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Army Reservist Permitted to Sit for Customs Broker Exam
Apr. 9, 2012
By: Lawrence M. Friedman


William A. Nusbaum, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, was permitted to sit for the April 2, Customs Broker Licensing Examination administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which has also agreed that his status as a member of Reserve will not prevent him from receiving a broker’s license. This is a direct result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Nusbaum in the U.S. Court of International Trade by Barnes, Richardson & Colburn. Prior to filing the suit, Mr. Nusbaum had been informed that his status as a member of the Army Reserve disqualified him from taking the test or being granted a license because he is an employee of the United States government.

Barnes, Richardson & Colburn filed the suit challenging the validity of Customs’ interpretation of its regulation and, in particular, its application to Reservists. On Friday, April 6, after Mr. Nusbaum took the test and after receiving assurances from the government that he will not be deemed ineligible for a customs broker’s license because of his service in the Reserve, Barnes, Richardson & Colburn asked the Court of International Trade to stay the case while the exams are graded and Mr. Nusbaum’s application is processed.

According to Lawrence Friedman, a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes/Richardson “We hope that this positive result is applied generally to all Reservists. Customs should not read its regulations to prevent Reservists—many of whom are veterans—from applying their skills in logistics and compliance to private sector businesses. We hope the agency makes a public statement that the ranks of licensed customhouse brokers are open to our military Reservists.” Friedman added that “Barnes/Richardson is proud to have been able to help Mr. Nusbaum and similarly situated Reservists.”

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