Broker Known Importer Program (BKIP)


The Broker-Known Importer Program is an NCBFAA initiative accepted by CBP.  BKIP is focused on the unique relationship between a customs broker and importer clients.  This program allows a customs broker to inform CBP that the importer on an entry is known to the customs broker and that the customs broker has advised the importer of their compliance responsibilities pertaining to the customs regulations.  CBP can consider this relationship when conducting cargo risk segmentation. 



The BKIP institutes a process whereby licensed customs brokers can voluntarily indicate on an entry-by-entry basis that the importer is known to them.  This referral gives CBP information about importers that is used by CBP for cargo risk segmentation. This indicator informs CBP that the importer is aware of the customs regulations applicable to importers even though they may not have chosen to participate in other Trusted Trader programs. ACE functionality for the transmission of the BKIP indicator was deployed in January, 2015 which allows brokers to flag known importer participants at entry.


Participation in BKIP brings value to all parties involved.  It creates a framework and discipline where brokers and clients talk about their import programs in the context of import regulations.  These conversations increase the importer’s compliance understanding and enhance the communication between broker and client. This interaction between the importer and the broker enhances entry accuracy and leads to the discovery of additional business opportunities for the broker.  Importers also benefit from the knowledge and the strengthened relationship with their broker. With the BKIP indicator factoring into CBP’s cargo risk segmentation, the importer also benefits from improved cargo targeting by CBP at the time of arrival.  CBP benefits by obtaining additional information about the importer from a trusted source. 


BKIP was designed to be easily implemented by brokers.


Here is what you need to do.


  1. Identify Known Importer Clients
  • Review your existing client base and create an implementation plan for clients you will implement with first
    • Existing clients could be sorted a variety of ways including volume, closeness of relationship, longevity of client contacts, etc. 
  • Review your current process for new clients and add the BKIP to your onboarding process
    • Individual factors will determine when you choose to go execute the process and transmit the indictor per client
  • Contact target clients, explain the program and determine their interest
    • Develop list of clients with whom you will proceed
  1. Document that the Client is Known to you
    • Adopt the NCBFAA interview guide or develop a similar guide
      • Review the interview guide with the client
      • Record the responses, date, participants
      • Retain records of your discussions with the client
      • Establish a timeline for periodic review
    • Assemble internal records which evince the relationship you have with the importer and prove that you have discussed import regulations and compliance with the client
      • Retain records of your discussions with the client
      • Establish a timeline for periodic review
    • Get approval [or refusal] from the client to commence transmission of the BKIP indicator
  2. Initiate entry indicator transmissions
  • Meet with your ABI software vendor to ensure that they have programmed the BKIP indicator
  • Determine internal process for when you intend to transmit or not transmit the indicator
  • Add the BKIP indicator to your internal entry audit program

NATIONAL CUSTOMS BROKERS & FORWARDERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC. Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.   Powered by MemberMax