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A career in the customs department of the Government of India provides immense job security and other perks related to government services such as housing and concessions. It also gives individuals an opportunity to serve their country. Custom officers work at the airport and their work involves preventing entry and exit of illegal goods such as narcotics, other than that they are also tasked with collection of taxes on various goods going out and coming into the country.

Career Opportunities in Customs

  • Tax Assistant
    Tax Assistans provide administrative assistance. Their main work involves performing tax and accounting duties where in they file taxes for the patrons of the airport they are posted on, and prepare reports and financial documents. They need to have basic understating of tax laws, in order to perform their duties.
  • Inspector
    An inspector at the customs acts as a team leader for a group of preventive officers and like them also has search, seizure and arrest powers if they think any individual on the airport is trying to carry illegal goods.
  • Preventive officer
    Preventive Officers are posted at various international airports in order to keep a vigil that no illegal goods enter or exit the country through the airport. They have the power to search, seizure and arrest individual or goods.
  • Assistant Commissioner
    The post of the Assistant commissioner is one of the highest entry level posts in the customs department. As an assistant commissioner, one is tasked with the management of the personnel under him/her. But unlike other posts which are filled though SSC exams, these are only filled through Civil Service examination.

How to Pursue a Career in the Customs Department

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII with any streamGraduation in any stream with minimum 55% marksClear Staff Selection Committee (Graduate level)-
Path 2
Clear Class XII with any streamGraduation in any stream with minimum 55% marksClear Civil services examination and fill preferences for IRS-

Important Facts

Graduation in any stream.

SSC as well as the civil service examination does not ensure a job in the customs department, one can only give his/her preference, but it is still up to the selectors which services are you given a job in.

Important Entrance Exams

Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Staff Selection Commission Test : SSC CGL
  1. Tier-1
  2. Tier-2
  3. Tier-3
  • Tier-1: June to July
  • Tier-2: September
  • Tier-3: November
  • Tier-1: (1) General Intelligence & Reasoning, (2) General Awareness / General knowledge, (3) Quantitative Aptitude and (4) English Comprehension.
  • Tier-2: Paper-1) Quantitative Ability, Paper-2) English Language and Comprehension, Paper-3) Statistics and Paper-4) General Studies (Finance & Economics).
    Note: Paper-1 & 2 is compulsory for all posts and Paper-3 is only for the post of "Statistical Investigator Gr. II" & "Compiler" and Paper-4 is only for the post of "Assistant Audit Officer".
  • Tier-3: Personality Test /Interview
UPSE CSE Exam: June - July Preliems exam
Paper -1 & Paper 2 (MCQ')
General Knowledge
Social Studies, Science (6th -12th class), Indian polity & constitution, logical reasoning, mathematical aptitude.
There are 8 papers:
Paper1 - Indian Language
Paper 2- English
Paper3- Essay
Paper4,5,6,7- General Studies
Paper 8,9- Optional paper
Interview/ Personality Test

Work Description

  • Inspect travellers and goods coming in and going out of the country
  • Regulate the law and order during import and export
  • Prevent illegal elements to enter the country
  • Check and seize any terrorist and illegal activities
  • Understand the various laws and under what conditions they can be implemented
  • Record and manage the activities of import and export
  • Look after the country as well as the state of its affairs

Pros & Cons of a Career in Customs Department

  • Attractive employee benefit plan
  • Most respected & prestigious profession
  • Expected to be updated with laws of different countries
  • Irregular working hours and hectic work schedule.
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