About the Course

The Master Customs Specialist (MCS) Certification designates its holders as possessing advanced knowledge and skills in U.S. Customs and its partner government agencies. A highly prized and recognized accomplishment, the course leading to certification provides the practitioner with a depth of expertise beyond the day-to-day operational demands of Customs brokers and import operations. It instills the expertise to advise clients on strategic considerations and risk management. It also provides a deeper understanding of the impact and great implications of day-to-date decisions and enhances the holder's ability to exercise responsible supervision.


Key Topics:  The MCS certification program covers advanced import topics, real-word application, strategic considerations, and risk implications for Customs brokers and their customers.


The course is broken down into 8 major parts:


  • Classification
  • Compliance
  • Mitigation Guidelines
  • Valuation
  • Admissibility Requirements
  • Transportation
  • Management


To view a complete course outline, please click here.



$950 for members and $1450  for non-members.


Application & Registration

The Master Customs Specialist (MCS) Application and further instructions can be found on the course registration pageBefore submitting an application, please review the MCS prerequisites.




Master Customs Specialist (MCS) Prerequisites
The Master Customs Specialist Certification to be offered through the NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) will provide members of the community with advanced training and the opportunity to become certified with a master's-level designation in the practice of Import Regulations. This program is intended to recognize individuals with a heightened level of expertise beyond a journeyman level in the disciplines required for practical import operations. If compared to an academic degree, it would be analogous to the penultimate achievement of a master's level of proficiency. The MCS will be highly visible throughout the industry and will provide the model for the vertical and lateral extension of the existing body of NEI certification programs.



Please note the following prerequisites are guidelines for enrollment only, and not required. It is our belief that potential students are best able to gauge their fitness for this certification program.
The NEI's Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) designation is not a prerequisite for the MCS Course.
      CCS Designee    Import Industry Experience (Non-CCS)   

   Work Experience   

   Currently working in trade industry       Seasoned Import Professional Min. 6 years' experience   

   Career Milestones   

   Resume/CV demonstrating industry experience      Resume/CV demonstrating industry involvement   

   Formal Education   

   4-year degree or 4-year equivalent industry experience       4-year degree or 6-years equivalent industry experience   

   Employer Support   

   Optional letter of support from employer/manager       Optional letter of support from employer/manager   





Criteria For Award of Master Customs Specialist (MCS) Certification
To be awarded the MCS designation, learners must:
1) Review all modules & pass all module quizzes
2) Complete and pass a comprehensive final exam
3) Submit a scholarly essay and receive a passing grade from NEI experts
Academic Performance:
80% on all module quizzes
80% on Final Exam
Satisfactory production of college-level writing in the form of a persuasive essay.



Scholarly Essay Guidelines and Requirements


The final step in earning your MCS designation is the scholarly essay.


Completion of a persuasive essay on an NEI-approved topic, demonstrating relevant research


•Must propose an argument surrounding your topic

•Clarify and support your argument through relevant facts and research

•Demonstrate sufficient knowledge on the subject


Average essay to be 1500-3000 words; minimum 1500


•User APA Guidelines for both in-text and end of essay citations


Graded PASS or FAIL by an NEI-selected expert/group of experts


•Learners may resubmit their essay per expert feedback if a failing grade is received

NEI Professional Membership
Enjoy member benefits for the next year and immediate savings on your education expenses!
Non-member firms can join the Association now by clicking here and submitting a completed application form with payment.
If your firm is not eligible for NCBFAA membership, you may still take advantage of member rates by signing up as a Professional Member.
Questions about the MCS Course? Please contact nei@ncbfaa.org

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