Customs Officer Career Information
What a Customs Officer does
If you wish to become a customs officer, you should be aware of the fact that the Customs Act was formulated in 1962 to control the imports through preventing illegal imports and exports of goods. Besides, all imports were subjected to an import duty aiming to protect the indigenous industries as well as to minimize the imports to secure stable exchange rate for Indian currency.
For the purpose of exercising proper surveillance over imports and exports, the Central Government established The Indian Customs and Central Excise Service (IC&CES). It is basically concerned with two main aspects, Customs and Excise. While Customs is concerned with the checking and levy of duty on taxable goods brought into the country, the Excise department is involved with the taxation of goods manufactured within the country.This is an important information for those who wish to become a customs officer. This services falls into the Group A of the Central Services of the IAS. This means that you will be a Class I Officers. But unlike an IAS officer who belongs to a particular state, you, as a customs officer, will serve the central government wherever you may be posted.
As a customs officer, you will be posted at international airports and ports. You will also serve at border and other coastal towns. As a customs officer, you will also be working in any of the following branches:
Customs This branch is involved in the formulation of policies and procedures, their interpretation and application in the area of Customs. These have to be coordinated with the country's trade policy and other international regulations. In addition, it controls and supervises all the field operations of the customs department. If you intend to become a customs officer, you can choose this particular department.
Central Excise This branch looks after the legislation, interpretation, policy and procedures relating to collection of Central Excise duties and tax on services. The operations of all Central Excise officials is supervised and controlled from here.
Personnel and Vigilance Here, the emphasis is on personnel management, which includes career planning, recruitment, transfer, promotion and training. Surveillance operations also form part of this branch. If you plan to become a customs officer, you can work in this particular department.
Anti-Smuggling This branch supervises and controls the anti-smuggling departments and formulates policies and procedures relating to anti-smuggling.
Customs and Excise cadres are not exclusive departments. Officers can be transferred from one to another, depending upon their experience and demands of work.
After probation, customs officers get posted as Assistant Commissioners (customs) at any one of the eleven Zonal offices located in major cities in India.
They are promoted in due course to:
• Deputy Commissioners (customs)
• Additional Commissioners (customs)
• Commissioners (customs)
• Member (Central Board of Excise and Customs)
• Chairman (Central Board of Excise and Customs)
The best part about the government services is that on becoming full-fledged officers you will continue service until retirement. The stability in the government services is unparallel in India.
Jobs in the Civil Services involve a great deal of power and authority, which is another high. Even after retirement you have numerous options working for firms involved in the import-export business where your knowledge of customs procedure and contacts will come in handy. Freelancing as a consultant is also a good option.
Abilities & Traits Required
Requirement to be an Income Tax Officer:
• Diplomatic and discreet
• Fluent in English and local languages
• Above average at organising
• Excellent at communicating
• Extrovert, dynamic, meticulous
• A strong leader
• Aware about national and international affairs
• Interested in human affairs
• Physically fit
You have to qualify through the Indian Civil Services examination. Very few manage to get through the ICS examination. Thereafter you can opt for different services based on your preference and ranking in the examination.
To be eligible to take the ICS test you need to a graduate in any stream with age around 21-30. Apart from direct recruitment through the Indian Civil Services Examination some posts in the junior scale are filled in by promotes from the Group 'B' of the Central Government or State Government Services.
As a Customs officer, you will then have over 24 services to choose from. You will be expected to list your options and placed according to your grades. Customs are much soft after so you need to score really well.
Once appointed, all probationary officers of the All India and Central Services undergo a compulsory foundation training course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.
Training begins in the last week of August with a foundation training course of 4 months duration for probationers of all civil services. The foundation course is followed up by specific job-oriented training, conducted separately by each service in different parts of the country.
This training is partly institutional and partly hands-on. For most cadres, the training is of 12 months' duration. Customs probationers are trained at Chennai.
• Junior Officer Scale - (18000-22000)
• Senior Officer Scale - (25000-30000)
• Junior Administrative Grade (after nine years of services) - (35000-45000)
• Selection Grade (after 14th year) - (47000-50000)
• Senior Administrative Grade (15th-18th year) - (52000-75000)