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CBP Seeks Applications for Broker Continuing Ed Accreditors, Due March 7

CBP is now accepting applications to become approved accreditors of customs broker continuing education activities under a recent final rule that requires brokers to complete 36 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their licenses (see 2306220036).

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The agency’s request for proposals, published Feb. 6 and announced via a CSMS message the following day, says applications for accreditor status are due by March 7 at 4 p.m. EST. “The accreditor(s) ultimately chosen by CBP will receive, review, and provide decisions to education providers on whether their offerings will be eligible for the new continuing education credits requirement,” CBP said.

CBP included in the request for proposals a document that details application requirements, including the criteria upon which applications will be evaluated. The agency had issued a request for information in September that sought input into the criteria CBP would use to select accreditors (see 2309080081).

The final selection criteria include that at least one “key official” in the applicant’s “organization” holds an individual customs broker license. The applicant must also demonstrate knowledge of customs and trade laws and practices, as well as of other U.S. government agencies that are involved in trade.

The application must include a description of the applicant’s process for handling accreditation requests, which must use “a secure online (web-based) repository,” CBP said. Five references must be provided, and any potential conflicts of interest disclosed. Potential accreditors must acknowledge that they may only charge education providers “up to $100 per course/activity submission (e.g., a single webinar).”

Applicants also must provide “professional resumes for the key personnel who will be involved in accrediting course work" and, “at a minimum, a resume for the qualifying license holder.” Applicants must also “make clear that they have personnel capable of maintaining and managing the online repository.”

“Failure to address or otherwise meet all Application Evaluation Criteria … may be grounds for removal of an application from further consideration,” CBP said.

The document also details the format that applications should take, including sections for a capabilities statement, prior experience in managing similar efforts, a project management plan and key personnel qualifications, along with page limits for each section. Applications should be sent by email to, CBP said. “Applications sent to individual CBP employees will not be accepted.”

The request for proposals also includes a sample of an accreditation agreement, which must be returned to CBP 15 days after a potential accreditor is informed that their application has been accepted. The agreements will last for three years from the date they are signed, CBP said.

According to the agreement, “immediately following execution” of the agreement, selected accreditors will work with CBP and potentially other accreditors “to draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that all CBP-selected accreditors will be expected to follow when providing accreditation services to third-party requestors.”

CBP said in the draft agreement that it expects the initial startup period will take three months from the signing of each agreement, though more time may be required based on the status of the accreditor’s “progress toward meeting the additional responsibilities and expectations” outlined in the text. Accreditors will still meet with CBP regularly after the startup period to make revisions to the standard operating procedures and policies “as needed.”

The draft agreement says accreditors will have to give education providers a response, either approval or rejection, within four business days of the education provider’s submission of a course.