Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CBP to Launch Two Pilot Programs November 1, 2010

The Center of Excellence and Expertise (CDE) and Account Executive (AE) pilots are being launched to improve and strengthen CBP’s relationships with the trade and business partners.

The CEE pilot will work with the pharmaceutical industry to better facilitate trade and risk management practices for the industry. The group will explore opportunities to work with other government agencies involved in importation of pharmaceuticals. The AE pilot will work with partners in the electronics industry to facilitate trade and compliance with import requirements. One of the goals is to fine-tune the account-based approach for the low risk trade partners so that CBP can focus on the higher risk companies.

CBP will also use the online trade community to provide input. Click HERE to view Our Border, A Border Civic Network, the online group specifically mentioned in the announcement.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BIS Requests Comments on Understanding the EAR

The overhaul of U.S. export controls and the National Export Initiative “NEI” focus on expanding trade opportunities for SMEs created an opportunity for the Bureau of Industry and Security “BIS” to solicit information from various groups about their overall experience with the Export Administration Regulations “EAR”.

The BIS seeks comments from the public concerning small and medium enterprises’ “SMEs” understanding of and compliance with export controls relate to the EAR. The BIS will use this information to determine the need for changes that will improve the SMEs’ understanding of and compliance with the EAR, without inflicting undue burdens that affect their ability to be competitive.

The BIS invites comments that identify

·issues and makes recommendations regarding SMEs’ awareness and understanding of the EAR, as well as their experiences complying with the EAR;

·the principal challenges SMEs face in trying to comply with the EAR, including any challenges that SMEs uniquely face and approaches to overcoming these challenges.

·the value of current BIS outreach, education and counseling to SMEs in understanding and complying with the EAR;

·ways to improve or expand SMEs’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of the EAR and increase their capacity to comply with them; and

· data, including comparative international data, that support comments and recommendations related to items above; and that provide examples of effective methods of administering and enforcing export controls with special attention to SMEs.

Comments may be submitted by email, fax or mail by December 6, 2010.
Click HERE for information on how to submit comments.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trade News Summary

We’ve been so busy with the Customs Broker Exam for the last week; we thought it would be nice to catch up on some of the news outside of the exam.

CBP Announces ACE Webcast
As part of the ongoing ACE Outreach Events, CBP will host a free webcast about the Automated Commercial Environment on Wednesday October 27, 2010 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (EDT). CBP Executives will cover a variety of topics, including how ACE will impact your business, the short term priorities, as well as future of ACE, and CBP’s commitment to making ACE a reality for everyone.

To register, please click on the URL listed below to access the registration form:https://apps.cbp.gov/te_registration/?w=37

Don’t Lie to the BIS
Section 764.2(g) of the EAR prohibits persons from making false or misleading statements or concealing materials facts to the BIS, CBP or official of any other U.S. government agency. During an investigation, the CEO of a company allegedly told agents that he didn’t know a particular company was on the Denied Persons List; however, it was discovered that the company in question actually told the CEO they were on the list. The CEO was personally fined $52,000 for violation of 15 CFR 764.2(g). Don’t let this be you!

Public Citizen: New Trade Data Center Launched
As part of its Globalization and Trade area, Public Citizen launched the new Trade Data Center, a collection of searchable databases providing information on how various trade policies affect jobs, the community and more. Take some time to check out this collection of resources.

CBP Jobs
Just in case anyone is looking for a job, a quick scan of USAJOBS shows the need for quite a few people in the following positions. I don’t know about you, but if I were an auditor, I would be looking to into what I need to do to become an I.T. Specialist.

· Lead I.T. Specialist $102,721
· I.T. Specialist $71,674
· Telecommunications Specialist $57,408
· Management and Program Analyst $47,448
· Chemists $31,315
· Auditor $27,431

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 2010 Customs Broker Exam - Preliminary Answers

Determining potential answers for the broker's exam questions after the test is different in a few key ways from taking the test, but none is more key than the fact that we have more than four hours. That means that we can take the time to research as much as we need to in order to get the most accurate (though still unofficial) document possible to all of you. Our first attempt may have some mistakes, but they will be corrected as new updates are posted. With that said, we're not finished yet -- BUT we do have most of them completed.

Click here for the preliminary unofficial exam answers.

As always, remember that these answers represent only our opinion. The official answers will come from Customs and Border Protection in a few weeks and will be posted on their site. In other words, we probably answered the majority of the questions correctly, but these answers do not guarantee whether or not you've passed; it merely is presented as a helpful tool for broker students who are (quite understandably) eager to have any idea of where they stand.

If you would like to share your answers, explanations and comments, we invite you to post them as comments to this blog; however, we ask that comments be professional and to the point. We cannot respond to all of the comments, but this forum will provide you an opportunity to converse with each other. Remember, we do not have the official answers. You’ll have plenty of time to argue with CBP if you disagree with their answers.

Happy browsing!

P.S. We cannot post the questions because the copy we received had a lot of markings on it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pack Your Bags: The Custom Broker Exam Checklist

With the exam just a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack for the exam. You will use most of your resource materials up until the day before the exam, so it’s impossible to pack them in advance of the actual test. However, you can use the practical checklist we’ve created to make sure that you have everything on the list packed in your heavy-duty tote bag, large cardboard box or other container the night before the exam. If you are like most test takers, you may be a little nervous prior to the exam, so you don’t want to run the risk of forgetting something important or being late because you couldn’t find your calculator, pens or other materials. Packing everything on your checklist the night before will help you reduce unnecessary stress so you can relax.

Click HERE to view and print your Customs Brokers License Exam Materials Checklist. You can customize this list to add specific items that you plan take to the exam. No matter what you plan to take, make sure to use the checklist to ensure you have each item packed and ready to go the night before the exam. Remember, electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones are prohibited.

Wanted: October 4 Exam Copy
(We received a copy of the exam and hope to post preliminary answers Tuesday afternoon.)

In order for us to post “preliminary” answers for the exam, we need a copy of the exam as soon as possible on Monday afternoon. Do we have any volunteers to scan and email the test or fax it? Email would be best, but we’ll be happy with a fax too!

Email: andrew@boskage.com
Fax: 269-673-5901