Customs Permits – What Does It Mean to Leave It As Is?

The subject of permitting is surrounded in confusion.  While there appears to be strong sentiment to keep the current system, that really is not an option.  To put it simply, the current system provides for both district permits and a national permit.  Until now, most customs brokerage firms have found it necessary to have both.  The national permit allows for remote location filing, and for firms that want to file in multiple districts, district permits were needed for entries that could not be filed RLF.  That is what stands for, “keep it as it is,” but that is not possible.  Soon, very soon, in less than two years the district permit will become a wholly irrelevant artifact in the regulations.

As ACE moves toward completion, there will be no entries that cannot be filed RLF.  Customs brokerages will be able to file at all ports for all types of entry on the basis of a national permit.  That is the inevitable end state of the “as is” situation.  Without some change to what is on the books, by November 2015 a customs brokerage firm will be able to operate nationally on the basis of one permit and one individually licensed customs broker.  That will be the benchmark for permits.  The question is, how well does this “as is” condition serve our profession, our members, the individually licensed customs broker, CBP, our importer clients, and the American consumer?  What will it mean to these stakeholders when all that is required by law and regulation to offer national customs brokerage services is a single permit supported by a single licensee?

CBP has confirmed that they are not looking into making any changes in the immediate future but the NCBFAA wants to be proactive and begin discussions now to allow comments, ideas and concerns from all its members to be received and reviewed. The association has to manage this process methodically, with input from all to ensure our proposal on “permitting” maintains the professionalism that our customers and government agencies demand. Everyone has the right to send a letter to whomever they want, but the NCBFAA and NEI need you to comment directly to us if we are to represent the industry with a unified voice.

With that in mind, please send any comments to or use the following form:

This blog post was written by Kenneth Bargteil, Chairman of the NEI Committee. 

It’s an Exciting Time to Get Involved!


In a little over a week, we will be kicking off the festivities at the 40th Annual NCBFAA Conference in Summerlin, NV.  Aside from being the 40th Annual Conference in the association’s history, it is sure to be a memorable one. If you’re wondering what exciting things are in store, please read on!

  • We will be hosting our NEI Committee Meeting on April 4th, celebrating the progress made in the last two years under the outstanding leadership of Chairman Ken Bargteil.
  • Yesterday, we were honored to host a webinar with outgoing NCBFAA President Darrell Sekin and Customs Chair Mary Jo Muoio on the topic of Customs Brokers Permits: Where We Are and We Are Going.  We had approximately 400 people on the call, clearly proving that this is a very important issue in the industry.  The discussion of this topic will carry on to the conference itself.
  • Finally, the highly anticipated Thursday Workshop will be capping off the conference with panels on topics such as BPO, Export Control Reform, FTAs, etc.

Aside from providing attendees the means to update themselves with the ongoing matters of the industry, it is a great opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones.   So if you are someone who has been standing on the sidelines, we encourage you to get involved!  If you don’t know where to start, we recommend attending the Thursday workshop to get a taste this year and hopefully, it will open more doors for you.  We can’t stress enough what an exciting time it is to be a part of this important and expanding profession.

See you in Summerlin! Also, make sure to stop by the NEI booth to connect, get information, and sign in for your CCS/CES credits!

New Year of Opportunities

It’s our first post of 2014 and it may be late but we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  It is indeed a happy new year because 2014 for the NEI will be an exciting year.  We have many wonderful educational opportunities in store for you, please do allow us to give you a sneak preview!

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We’re kicking off the year with 2014 CCS/CES renewals.  It is exciting to see our CCS and CES communities dramatically grow.  This is thanks to you and your continuing effort to refer your colleagues to our programs.   If you have any questions about renewals, please contact us at

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On deck for webinars, we have the FDA’s FSVP webinar on January 14.  Note that this was originally scheduled in December 2013 but was rescheduled due to the Federal Offices closing on a winter storm day.   Join our two speakers from FDA as they discuss the FSVP and third-party proposed rules, and answer any questions you may have on the proposed regulations.  Also, we are partnering with our friends at Avalon Risk Management to host a webinar on ISF Updates from CBP happening January 22.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to submit your ISF questions so they can be answered by CBP at a Headquarters level.


Finally, the 40th NCBFAA Annual Conference is just around the corner!  If you’re attending, make sure you take some time to check out the program for Thursday’s Workshop Day.  We have exciting topics such as Intellectual Property Rights, Export Control Reform and more!


So as you can see, it’s going to be a busy but a great year.  Most importantly, we are happy that you can join us in continuing our mission to educate the global trade community and raise the level of professionalism of this great industry.