Customs Officer Job Description
A customs officer is a law enforcement agent whose job is to monitor and inspect imports and exports into and out of a country to ensure compliance with customs laws, policies, and procedures. Customs officers monitor and inspect cargoes, baggage, and personal articles entering or leaving a country to prevent smuggling and to see what duty is payable on imported goods.
A customs officer should be patient, observant, responsible, polite and tactful, and have the ability to correctly interpret and apply customs laws, policies, and procedures. They should be good at communicating and able to relate to persons of all races, creeds, cultures and varying personalities.
Pursue a career in law enforcement if you are courageous and disciplined, and interested in maintaining law and order in your society.
What does a Customs Officer do?
Customs officers may do some or all of the following:
- interpret and explain customs laws and regulations
- prepare and process export and import documentations according to customs laws and procedures
- investigate smuggling issues
- interrogate suspicious people
- analyze data and information
- detain persons found to be in violation of customs laws
- enforce customs laws
- locate and seize contrabands
- determine duty and taxes to be paid on goods
- work closely with officers of other law enforcement agencies
- give evidence in court
- stay up-to-date with customs laws
Where does a Customs Officer work?
Customs officers usually work shifts including night, weekends and public holidays. They work outdoors and indoors at border crossings, outposts, airports, and seaports. Their job may involve traveling and moving around to undertake patrols and surveillance of border areas. They may be required to carry firearms while working to defend themselves against violent smugglers.
What is Required to Become a Customs Officer?
To be eligible to become a customs officer in most countries, you will need to be at least 18yrs of age, be a citizen or a permanent resident of the country, and pass drug, fitness and medical tests. You will be required to undergo a customs training program once you are employed.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Customs officers need to have:
- courteousness and tactfulness
- discipline and sobriety
- integrity and impartiality
- confidence and courage
- good eyesight
- physical strength and stamina
- good attention to detail
- good hand-eye coordination
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good teamwork skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- organizational skills
- interviewing skills
- record keeping skills
- observational skills
- the ability to relate to persons of all races, creeds, cultures and varying personalities
- the ability to use a variety of equipment such as,2-way radios, computers, x-rays and ionscan
- the ability to stay calm under pressure
- knowledge of behavioral psychology
- knowledge of search and investigation techniques
- knowledge of contemporary issues
- knowledge of border security techniques
- knowledge of custom policies and laws
Should I be a Customs Officer?
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