Development of Competences of Customs Officers: Preliminary Insights

  • Maret Güldenkoh
  • Indrek Saar
  • Helle Koitla
  • Marika Kaselo
Keywords: customs officer, professional standards for customs, professional qualifications of customs officers, customs education, customs competencies


Estonia is a member of the European Union and is one of the border states of the EU; therefore, Estonia plays an important role in the implementation and further development of the Union's customs policy decisions. In order for all of this to work, the customs officer must be qualified and professionally competent. The competence requirements are developed internally within the institutions and can be used as a basis for the development of professional qualification requirements and, subsequently, professional standards. The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary insigt into the current situation of ensuring and developing the competence of customs officials in Estonia and in the European Union and to identify its further development needs, including the need for drafting and implementing a professional standard. For this purpose, the existence of professional standards for customs officials in the European Union countries, relevant scientific literature and legislation, and the views of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (TCB) on the importance of a qualified workforce were analyzed. The analysis revealed that no professional standard for customs officers has been drawn up in any of the EU countries, however, in seven countries, in the interest of the private sector, professional standards have been drawn up for the benefit of those involved in customs operations. The TCB has not yet considered it necessary to discuss the applicability of the professional standards but considers it important in the operation of customs policy to have a qualified workforce. Educational institutions in the EU Member States of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) declare that they teach customs officers in curricula that meet the competency requirements of the World Customs Organization customs officers.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Maret Güldenkoh
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
Indrek Saar
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
Helle Koitla
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
Marika Kaselo
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
How to Cite
Güldenkoh, M., Saar, I., Koitla, H., & Kaselo, M. (2020). Development of Competences of Customs Officers: Preliminary Insights. Estonian Discussions on Economic Policy, 28(1-2), 66-84.
Articles. Artikeln. Artiklid