Canada Border Services Agency Customs Brokers Professional Examination
Memorandum D1-8-3

Ottawa, November 7, 2013

This document is also available in PDF (242 KB) [help with PDF files]

In Brief

  • The editing revisions made in this memorandum do not affect or change any of the existing policies or procedures.
  • The Appendix has been amended to include the Administration Monetary Penalty System, D22 Series as suggested reference material for the Customs Brokers Professional Examination.

This memorandum contains information concerning the Customs Brokers Professional Examination, given pursuant to section 15 of the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations.

Table of Contents

Guidelines and General Information

1. The Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations (Regulations) require any person intending to transact business as a customs broker to have sufficient knowledge of the laws and procedures relating to the importation and exportation of goods. This is accomplished by successfully completing the examination administered by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and then continuously updating the knowledge through ongoing prescribed business experience. For information on the criteria that the licensed customs brokers must meet, refer to Memorandum D1-8-1, Licensing of Customs Brokers.

Administration and Frequency of the Examination

2. The examination is offered in each region at least once a year.

3. A written notice is posted in all CBSA commercial offices and on the CBSA web site at least 60 days prior to the date of the examination.

4. Candidates are responsible for all expenses incurred while attending the examination. Candidates are required to show valid photo identification before the examination is administered.


5. The examination is intended for those individuals intending to apply for a customs broker licence as an individual or those intending to take the position of qualified officer on behalf of a partnership or corporation. A qualified officer is the individual who meets the requirements of section 3 of the Regulations governing residency, citizenship, age and character, and the knowledge and experience qualifications set out in section 4 of the Regulations, and who the license holder identifies as the qualified officer.

6. Applications for the examination are to be made in writing on Form L55, Application for Customs Brokers Examination. This form is to be submitted to the chief officer of CBSA at the nearest CBSA office at least 30 days before the date of the examination. Applications received after this deadline will not be accepted.

7. The application must be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $200.

8. The examination consists of one-three hour session. The questions are multiple-choice. The Appendix provides a list of suggested (but not limited to) areas of knowledge that will be tested. Candidates must attain an overall passing grade of 60 percent.

Results of the Examination

9. Results are mailed to each candidate within four weeks of the date of the examination.

10. By passing this examination, candidates will have demonstrated that they meet the knowledge requirement of section 4 of the Regulations. Successful completion of the examination alone does not mean that an individual can be considered a customs broker. The title “customs broker” is reserved for individuals, partnerships, or corporations who are authorized to transact business under the authority of a customs brokers licence issued by the CBSA. For detailed requirements, please refer to the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations or to Memorandum D1-8-1.

11. Individuals who have fulfilled the knowledge requirement of the Regulations through successful completion of the examination must work in the customs brokerage industry to maintain this qualification. The work may be as an individual licensed customs broker, as a partner, a director, the qualified officer or an employee of a licensed customs broker. If there is a break in service, the individual may no longer be eligible (see Memorandum D1-8-1 for details).

12. For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time/except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.


Suggested (but not limited to) Areas of Knowledge Tested Through the Canada Border Services Agency Customs Brokers Professional Examination

1. The examination tests individuals on their knowledge of the laws and procedures relating to the importation and exportation of goods, including:

Reference materials

2. The following D-memoranda references contain details of suggested (but not limited to) areas of knowledge tested, and are provided to assist individuals preparing for the examinations:

D1 Series
Broker Licensing, Invoicing Requirements, Security
D3 Series
D4 Series
Warehousing, Duty Free Shops and Ships Stores
D5 Series
International mail (see also D8 Series; D17 Series)
D6 Series
D7 Series
D8 Series
Remissions and Temporary Importation
D10 Series
Tariff Classification/Commodities
D11 Series
General Tariff Information
D13 Series
D14 Series
Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)
D17 Series
Accounting and Release Procedures
D19 Series
Acts and Regulations of Other Government Departments
D20 Series
D22 Series
Administrative Monetary Penalty System

3. Current versions of the above D-memoranda and of the Customs Tariff can be found on the CBSA Web site at under “Publications and forms”.

4. Current versions of the Customs Act, the Excise Act, the Excise Tax Act, and the Special Import Measures Act, can be found at the Department of Justice Laws Web site at

5. The CBSA does not provide training courses or study guides for individuals preparing to write the Canada Border Services Agency Customs Brokers Professional Examination.


Issuing office:
Trade Programs Directorate
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:
Customs Act
Customs Tariff
Excise Act
Excise Tax Act
Special Import Measures Act
Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations
Other references:
Form L55
Superseded memorandum D:
D1-8-3, November 7, 2008
Date modified: