What Does An Excise Inspector Do? Job Description And Duties

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 23 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A central excise inspector oversees the goods that are imported to or exported from a country. This prestigious and powerful job is also demanding and requires specialised skills. Knowing about the responsibilities, work environment and skills of an excise inspector can help you decide if this is a suitable career choice for you. In this article, we will discuss what does an excise inspector do, look at their day-to-day duties and responsibilities and find out how to become one.

What Does An Excise Inspector Do?

What does an excise inspector do, can be explained that he is responsible for collecting customs, central excise duties and service tax on goods imported to or exported from the country through ports and airports. They administer the process and influence the policies around it. It is a Group B position under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). They help prevent smuggling and ensure that the government collects the required taxes and duties. An excise inspector may have a desk job or a field posting.

An excise inspector on the desk is primarily responsible for carrying out clerical work as they mainly prepare, verify and validate paperwork. They influence the work environment of the department and take measures to improve the efficiency of the team. When given a field role, an excise inspector monitors the goods on-ground. They ensure all goods leaving from or arriving into the country are sealed and recorded. They also coordinate with existing and in-line manufacturers. In some scenarios, an excise inspector also assists in raids and searches for illegal products.

Duties And Responsibilities Of An Excise Inspector

An excise inspector directly impacts the government's revenue generation capabilities. Following are some of the duties and responsibilities of an excise inspector:

  • Inform manufacturers and businesses about the government regulations

  • Meet all statutory requirements on goods

  • Maintain records of all products that arrive or leave the country from ports or airports

  • Improve department efficiency and adapt methods to streamline operations

  • Overlook the work of their subordinates and provide feedback

  • Coordinate with other government departments

  • Stay up-to-date with regulatory changes

  • Implement any changes in policies in the department

  • Conduct business audits

  • Monitor the export and import of goods and seize illegal products

  • Assist in raids or search parties to arrest tax defaulters and smugglers

  • Identify irregularities in tax collection and take action against defaulters

  • Suggest changes in policies that can improve the department's work

  • Ensure timely tax collection

Related: What Does A Liaison Officer Do? (And How To Become One)

Work Environment Of An Excise Inspector

An excise inspector works throughout the week. They have fixed working hours and do not usually work overtime unless some special task may require them to. On some days, an excise inspector working on the field may work for additional hours for security checks or raids. Overall, the work environment is usually challenging. Excise inspectors monitor goods, meet government regulations and deal with many influential businesses who might try to evade taxes. Additionally, senior inspectors supervise and oversee their team's work.

Skills Required To Be An Excise Inspector

The role of an excise inspector requires them to work hard and tackle difficult situations. Therefore, depending on if they have a field posting or a desk posting, an excise inspector may require specific skills. Some of the vital skills required are:

Customs and tax regulation knowledge

An excise inspector has a clear understanding of the customs, central excise and service tax laws and regulations. They are aware of the exceptions in rules, changes and understand their implementation. They understand the processes governing the import and export of goods and monitor their execution. Understanding the law is essential to their job as they work to ensure its compliance.

Related: How To Become A Customs Officer In India (Skills And Duties)

Organisational skills

The work schedule of an excise inspector can be hectic. Apart from monitoring goods and records they liaison with government departments and meet businesses. The work pressure necessitates an excise inspector to manage their time well and stay organised. It helps in streamlining the work, managing different tasks and improving efficiency.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

Communication skills

An excise inspector requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. It is a critical part of their job to manage a lot of paperwork, communicate with colleagues, businesses and other government departments. They are active listeners who understand the point of view of businesses, colleagues and other workers and use insights to improve how the department functions.

Related: A Guide to the 7 C's of Communication

People management skills

Excise inspectors interact with multiple individuals during a typical work day. Some may address their grievances, raise issues and others may try to find a loophole in the system. An excise inspector deals with all of them to ensure compliance with rules and regulations. People management skill becomes essential when field excise inspectors participate in raids, tracking defaulters or smugglers.


An excise inspector is a team player, especially when assisting raids and search parties. They work with other departments and teams for the mission to succeed. Additionally, an excise inspector works with multiple members in the department for both clerical and fieldwork. Being a team player is essential to their job to understand the functioning of the department and make changes wherever necessary.

Basic digital literacy

Many processes for monitoring and maintaining goods are digitised. It is important for excise inspectors to know how to navigate software, tools, spreadsheets, presentations and documents. They may also work with government software and applications for their day-to-day tasks. Therefore, it is important for excise inspectors to have basic computer skills and be adept at using digital applications.

Related: Basic Computer Skills: Definition and Examples

How To Become An Excise Inspector?

The following steps illustrate how you can become an excise inspector:

1. Complete your education

A bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognised institute is required to be eligible to become an excise inspector. Selecting subjects like English or Hindi may help develop written and spoken skills. The choice of your subject does not influence your eligibility to appear for the entrance examination.

2. Clear Tier I, II and III SSC CGL Exam

After completing your graduation, you appear at the Staff Selection Commission - Combined Graduate Level Examination (SSC-CGL) examination. The candidates who appear for these examinations have to be between 18 and 27 years of age. Tier I and II are examinations conducted on a computer, while Tier III is a written examination. Each level tests a different skill like:

Tier I

The first level of the examination evaluates a candidate's knowledge of General Intelligence and Reasoning, General Awareness, Numerical Aptitude and English Comprehension. It contains a total of 100 multiple-choice questions of 200 marks, with each subject carrying 50 marks. The medium of the exam is English or Hindi and candidates get 2 hours to complete it.

Tier II

The Tier II paper is an objective paper divided into four parts: arithmetic ability, followed by English comprehension, statistics and finally general studies (finance and economics). Candidates get 2 hours for each section. Each section is for 200 marks.

Tier III

This is a subjective paper and requires you to write an essay, letter or application in 60 minutes. The maximum number of marks you can score in the third level of the examination is 100. The medium of the paper is English or Hindi.

Tier IV

Candidates who clear all the above exams appear for a computer proficiency test and submit their documents for verification. For an excise officer, this tests their computer skills in spreadsheets and presentation. It also involves a typing test.

3. Meet physical standards

Candidates who clear the exams and meet the minimum physical standards become excise inspectors. These standards do have some relaxation in height for men and weight for women, and also for candidates of reserved communities. Persons with orthopaedic disabilities do not have to take the physical test. The criteria are:

  • Male candidates: The minimum required height of male candidates is 157.5 cm and the chest must be 81 cm with a minimum of 5 cm expansion. They will have to walk 1600 metres in 15 minutes and cycle 8 kilometres in 30 minutes.

  • Female candidates: The minimum required height of female candidates is 152 cm, which can be relaxed by 2.5 cm. Their weight must be 48 kgs and they will have to walk 1000 metres in 20 minutes and cycle 3 kilometres in 25 minutes.

Related: The Best Government Jobs After Graduation for Freshers

Advantages Of Being An Excise Inspector

Since excise inspectors serve the government, their position comes with several benefits. Excise inspectors get a dearness allowance, transport allowance, rental allowance (if there is no accommodation in government quarters), petrol allowance and limited mobile bill reimbursement. Furthermore, there is job security and ample opportunities for growth. The job is highly respected and looked up to in society.

Disadvantages Of Being An Excise Inspector

The role of an excise inspector is highly demanding. Their work schedule can be demanding and field excise inspectors may have irregular work hours. While there are plenty of opportunities, the career progression is slow and it may take several years before they become eligible for a promotion.

Career Progression

An excise inspector may take five to eight years before getting a promotion. An excise inspector progresses to become a superintendent, which is also a Group B position. They then grow into Group A roles of an Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, Additional Commissioner and finally a Commissioner.

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