Import Specialist

Customs and Border Protection | Philadelphia, PA

Posted Date 6/30/2020
Description As our nation navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP is committed to delivering our mission to safeguard America's borders and enable legitimate trade and travel. Staffing mission critical positions remains a high priority. Be reassured that CBP is still hiring, despite potential hiring process step delays due to restrictions to in-person activities.Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Center of Excellence and Expertise. The selection will be made and oversight of this position will be maintained by the Field Office, but the physical location of this position will remain in the duty location chosen.

Field Office Center:
Atlanta- Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising (CPMM)
Buffalo- Industrial & Manufacturing Materials (IMM)
Chicago- Base metals (BM)
Detroit- Automotive & Aerospace (AA)
Houston- Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals (PNGM)
Laredo- Machinery (MACH)
Los Angeles- Electronics (ELEC)
Miami- Agriculture & Prepared Products (APP)
New York- Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals (PHC)
San Francisco- Apparel, Footwear & Textiles (AFT)

Please note: Due to multiple vacancies per duty location; you may be contacted by selecting officials from different Centers of Excellence and Expertise locations. You will be asked to identify your duty location preference in the on-line application process. Applicants will be limited to selecting one duty location. In some cases, the duty stations may not have a vacancy during the life of this announcement.

This is a Recent Graduate appointment in the Pathways Program. Selected individuals are placed in a dynamic one year development program in the excepted service designed to lead to a competitive civil service career in the Federal government. At the successful conclusion of this program, the agency may non-competitively convert individuals to a term (position lasting 1-4 years with an extension up to 120 days) or permanent position within the competitive service. Conversion to a Federal competitive service position will be at the discretion of the agency and is neither guaranteed nor implied.

Joining the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations will allow you to use your technical and administrative expertise to safeguard the U.S. commercial supply chains.This position starts at a salary of $34,916.00 (GS-05, Step 1) to $56,222.00 (GS-07, Step 10) with promotion potential to $99,741(GS-12 Step 10). Apply for this exciting opportunity to strengthen homeland security by enforcing import laws related to international trade agreements, admissibility standards and revenue collection.

In this Import Specialist position, you will become a key member of a team of homeland security professionals responsible for all import requirements. Typical work assignments include:
  • Determining admissibility of merchandise and making other import-related decisions.
  • Screening entry document packages for full range of regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Verifying tariff classification and appraising imported articles and products.
Experience: You qualify for the GS-05 grade level if you possess three years of progressively responsible experience, performing duties such as:
  • Analyzing problems, identifying significant factors, gathering pertinent data, and recognizing solutions
  • Planning and organizing work
  • Communicating effectively orally and in writing
  • Dealing effectively with others in person-to-person situations
Such experience may have been gained in administrative, professional, technical, investigative, or other responsible work and is qualifying if it provides evidence of the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the duties of this position. Experience of a general clerical nature (typing, filing, routine procedural processing, maintaining records, or other non-specialized tasks) is not creditable.

Experience: You qualify for the GS-07 grade level if you possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, that equipped you with the ability to explain procedures or requirements to elicit cooperative response. In addition, you must possess ONE of the following: 1) Ability to apply specialized knowledge of laws, regulations, rulings, or instructions pertaining to the importation of merchandise into the United States, or 2) Ability to gather, organize, and evaluate facts and evidence. Examples include screening a limited number of import documents for the presence of required documents (e.g., a properly signed Form A), reviewing prescribed trade statistics on the official Customs entry document for agreement with information contained in commercial invoices; and/or finding, applying, and explaining the significance of key administrative and legal rulings pertaining to particular commodities or import situations.

Education Substitution:
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's degree, in an accredited college or university, may be substituted for experience at the GS-5 grade level. One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester hours or 45-quarter hours.

GS-7: You may substitute superior academic achievement for the experience required at the GS-7 level. You must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, class standing in the upper third of a graduating class or major subdivision, or membership in a national scholastic honor society.

You may also substitute successful completion of one year of full-time graduate education for the experience required at the GS-7 level. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work of the position. A course of study in business administration, public administration, or related fields is qualifying. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise a year of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 18 semester or 27 quarter hours.

Combining Experience and Education: Appropriate combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience also may be used to meet total qualification requirements for the GS-5 and GS-7 grade levels. To combine your education and experience, you must convert each to a percentage and then add the percentages. The combined total of your percentage of education and experience must equal at least 100% in order to qualify. If your education is currently described in quarter hours, convert the quarter hours into semester hours by multiplying the quarter hours by the fraction 2/3. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, divide the number of graduate semester hours by 18. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience. Add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100%.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process by 07/06/2020.

You are eligible for this appointing authority if you are an individual who: Completed, within the previous two years by07/06/2020 , a qualifying associates, bachelor's, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution. If you are a veteran who was unable to apply within two years of receiving your degree due to military service obligation, you have as long as six years after degree completion to apply. You must submit a copy of your transcripts showing type of degree received and date degree was received. In addition, if you are a veteran who was unable to apply within two years of receiving your degree due to military service obligation, please provide a copy of your DD-214 or a written statement from the armed forces certifying your dates of service and your rank, expected type of discharge and anticipated date of separation.

To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must:
  • Successfully complete at least one year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the program;
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted;
  • Meet agency-specific requirements and expectations as specified in the Participant's Agreement; and
  • Perform their job successfully.
  • Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program;
  • Mentorship throughout the program;
  • Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities;
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program;
  • Positions offer opportunity for career advancement.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. For more information visit this link.

Training: You may be required to attend and successfully complete seven (7) weeks of Import Specialist training at the Field Office Training Academy in Charleston, SC.

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