Challenging the CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) Examination


An individual may apply to challenge the CCS exam if the following criteria are met:

  • is currently employed by a CSCB member firm* and has employer-certified two years of work experience in a Canadian customs environment; OR
  • has lost the CCS designation in the past 5 years. Individuals seizing this opportunity may do so only once.

*Applicants located outside of Canada must be employed by a CSCB member, and the CSCB member must be the party paying their salary.

CCS Exam Challenge application is available as of January of each year. Applications with payment must be submitted before July 24, 2020 to be eligible to write that year’s examination.


The fee is CDN $400 + taxes.
Registration for the CCS examination will not be finalized until the CSCB National Office has received full payment of the examination fee. There will be a CDN $35 fee for NSF cheques. 

Candidates may withdraw their application at any time; however, there will be no refund of examination fees after the application deadline date. An administrative fee of CDN $50 will be assessed in cases of withdrawal prior to the application deadline date.


Given the unprecedented events of 2020 related to COVID-19, we have decided that the 2019/2020 CCS final examination will be administered online, rather than in person.

Conducting the final examination online requires the use of a service partner and we have selected ProctorU to provide the proctoring service for the examination. We will be providing further details on the examination process shortly but encourage all challengers to review the system requirements at:

While the in-person delivery of the examination is changing to an online format, the examination itself remains the same. The final examination will still be held on Saturday, September 19th, 2020 and will remain as “closed book”. No printed materials or online resources are permitted. The format of the questions for the final exam remain as multiple choice, and all reference material required to complete the examination will be provided to you.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these challenging times. We will be providing more information via email.

If you have special needs that require alternate arrangements for the final examination, you must advise the CSCB in writing, no later than the last business day of July, of the nature of your special needs and the type of arrangement you are requesting. A medical certificate or assessment documentation should be submitted with your request. Please note that each case will be considered on its own merits.

Final examinations are not returned to challengers.

Examination Deferrals

There is a fee of CDN $100 for those who write the CCS final examination on a date other than its scheduled date. Deferral requests must be submitted to the CSCB in writing as early as possible. Each deferral request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In some cases a medical certificate will be required if you are deferring for medical reasons.

Preparing for the Exam

Challengers should have a strong working knowledge of the legislation (Customs Act, Customs Tariff, SIMA, etc.) and the D memos. All of these items are available publically online. CCS course materials are only provided to registered CCS students.


A mark of 65% or higher is required to pass the CCS exam.

Upon successful completion of the CCS exam, the challenger will be mailed an official transcript, a CCS designate certificate, and a pin. They may also use the designation, CCS (Certified Customs Specialist), as long as the designate meets the ongoing renewal requirements.


Challengers are responsible for maintaining the reliability of all their contact information through their CSCB accounts. Failure to do so may result in delays of marks, certificates, or other documents.


The deadline to register to challenge the next CCS exam is July 24, 2020.