National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)

The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) is viewed as the voice of the transportation logistics industry in America.

It is an organisation that constantly works to represent its members and sector, on a legal and regulatory level.

Key facts about NCBFAA:

  1. The NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies, with 110,000 employees in international trade.
  2. The NCBFAA was established in 1897 in New York.
  3. NCBFAA members include freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries, NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters.
  4. The NCBFAA membership is drawn entirely from American businesses, other than the Associate membership.
  5. The NCBFAA has a number of principal types of membership: Regular (licensed customs brokers, licensed ocean freight forwarders, international air cargo agents, and non-vessel operating common carriers in America), Affiliate (in business as suppliers or vendors of transportation-related services, international business services or products specific to functions within international trade), Associate (customs brokers and/or international freight forwarder domiciled outside America).
  6. The NCBFAA is headquartered in Washington.
  7. The principal role of the NCBFAA is to maintain a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect members – and to keep members informed of those issues.
  8. The NCBFAA considers itself to be the effective national voice for the industry.

National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America profile

The NCBFAA plays a big role in representing members of the logistics industry in America. It has been involved in discussions about issues affecting the industry, such as customs legislation, and has lobbied congress to pursue and protect members’ rights and interests.

The NCBFAA was once known as the Baltimore Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association and started out as an industry organisation promoting and educating the Port of Baltimore.

The organisation became the NCBFAA in 1983 “to better reflect a new and wider scope.” The NCBFAA is a non-profit organisation that has been designed to promote the interests of its members – and to push their objectives – both to the consumer market and the heart of government.

Criteria for membership:

As per the NCBFAA bylaws, all Regular Member applicants must:

… be proposed by one Regular Member and seconded by another Regular Member on a form provided for that purpose, which form shall contain the name, address and occupation of the applicant and the names of the Regular Members proposing and seconding the application. It shall be the duty of the Members proposing and seconding the application, to furnish information regarding the standing and character of the applicant.

There are dues to pay, a form to fill in and potential members must provide proof that they fall within one of the membership categories e.g.

  • Customs Broker – Broker License Number
  • OTI – FMC License Number
  • International Air Freight Forwarder/Air Cargo Agent: CNS/IATA Registration Number
  • NVOCC: FMC Bond Number

Opinions about the NCBFAA

The NCBFAA is not mentioned with great frequency on the websites of individual businesses. However, it is quoted more often as an information source and a resource for useful data on, and for, freight forwarders.

There are also a number of websites where standard terms drafted by the NCBFAA appear – with a note that these have been released to members and the NCBFAA takes no legal responsibility for them.

This would indicate that the association offers its members a database of documents, as well as information and advice. The annual conference is also clearly a prominent event and receives a mention on the US Customs & Border Protection website.

NCBFAA is the effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members


The agency keeps a watchful eye over legislative and regulatory issues impacting its members…

BDP International

Learn more: Freight Forwarder & NVOCC International Cost & Companies Guide



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