How to Become a Customs Officer?

Customs Officer is one of the coveted and sought after career options among the candidates. It is a profession that requires a lot of intelligence and alertness during the duty period. Customs officers posted at airports, land borders, water borders, railway stations between countries. Generally in India, customs officers are first hired for airport services. The speciality of this profession is that you are also given a lot of facilities in it.

Are you one of those who are interested in becoming a customs officer? If yes, and looking for the details to become a customs officer then you are at the right place because In this article, I will discuss the complete procedure to become a customs in India as well as in Australia. So keep reading this blog till the end.

become a customs officer

Who is a Customs Officer?

A customs official is an administrative officer whose responsibility is to ensure that everyone follows customs law. Customs officers handle the movement of illegal goods such as narcotics, tobacco, alcohol, weapons, animals, etc in and out of India’s international airports/ports. And if anyone is caught doing any illegal activity, then the customs officer has the right to arrest the culprits on the spot. If someone transfers legal products within and outside the country as well, it is the duty of the customs officer to levy a customs tax on him.

Ever since the implementation of GST in India, many exporters have started using IGST credit to pay their custom duty. It is also the responsibility of the Customs Officer to conduct a thorough search of all passengers and provide them with customs clearance for their flights. Whether you call it good or bad, in this profession you have to interact with people from many different countries.

How to Become a Customs Officer in India?

There are mainly two ways through which a person becomes a customs officer in India. One is to crack the UPSC CSE exam and opt for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and the other way is to qualify for the SSC-CGL exam. After clearing the SSC-CGL exam, candidates have to give preference to the Jobs in Customs Department. UPSC CSE exam is conducted in three phases whereas the SSC-CGL exam is conducted in four phases. Candidates have to qualify for each stage in one of these exams. After passing the exam candidates are sent for training and after completion of training and a medical test, candidates are ready to be posted in their allotted service.

Customs Officer Qualification in India

  • Applicants must have a graduate degree from a recognized university.
  • Applicants must have passed in their Bachelor’s.
  • Applicants must have passed with minimum 55% aggregate.
  • Applicants should passed in their graduation from any discipline.
  • Applicants appearing for the final year of graduation are also eligible to apply the exam form.
  • Applicants working in any post after completing graduation are also eligible to apply.

Age Limit to Become a Customs Officer

The age limit to become Customs Officer varies from category to category as some category candidates get the benefit of caste reservation or other quota relaxation. The minimum age limit to apply the exam form to become Customs Officer is 21 years. 21 years or above candidates are eligible to apply for the exam form.

Indian Customs Officer Uniform

In India, the customs officer’s uniform is a white shirt and pants with a white cap and black shoes. The insignia of the customs officer varies from designation to designation.

Customs officer uniform in India
Source – Goa Customs

Customs Officer Exam

Generally, there are two exams through which one becomes a Customs Officer.

  1. UPSC Civil Services Exam
  2. SSC- CGL Exam

Let us see some details and patterns of these exams.

UPSC Civil Services Exam

UPSC civil services examination is a national level examination that is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission of India. UPSC CSE is also considered one of the toughest exams in India. It is a pen-paper mode examination. The paper of this exam is available in two languages, one is English and the other is Hindi. Candidates have the option to choose any one language. Applicants must have to qualify for all the stages of the UPSC CSE exam and secure a rank that has to be brought above the cut-off of IRS so that they can opt for the Indian Revenue Service. The UPSC conduct the civil services exam in three stages:

  1. Preliminary (Prelims)
  2. Mains
  3. Interview (Personality Test)
SSC-CGL

The SSC-CGL stand’s for Staff Selection Commission – Combined Graduate Level exam. It is a popular competitive exam which is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission of India for the recruitment of various government jobs. Applicants have to qualify for all the levels of the SSC-CGL exam and after qualifying applicants have to choose posts that are related to the customs department. The Staff Selection Commission of India conducts the SSC-CGL exam in four stages.

  1. Tier-1 (Preliminary Exam)
  2. Tier-2 (Mains Exam)
  3. Tier-3 (Interview)
  4. Tier-4 (Skill Test)

Customs Officer Salary in India

The salary of a Customs Officer depends on many factors such as experience, location, work profile, company, etc. On average the salary of some job profile are as follow:

DesignationAverage Salary
Preventive Officer₹44,900 per month
Central Excise Inspector₹44,900 per month
Examiner of Indian Customs₹52,000 per month
Assistant Commissioner₹50,000 – ₹65,000 per month

How to Become a Customs Officer in India after 12th?

To be honest there is no such criterion that one can become a customs officer only after completing 12th standard. As I said there are mainly two ways i.e UPSC CSE or SSC-CGL through which one can become a Customs Officer and It is mandatory to have completed your graduation to appear in any of these exams. So after completing 12th, candidates have to first complete their graduation degree in their interested field and after that candidates are eligible to apply the application form of any of these exams.

How to Become a Customs Officer in Australia?

Candidates who wish to become Customs Officer in Australia must be a citizen of Australia and must be over 18 years of age along with that candidates must have completed a Year 12 education or Year 10 with a trade certificate or Year 10 with a Cert IV and/or equivalent. After that candidates will also need to meet specific fitness and eligibility requirements. One who fulfils all these criteria is eligible to apply for the Border Force Recruit Traineeship. There are seven stages to the admissions process, and if you are successful in all of them then they will qualify you for a training course.

One who gets selected in this course has to do a paid training of duration 12 months. During this 12 Month Training Program, you will be taught about many things related to customs such as Customs Laws, Immigration Laws, Illegal Substances, Problem Solving Skills, Quick Thinking Skills, Customs Tax, Body Behaviour.

After the completion of the training program, applicants are ready to be hired as customs officers. Customs officers can be assigned to airports or seaports in any region of Australia. However, the level of a fresher customs officer increases with experience and training. And the salary of the customs officer also increases from the same hub.

Customs Officers can choose any specialization post in the Customs Department like Immigration Officer, Customs Broker, Maritime Patrol, Border Patrol after rendering a few years of duty.

Customs Officer Salary in Australia

The average salary of a customs officer in Australia is $56,774 per year. Along with that customs officers also offered some perks from their company. The average salary will increase as your experience and skills increase.

Functions and Duties of Customs Officer

  • Search and inspection of goods, vehicles and passengers entering the country through ports of entry.
  • Stopping the illicit trafficking of people, narcotics and banned substances into your country.
  • Working as a team to prevent any security.
  • Arrest and detain people who violate your country customs and border rules.
  • Perform specialist roles such as using K-9 inspection dogs to locate explosives.
  • Providing proper guidance to passengers.
  • Stay alert at all times and stay connected with the officers people around you.

Difference Between Customs Officer and Immigration Officer?

Customs OfficerImmigration Officer
1. Customs officers conduct proper examination of goods and ensure complete safety and security.1. Immigration officers deal with the passengers and verify all the documents of the passengers.
2. Customs officer stamps the ticket and allows customs clearance.2. The immigration officer stamps the ticket and allows immigration clearance.
3. Customs officers also do the work of levying customs duty tax.3. The Immigration Officer handles all the documents of the passengers like verification, seat allotment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to become a customs officer?

In India, it generally takes more than a year to become a customs officer after you have completed your respective exam.

What are the exams to become a Customs Officer?

In India, there are mainly two exams i.e. UPSC CSE and SSC-CGL. In Australia, candidates should apply for the Border Force Recruit Traineeship.

What is the salary of customs inspector in India?

The average salary of a custom inspector in India is Rs. 74,045 per month.

What is the salary of customs officer in Australia?

The average salary of customs officer in Australia is $56,774 per year.

What qualifications do you need to be a customs officer in Australia?

Completed a Year 12 education or Year 10 with a trade certificate or Year 10 with a Cert IV and/or equivalent.

Can I join customs after 12th?

No, you have first completed your graduation then after you are eligible to apply.

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