Customs Officer Āpiha Taupare

Customs officers control the entry and departure of goods, ships, planes and people to and from New Zealand.

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Customs officers may do some or all of the following:

  • inspect mail and goods for illegal items
  • patrol wharves and search ships and aircraft for prohibited and restricted goods
  • check passengers' passports and travel documents
  • check passengers for prohibited and restricted goods
  • assess and collect taxes on goods coming into the country, and on alcohol and tobacco made in New Zealand
  • gather import and export data
  • gather intelligence and assess security risks
  • carry out drug and commercial investigations
  • keep notes and evidence for legal investigations.

Physical Requirements

Customs officers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, and have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).

They must pass a medical exam for entry into the role, and ongoing fitness tests (for some customs officer positions).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for customs officers includes:

  • customer service roles involving dealing with the public, managing complaints and handling conflict
  • work involving legislation or law enforcement
  • being able to speak and understand other languages.

Personal Qualities

Customs officers need to be:

  • skilled at communicating
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • polite, patient and helpful
  • firm when dealing with people
  • skilled at analysing information and solving problems
  • good at planning
  • responsible
  • observant, with an eye for detail.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for customs officers includes:

  • customer service roles involving dealing with the public, managing complaints and handling conflict
  • work involving legislation or law enforcement
  • being able to speak and understand other languages.

Customs Officers can earn around $48K-$67K per year per year.

Customs officers may move into chief customs officer and managerial roles.

With further on-the-job training, customs officers may progress to jobs in areas such as:

  • intelligence
  • criminal investigation
  • dog training and handling.
Customs Officer

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