How would you like to ensure that our country is drug free, that terrorists cannot enter our country, that no illegal contraband or hazardous substance reaches our shores? Welcome then to the world of the department of customs.
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 services falls 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 will serve the central government wherever you may be posted.
As a customs officer you will be posted at international airports and ports. They will also serve at border and other coastal towns. You will be working in any of the following branches:
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.
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.
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.
You need to be:
- Alert, 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 fitBut above all, 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.
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.
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)
MONEY & OTHER BENEFITS
- Junior Officer Scale - (8000-13500)
- Senior Officer Scale - (10650-15850)
- Junior Administrative Grade (after nine years of services) - (12750-16500);
- Selection Grade (after 14th year) - (15100-18300)
- Senior Administrative Grade (15th-18th year) - (18400-22400)
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.
50 Years of Supreme Court On Central Excise and Customs
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Circulars On Excise and Customs
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