Customs officer

The job of a customs officer is to ensure that laws and regulations are complied with in connection with the import and export of goods. This includes monitoring the import of drugs, counterfeit goods (for example food and medicine), weapons, radioactive and other dangerous substances and cultural valuables, and ensuring cargo protection, disease control and product safety. A customs officer participates in the prevention of organized crime in order to counteract its effects on security in society.

Customs officers monitor ships and aircraft coming from abroad and have posts at airports, port areas, post offices, warehouses, express delivery companies and at customs offices throughout the country. In their work, customs officers use various tools and equipment such as X-ray equipment, X-ray vehicles, chemical analyzers, radiometer equipment, computers and special software for customs enforcement and surveillance, as well as narcotics search dogs.

Customs officers work in co-operation with other border inspection entities and companies as well as in co-operation with the police, for example in immigration control and regarding drug smuggling.

Main tasks

• customs control on arrival of ships and aircraft
• risk analysis and inspection of customs declarations and consignments
• surveillance of mail and express deliveries
• specialized search of vehicles, consignments, luggage and passengers
• seizure of illegal imports (smuggled goods)
• imposing and collecting import duties

Competence requirements

Customs officers must have completed a matriculation examination or equivalent education. It is necessary to have a good command of Icelandic and one Nordic language as well as English. Good general knowledge is also important, as well as interpersonal skills and being in good physical condition. A customs officer must have a general driving license and a clean criminal record.


The State Customs School handles the training of customs officers. Those who have been hired by the office of the Director of Customs for work involving customs or auditing and who have passed the school’s entrance exams will be admitted to the program.

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