Customs Officer: Customs officers are responsible for enforcing customs laws and regulations at airports, seaports, and land borders. Their primary role is to prevent the entry of illegal goods and substances into the country and ensure compliance with various trade laws and procedures. Becoming a customs officer in India involves meeting certain eligibility criteria and acquiring specific skills.
In this blog post, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of a customs officer, the eligibility criteria to become one, the skills required for the job, the salary structure in India, and how to prepare for the customs officers exam.
Who is a Customs Officer?
A Customs Officer is responsible for collecting customs duties, preventing and detecting smuggling, preventing counterfeit and piracy of goods, and ensuring that the goods imported into the country are as per the rules and regulations. Customs Officer posts are under the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
The primary responsibility of the Customs Officer is to ensure that the goods imported into the country are genuine. The Customs Officer will ensure that the goods are legal according to the specified rules and regulations. The Customs Officer must ensure that no fraudulent activities occur in importing goods.
Customs Officer’s Roles and Responsibilities:
Here are some of the more essential roles Customs Officers play that help protects the public.
- Checking for and detaining any smuggled or counterfeit goods.
- Preventing the smuggling of drugs and other illegal products.
- Enforcing rules and regulations related to import and export operations.
- Verify that the amount being imported is not exceeding the allowed limit.
- Inspecting people entering and leaving the region.
- Keeping an eye out for any extremist or criminal acts.
- Preventing illegal immigrants from entering the country.
- Collecting customs duties and other taxes levied on goods.
- Providing information and assistance to the importers, exporters, travelers, and the general public.
- Collect customs duties, and other taxes levied on goods.
How to Become a Customs Officer in India?
To become a customs officer in India, one must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university and be a citizen of India. The job requires an understanding of the provisions of the Customs Act, the Customs Tariff Act, the central excise Act, and the foreign exchange management Act.
There are two different levels in Customs Officer, Group A and Group B.
Group A Level
At this level, you will be appointed as Assistant Collector of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs. You will be assigned to any of the following departments: General Cargo, Trade Facilitation, Import and Export, Goods and Service Tax, Import-Export Control, Trade Facilitation, and Central Excise.
To become an assistant collector, a person must first pass the Central Board of Excise and Customs examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The applicants then undergo training at the Indian Revenue Service Academy in Mussoorie.
Group B Level
In the Group B level, you will be appointed as Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs.
In this position, you will be given the following departments:
Customs and Custom Duties Inspector
A person in this position inspects shipments at a port of entry or border crossing and ensures that the shipments conform to applicable customs, immigration, and health regulations.
To become a customs and custom duties inspector, an applicant must first pass the Service Selection Certificate (S.S.C.) examination.
Although there is no minimum educational requirement for the S.S.C. exam, candidates with a bachelor’s degree in any field are usually preferred.
A preventive officer will be posted in a coastal region (for oceans and air terminals), and you will wear white garbs. An applicant must first pass the Service Selection Certificate (S.S.C.) examination to become a preventive officer.
Preventive officers work closely with customs and custom duties inspectors. They are responsible for inspecting incoming and outgoing shipments to conform to applicable laws and regulations.
Indian Regulations Examiner
An Indian Regulations examiner will be posted at a port of entry or border crossing. The person will be accountable for seaports and airship cargo, but the post is only limited to customs.
The person will be responsible for checking that all the required documents are submitted with the cargo, also making sure that the cargo is not carrying anything illegal, such as weapons.
To become an Indian Regulations examiner, an applicant must first pass the Service Selection Certificate (S.S.C.) examination.
Eligibility Criteria for Customs Officer
- Age: The applicant must be between 21 and 30 years old. The age limit is relaxed by five years for SC/ST, P.W.D., and women candidates.
- Educational Qualification: A bachelor’s degree from a recognized university is necessary to apply for customs officer. A candidate must have completed a minimum of 55 percent marks in his bachelor’s degree.
- Other Qualifications: The applicant should be a citizen of India; he should be of good conduct and character; he should be free from any criminal record; he should be medically fit; he should not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, and he should not have any mental disorder.
Skill Required for Customs Officer
Customs officers need to be skilled in all aspects of law enforcement and integration. And then they need to be able to understand the laws and regulations. They must also know what to look for when examining passengers or goods.
The following skills are required for a customs officer:
- Communication – The officer must speak clearly and use appropriate vocabulary. The officer needs to have good listening skills, and the officer must be able to ask questions and listen to the answers.
- Active Listening: Customs officers need to know what passengers are saying, and the officer must be able to act on their statements.
- Interpersonal Skills: Customs officers should understand the passengers and their problems, and they must be able to relate with them and communicate with them.
- Assessments: Customs officers should identify and follow the rules and regulations. They must be able to understand and apply the law.
- Critical Thinking: Customs officers need to think critically about the situation and make the right decisions for the passengers and the country.
- Computer Skills: As every office work is getting digitized, the officer needs to be a friendly user of computers and technology in general. The officer needs to be aware of using a word processor, spreadsheets, e-mail, and the Internet.
Customs Officer Exam (SSC-CGL)
Steps to prepare for the Customs Officer Exam (SSC-CGL):
1. Qualify for the prelims – The first step to become a customs officer through the SSC-CGL exam is to qualify for the prelims. This is a 200-mark exam, and you need to prepare well and practice a lot to clear this round.
2. Clear the Mains exam – The second round is called the Mains exam, which consists of 400 marks. This round is crucial, and you need to study hard to do well in this round.
3. Personal Interview – The third and final step is the Personal Interview, which is usually easier than the Civil Service exam.
4. Check SSC official website – To qualify as an SSC-CGL customs officer, you need to meet specific physical parameters. Therefore, it is advisable to check the official website of S.S.C. for more information.
5. State public service exam – Another way to become a customs officer is by giving the state public service exam, which is conducted by every state once a year. Therefore, always check your state’s public service commission’s official website for more information.
6. Get posted in a particular state – If you go through the state public service exam, you will be posted in a particular state only. In this case, you may become a customs officer at any of that state’s airports. Other than that, there is no qualification required to become a customs officer at the airport.
7. Start from the beginning – It is essential to start from the beginning as the information provided in the NCERT books is in simple English and easy to understand.
8. Read NCERT books – It is a good idea to read the NCERT books in your spare time. The NCERT books are very detailed, and hence you will find that they take up a lot of time to read.
9. Read NCERT books repeatedly – Another way to study for the customs officer’s exam is to read the NCERT books over and over again. This will allow you to review the concepts that you have already studied and help you remember the concepts you have not understood yet.
10. Use NCERT Practice Papers – To assist in your preparation, use NCERT Practice Papers to test your knowledge and improve your performance in the exam.
Salary of a Customs Officers in India
The salary of a customs officer in India varies depending on the job role of the officer. A customs officer will receive a salary of Rs. 49900 to Rs. 65000/- per month, which can increase depending on the rank of the officer.
Here are the officers’ salaries in India as per their roles/ ranks.
|Job Role||Average Salary Offered|
|Preventive Officer||Rs. 44900 / month|
|Central Excise Inspector||Rs. 44900 / month|
|Examiner of Indian Customs||Rs. 52000 / month|
|Assistant Commissioner||Rs. 50000 – 65000 / month|
How to Study for the Customs Officers Exam?
There is no single answer to this question. It depends on the sort of individual you are and how you like to study.
Some individuals prefer to study when they can concentrate and have a quiet environment, and others would prefer to study in a noisy and hectic atmosphere to make notes and have a few chit-chats. The way you prepare for the customs officer’s exam is entirely up to you.
However, here are some of the best tips that you can follow:
Start with the Basic Concepts
The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the basic concepts, which will help you get a firm footing in the subject. After you are done with the basics, you should start working on the advanced concepts.
Read the NCERT Books
The NCERT books are the most authentic source of information, and there is no shortage of information about the customs officer’s exam in these books. These books will give you an overview of the entire syllabus, and this will provide you with a strong foundation for your future studies.
Read the Sample Papers
This will hone your skills and test your knowledge. You will be surprised at how well you will perform when you sit for the exam.
Do not rely on just one resource:
- Have studied all the relevant material.
- Do not rely on just one source. This will make you vulnerable to certain traps, which can cost you.
- If you do not have other options, reread the NCERT books.
But, do not read them alone, and read them with sample papers.
Another way to study for the customs officer’s exam is to make notes. It would be best to note important facts, concepts, and formulas, and this will help you to retain the information for a longer period. It would help if you also made notes of questions that you do not understand, forcing you to reread the relevant portions of the book. Make sure that you do not copy the notes verbatim. It would help if you modified them according to your style.
Keep a Schedule
It is very important to keep a strict schedule. Most likely, this will be the most hectic time in your life. Hence, it is imperative to make the most of this time. Make sure that you are reading and studying in a peaceful and pleasant environment. This will help you to retain the information much better. On the off chance that you are an organized individual, then you can use the information provided here as a guide for creating your study schedule.
Keep a Record of Your Progress
The best way to improve yourself is by keeping a record of your performance. By doing this, you will tell whether you are improving or not. You should keep a record of your progress in the form of a journal. In this journal, you should write down all your learning experiences.
This will give you a chance to reflect and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You should try to understand where you are weak and what needs improvement. This will provide you with a chance to chart out a course of action and take corrective measures.
The third and final way to learn something is to practice it. You should set aside a specific time each day to study. You should do this even if it means sacrificing some of your sleep, and you should make this a routine.
Once every day, you should spend a few hours improving yourself. If you do this consistently, then before long, you will develop the ability to learn even the most complex of concepts in an instant.
All of the above tips will be of great use to you when you sit for the customs officer’s exam. But, there is one more thing that you should do. You should start preparing as soon as you get this letter. There is no time to waste.
Video credit – E-media solutions
Frequently Asked Questions about a Customs Officer
1. How do you get this job?
Customs officer exam consists of multiple-choice questions (mainly through SSC-CGL) and a personal interview. Candidates who qualify for the written test are then subjected to an oral interview.
Applicants who pass the interview are then medically examined, given a security clearance, and finally, if they are found fit for duty, they are inducted into the service.
2. What are the benefits of working as a Customs Officer?
Since it is a government job, there are many benefits. One of them is a very high salary which is more than enough to lead a comfortable life in India. Another benefit is that you will be able to travel all over the country without worrying about your finances.
Also, you will get to meet different people from all walks of life, and you will also get to see new places and explore new cultures.
Also, customs officer receives various other benefits like free medical treatment, old age pension, family pension, gratuity, etc.
3. How to become a Customs Officer in India after the 12th?
You can’t become a customs officer in India after the 12th. You will have first to complete your graduation from any Indian recognized University, and then you will have to appear for the UPSC CSE exam, which has a minimum age of 21 years.
After passing the UPSC CSE exam, you will be called for an interview, and if you are selected for the training, you will have to undergo a period of training for one year at the I.R.S. (Indian Revenue Service) Training Institute.
After completing the training, if you are found fit, you will have to appear for the Group Discussion and then a Personal Interview. After passing all these tests, you will be offered the job.
4. How to become a Customs Officer in an Indian Airport?
To become a Customs Officer in an Indian airport, you must have completed graduation in any discipline from a recognized university or college. Besides, the candidate should have passed the Civil Services Examination (CSAT) examination.
To clear the CSAT exam, you need to score a minimum of 33% marks. The exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). After clearing the exam, you can join the airport’s customs department.