Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I become a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS)?
  2. How do I maintain my CCS status?
  3. How do I earn CCS points?
  4. How do I let the CSCB know that I have attended an event?
  5. Which events are eligible for CCS points?
  6. What if I don’t earn 20 professional development points?
  7. Can I “bank” CCS points if I earn more than 20 a year?
  8. When do I pay my annual fee?
  9. What happens if I don’t pay my annual fee?
  10. What happens if I take a leave of absence from work?
  11. How am I notified when the CCS online quizzes are available?
  12. What happens if I miss the deadline for submitting a CCS online quiz?
  13. When will I receive the results of the CCS online quiz?
  14. What if I lose my CCS pin, certificate or membership card?
  15. I'm ready to retire, what will happen with my designation?
  16. What is a CCS Honourary Status?
  17. Why do I need to collect points? Once I get a diploma, I don’t have to study.
  18. What is the difference between the CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) designation and the CTCS (Certified Trade Compliance Specialist) designation?
  19. What happened to Professional Development Modules?
  20. Can I change my username?
  21. When searching through the Trade News Library, sometimes I’m denied access to articles, why?
  22. I don’t get the CCS Today email, but instead the CSCB Daily Articles
  23. My firm is not a member, can I post jobs on the CSCB website?

1. How do I become a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS)? 

Anyone who successfully completes the CCS Course and scores 65% or more as a final grade is designated a CSCB CCS (Certified Customs Specialist). Eligible individuals with two years' customs experience can also apply to challenge the CCS exam without completing the CCS Course.

Preparation for the CCS exam is available through the CCS course. There is no specific educational program for those who wish to challenge the exam.

2. How do I maintain my CCS status?

You must earn 20 CCS professional development points and pay annual dues (currently $105 plus applicable taxes) every year. Failure to do either results in the loss of your CCS designation.

CCS students are exempt from dues payment for the year following their graduation. However, they must still earn 20 points in the year following graduation.

3. How do I earn CCS points? 

CCS points are awarded for approved professional development activities. Successfully completing a CSCB Online Certified Trade Compliance Specialist course is worth 20 CCS points, for example. Participating on a CSCB committee (10 to 20 points), passing a CCS online quiz (10 points), and attending a CSCB meeting, conference or approved external event (5 to 20 points) are other ways to earn points. See Obtaining CCS Points for the full list of professional development activities.

4. How do I let the CSCB know that I have attended an event? 

Send a completed attendance form to the CSCB before December 31 to ensure that your CCS points are recorded.

5. Which events are eligible for CCS points? 

There is a list of CCS Points Approved Activities, which is regularly updated on the CSCB website. You can Request for Content Review for CCS Points for events that are not on the list. Events must pass CSCB’s content requirements for points eligibility.

6. What if I don’t earn 20 professional development points? 

Failure to earn a total of 20 points during the year voids your CCS status. To re-qualify, see #1 above.

7. Can I “bank” CCS points if I earn more than 20 a year? 

No, a minimum of 20 CCS points must be earned each year.

8. When do I pay my annual dues? 

CCS designates who earned 20 points in the previous year will receive an email notice about the renewal in January. (Some CSCB members arrange to pay the annual dues of their employees through an agreement with the CSCB. In this case, the employer receives the dues invoice.) Payment is due within 30 days of the first notice.

9. What happens if I don’t pay my annual dues? 

Failure to pay your annual dues voids your CCS status. To re-qualify, see #1 above.

10. What happens if I take a leave of absence from work? 

The annual points requirement will be waived for parental or sick leave absences of more than 6 months in a calendar year. Official documentation from your health care provider or employer is required. Dues payment for the year is still required.

11. How am I notified when the CCS online quizzes are available? 

The notice of quiz availability is sent in your daily CCS e-mail messages.

12. What happens if I miss the deadline for submitting a CCS online quiz? 

Late submissions are not accepted without a medical certificate attesting that you were unable to complete the quiz between the dates it was offered.

13. When will I receive the results of the CCS online quiz? 

Quiz results will be sent via e-mail approximately two weeks after the quiz submission deadline.

14. What if I lose my CCS pin, certificate or membership card? 

Contact the CSCB National Office for a replacement. There is a cost of $25 plus applicable taxes, each.

15. I'm ready to retire, what will happen with my designation?

You can keep your designation. You don't have to collect points, and annual fee is waived. For more details, please see: Canadian CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) - Retired Status and Request for Canadian CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) - Retired Status 


16. What is a CCS Honourary Status?

CCS Honourary Status recognizes individuals who have made a positive, lasting contribution to the Canadian customs brokerage community. For more details, please see: Canadian CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) - Honourary Status and Nomination Form for Canadian CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) - Honourary Status

17. Why do I need to collect points? Once I get a diploma, I don’t have to study.

Professional designations differ from post-secondary education, in that ongoing professional development is an important part of staying current. Our industry is continually changing and professional development offers opportunities for keeping your knowledge up-to-date. It also signals to your current or future employer that you’re familiar with most recent developments.

18. What is the difference between the CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) designation and the CTCS (Certified Trade Compliance Specialist) designation?

The CCS designation focuses on customs operations within a Canadian environment, while the CTCS designation focuses on international trade compliance in Canada. The CCS course requires 1 year of experience in the Canadian customs environment, whereas the CTCS program of study requires 5 years of experience in a Canadian/international trade compliance environment. The benefits are unique to each designation (compare the CCS benefits and the CTCS benefits) and different renewal fees and  professional development requirements apply.

19. What happened to Professional Development Modules?

With the introduction of the CTCS program of study in 2012, we phased out the Professional Development Modules (PDMs) as there was some overlap in basic course content. The cost of a CTCS module is higher than the PDM, but the CTCS modules offer more advanced and specialized knowledge on customs and compliance. Because we recognize that PDMs were often used for CCS points, we’ve also started offering webinars to provide more opportunities for learning and collecting points. For a full list of how you can collect points, please refer to CCS Points Approved Activities.

20. Can I change my username?

You may change your password, but because the usernames follow a convention, they are not changeable for consistency reasons. The convention is first name initial + last name (+number, if multiples exist). If you wish to change your username due to name change, please email us at cscb@cscb.ca.

21. When searching through the Trade News Library, sometimes I’m denied access to articles, why?

Certain content on our site, related to advocacy, board/committee and regional activities, is accessible to designated employees of our customs broker member firms only. It is the member firm’s representative that decides who gets this access.

22. I don’t get the CCS Today email, but instead the CSCB Daily Articles

There are three types of end-of-day emails that go out to our users. They are all called CSCB Daily Articles. If you are a CCS you receive an email with articles designated for CCSs; if you are employed by a CSCB member firm and have been designated to receive our member emails, you will receive an email with articles designated for members; if are you both a CCS and member, you will receive an email with articles designated for designates and members. Regardless of your role, you will receive one end-of-day email.

23. My firm is not a member, can I post jobs on the CSCB website?

If your employer is a CSCB preferred business client, you may post a job for $250 per posting for unlimited amount of time. For further details, please visit our website at http://cscb.ca/product/job-posting-cscb-website. For CSCB member firms, job posting is a membership benefit.

Questions or comments may be directed to ccs@cscb.ca.