Customs officers are responsible for helping to prevent the importation of illegal and/or dangerous goods including firearms, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and endangered animals. They are also known as customs and excise officers. Customs officers often work at ports of entry and airports.
- identifying people to question on the basis of prior offences/likely risk etc
- searching baggage and individuals for smuggled items
- making arrests of people suspected of smuggling
- seizing smuggled goods
- checking documentation relating to imported goods
- detecting and prosecuting drug smugglers
- collecting and supplying trade statistics
- writing reports
- fighting the increasing problem of alcohol and tobacco smuggling
- helping to combat the worldwide illegal trade in endangered species of animals and birds
- dealing with revenue due on imported goods
It’s possible to become a customs officer both with or without a degree. Experience and qualification in legal studies might be helpful.
Customs officers need to be calm, assertive and resilient, and must possess excellent communication, team working and interpersonal skills. They should also be free from certain criminal convictions.