CBP Investigating Broker Exam Testing Conditions


On October 25, CBP administered the inaugural electronic version of its Customs Broker Licensing Exam and many applicants were subjected to unsatisfactory testing conditions. As news of the examination difficulties arose, the NCBFAA requested members provide feedback to both CBP and NCBFAA with their experiences. Difficulties test takers faced included:


  • Delays during the check-in process due to inadequate staffing, confusion about identification requirements and the assignment of login credentials

  • Slow system response – lag times of 30-45 seconds between questions

  • Frequent interruptions as proctors attempted to control the test environment by getting everyone to stop while they addressed the technical problems; applicants also found the frequent announcements confusing and distracting

  • Inability to check answers to previous questions due to the system freezing; lack of visibility to prior questions; loss of answers to previous questions when the system cut off.


In response to the issues raised above, a CBP representative stated, “You may be certain that we are investigating root causes and intend to provide fair and reasonable solutions to all involved.  Reaching the appropriate resolution is foremost to CBP and we are corralling all involved parties to ensure we have a full understanding of the situation at each exam location, their cause, actions required to resolve and methods of compensation.”


The NCBFAA has been a strong advocate of the effort to modernize the broker’s exam and we continue to support CBP’s efforts to deliver an electronic examination. While we are confident that CBP will thoroughly investigate this matter and identify the root cause of the systems issue, the NCBFAA is working with CBP to identify and implement appropriate remedial actions on an expedited basis.   



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