Tne Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration (BSCA) is a four-year college degree course for individuals who wish to pursue a career in custom brokerage or in the field of transportation and supply chain management. The program is designed to produce customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics managers, export-import managers and government customs officers and employees.
The Customs Administration curriculum provides students with the theoretical education and initial trainings on the practical application of the tariff and customs laws, policies and guidelines that are being implemented by the different government agencies that are involved in the import and export industries. Students will also learn various laws, regulations and procedures and its implication to taxation. The business oriented syllabus includes classroom activities and on-the-job training with customs brokerage companies or with the Bureau of Customs.
Is Customs Administration a profession?
is a profession. A graduate of BS in Customs Administration who passed the Custom Brokers Licensure Examination
is called a Customs Broker
. Customs Brokers may be employed by or affiliated with freight forwarders, private businesses, shipping lines, importers, exporters, trade authorities, and customs brokerage firms. Among their responsibilities are preparation and filing of requisite documents, computation, declaration and payment of duties, taxes and other accrued charges for proper clearance and valuation of imported goods.
What are the admission requirements for BSCA?
Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate. Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers admission.
- Must pass the college entrance examination
- Must pass the interview conducted by the college / university admission officer
- Medical laboratory results and health certificate
- Good Moral certificate from the previous school (sometimes from enrollees Barangay)
- Some schools require particular rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT)
- Some schools require particular high school grade or gross point average
What skills will help you succeed in this course?
BS Customs Administration does not require any special skills, except general skills helpful for any course.
- Organization and time management skills – being able to establish priorities and schedules for studies or review, rest and social period
- Basic Mathematical skills – ability to perform fundamental as well as complex mathematical operations.
- Communication skills – oral and written ability in English and in vernacular specially when making investigative and technical reports, feasibility studies and project presentation in classroom
- Interpersonal skills – being able to get along and work well with peers and classmates. It helps to have study groups to assist you in understanding and remembering lessons. Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences
How difficult is this course?
The BS in Customs Administration course is not very difficult but it requires a lot of memorization, calculation and analytical thinking. One aspect of the course is about classifying goods for customs duty and there are many material names and terminologies that one must remember.
How long does it take to complete the BS Customs Administration program in the Philippines?
Normally, the BSCA program takes 4 years to complete. Some schools who apply the trimesteral system complete the program in shorter time.
Practicum requires 150 to 400 hours of the last semester for On-The-Job Training.
Reviews for the board exam may require an additional 5-6 months, depending whether you pass on your first try.
On The Job training / Internship
The Practicum for Customs Administration consist of two parts. The first being a 5 unit classes that involves summary discussion of all topics/subjects and its application in customs laws, rules and regulations.
The 2nd phase of Practicum is the on-the-job training where theoretical knowledges will be put into actual practice. Students will be familiarize with the administration, management and various operations in the Customs Industry. This 150-400 hours of OJT will be conducted at the actual Bureau of Customs Office or in a HEIs accredited private logistic company.
The Board Exam
A BS Customs Administration graduate needs to take the Customs Brokers Licensure Examination before he/she can practice as a Customs Broker. The examination is conducted by the Board of Examiners for Customs Brokers under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
. It is scheduled once a year, usually in the month of October.
A written examination shall be given to the licensure applicants for Customs Broker profession, which shall include following subjects: Customs Laws and Implementing Rules and Regulations; Tariff Laws and International Trade Agreements; Practical Computation of Customs Duties, Taxes and Other Charges; Documentations, Professional Ethics, Customs Procedures and Practices; and Warehousing and Cargo Handling Operations
After graduation, students have 5-6 months review time before the October exam. Review programs are usually provided for by the school. However, some students decide on enrolling at specialized review centers.
You can view the passing rates for the Customs Brokers Licensure Exam here
Career opportunities for BS Customs Administration graduates
Jobs for licensed Customs Brokers (board exam passers)
- Entry Level jobs
Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
- Customs Declarant – classifiy articles and reviews pertinent documentations of merchandize for valuation of customs duties and taxes
- Customs Representative – courier of a company to the custom agency whose responsibility includes preparation of import, export and liquidation documents of all incoming and outgoing deliveries.
- Freight Forwarder – is an agent who acts on behalf of importers or exporters to organise the safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of goods.
- Customs Processor – facilitates proper import or export documents with relevant parties to track all incoming and outgoing deliveries following regulated Custom program.
- Air/Sea Cargo Handling Documentation Clerk – prepares manifest and other customs requisite documents needed by an importer/exporter in lodging and processing of their import and export entries.
- Bureau of Customs Employee – can be assigned as Customs examiner appraiser (COO III), to check imported articles to ensure collection of lawful revenue.
- Financial Institutions Staff – assists importers and exporters with their foreign currency remittance and transaction and ensures that trade facilitation and liberalization is encouraged.
- Mid-Level Positions
Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
- Warehouse Managers – oversee the efficient receipt, storage, and dispatch of a wide range of products and merchandize.
- Transport Planners – works on policies, plans and projects relating to all kinds of transport systems to aid movement of products. This includes roads and the use of cars, lorries and buses, rail networks, pedestrian systems for walking or cycling, and air travel.
- Export Office Administrator – responsible for booking export merchandize with airlines, carriers and third party network partners and ensuring that shipments were processed accurately.
- Distribution Managers – ensure the right products are delivered to the right location on time and at a good cost.
- College Instructor – teaches customs and tariff administration subjects in university, college or school offering BSCA.
- Advanced Positions
Require years of extensive experience and practice:
- Owner/Incorporator of Forwarding Company or Customs Brokerage – with the required experience skills and managerial expertise he/she may set up and operate his/her own business
- Customs Official – can head a division or a department in the Bureau of Customs that assist the transacting public in the clearance of cargoes and accreditation with its office or other instrumentalities
- Senior Freight Forwarder – with administrative capacity, oversees activities within a specialised department or in a particular area, such as sea freight or air freight.
- Senior Logistics And Distribution Managers – takes general management duties such as business development and overseeing the efficient supervision of an organisation's resources, labour, capital, facilities, and business functions.
- College Department Head – may exercise academic leadership among faculty in developing/improving Curricular programs and maintain linkages with relevant industry and academic entities.
Jobs for Non Board Passers:
- Shipping Clerk – works on a office-based role in a distribution centre, taking detailed information to track and trace each freight.
- Logistics Officer – transacts and coordinates with suppliers for documentation, transportation, shipment and delivery of merchandize
- Procurement Assistant – helps the Purchasing officer with inventory as well as sourcing of products
Jobs not related to Customs Administration that graduates can apply to
- Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
- Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
- Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
Career Opportunities AbroadLogistics and Supply Chain jobs are available abroad for Filipinos (source), however customs or declarant employment opportunities are limited (source).
Salary LevelsIn the Philippines, a Broker with 1-4 years of experience earns a monthly avarange of about php15,000 while those in supervisory positions have a salary range of php27,000 to php48,000 per month (source).
In the field of Logistics, Staff can earn a monthly salary of about php12,000 to php19,000 (source) while a Logistics Manager can earn php30,000 to php50,000 per month (source).
At the Bureau of Customs, the position of Colletor of Customs V - an Executive/ Managerial Position with Second level eligibility, has a monthly salary of php53,000 ( source).
Salaries for those who work abroad are generally much higher.