you on the blog for free!

Since we are approaching the time of year when trade professionals begin their study for the Customs Broker Exam, the first book we discuss will be The Customs Broker Examination by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. Each Tuesday and Thursday starting on February 10, we will post short sections from our selected book for our readers to enjoy. We encourage you to provide feedback and discuss this with other readers. Of course, our very own Wizard will be on hand to answer questions related to the posted materials.

Join us on Tuesday for our first “meeting” of the Boskage Book Club!