U.S. Customs and Border Protection

What We Do | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov)

We facilitate legitimate trade, enforce laws, and protect the American economy as well as consumer health and safety. Collaborating with industry and government partners, we create a fair, competitive, and safe trade environment, and we enforce U.S. trade laws to protect national economic security. Our expertise in the trade community allows us to lead the development of streamlined and efficient processes that provide certainty for legitimate importers, while combating transnational crime. Our people serve a critical role in protecting American business from unfair trade practices. 


Attorney Advisor
The Attorney-Advisor is an expert on the specific laws, regulations, questions, practices and other matters which pertain to the functions of the branch to which assigned, and exercises an exceptional degree of independence in completing varied and complex assignments. The Attorney-Advisor uses knowledge of customs law and related matters to provide technical legal advice relating to the wide-ranging functions of the Regulations and Rulings Directorate within CBP’s Office of Trade.  For more information, or to submit an application, please contact the Regulations & Rulings' Hiring Committee at RRHiring@cbp.dhs.gov.

Typical Assignments Include:

  • Developing binding administrative rulings and other decisions with respect to the classification of imports under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, valuation, marking, country of origin, entry processes and other legal issues affecting trade and transactions between importers, carriers, brokers, and others;
  • Promulgating CBP regulations related to customs revenue functions and border security issues;
  • Adjudicating and giving technical legal guidance on the imposition, mitigation, remission or cancellation of fines, penalties, seizures, forfeitures and liquidated damages for violations of the customs and navigation laws, regulations and policies, and the acceptance or rejection of offers in compromise or settlement of cases related to such issues;
  • Providing guidance to CBP field personnel and members of the importing community on intellectual property rights issues involving trademark, copyright and patent laws applicable to importation of goods;
  • Administering exclusion orders issued by the United States International Trade Commission by conducting inter partes proceedings;
  • Drafting appeal decisions in CBP Freedom of Information Act cases;
  • Developing position papers related to issues before the World Customs Organization and representing the U.S. at the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System Committee and Technical Committee on Customs Valuation;
  • Assisting United States Trade Representative with negotiations of free trade or trade promotion agreements on customs subjects;
  • Providing domestic and international training on customs laws at the request of other government agencies and CBP offices;
  • Assisting with litigation with Office of Chief Counsel and/or Department of Justice; and
  • Representing CBP at inter-agency consultations, meetings with associations, industry groups, and foreign governments.
  Required Skill Sets:
  • Ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas, orally and in writing, to support legal/policy conclusions to government officials, as well as private industry representatives and their counsel;
  • Ability to determine relevant issues involved in a matter, analyze, research, and apply relevant law to the pertinent facts in a case in order to draft well-crafted recommendations or documents on the matter at hand;
  • Ability to evaluate the effect of possible rulings, decisions, settlements, regulatory changes, or new legislation on CBP on the government's positions and policies;
  • Skill in researching earlier administrative rulings, court decisions and precedent cases through automation; and
  • Knowledge of when to consult with other CBP technical experts.


General Attorney
The Office of Chief Counsel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), employs attorneys in the field of international trade in several capacities.  Vacancies in the Office of Chief Counsel, including paid internships, are posted to and may be applied for using the USAJOBS website, https://www.usajobs.gov.
  • The Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, Trade and Finance, located in Washington, DC, provides legal advice relating to the trade activities and functions of CBP, including administrative law, rulemaking, proposed legislation and trade policy.
  • The Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel (International Trade Litigation), located in New York, NY, serves as agency counsel in defensive litigation in the CIT related to classification, valuation, country of origin, preferential trade programs, intellectual property, AD/CVD, trade remedies, and other laws affecting imported merchandise that are administered and enforced by CBP. ‚Äč 
  • The Office of Assistant Chief Counsel (Indianapolis) provides legal advice and representation to CBP offices nationwide in a diverse range of practice areas, including duty collections, bonding, procurement, CDSOA, appropriations, fiscal, and environmental, among others.   
  • The Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, Enforcement, located in Washington, DC, provides legal advice to CBP personnel on a range of trade enforcement related matters, including Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigations, forced labor, and penalties.
  • Lastly, the Office of Chief Counsel has attorneys in field offices nationwide who provide a range of legal services to local CBP personnel, including providing legal advice to CBP officers in matters relating to cargo, seaport, mail operations, customs and admissibility laws, and other trade related topics.