OVERVIEW                                                      AIR INTELLIGENCE UNIT

DOCKS INTELLIGENCE UNIT                           TOWN INTELLIGENCE           RUMMAGING                                  OTHERS



The Preventive Wing as the name would suggest, is involved in the prevention of smuggling activities by employing various deterrent methods, like maintaining intelligence network, cultivating informers, making searches leading to seizures, confiscation of contraband and arrest of offenders

Under the preventive wing function various intelligence units, which work in collaboration with each other for the single purpose of prevention of smuggling activities

Officers working in these units operate in plain clothes as the nature of work demands secrecy and anonymity.The intelligence section consists of three major units based on the area of operation, namely Air Intelligence Unit (AIU), Docks Intelligence Unit (DIU) and Rummaging and Town Intelligence (RSI and RSR) and also a Narcotics wing concentrating on narcotics.




The officers posted to this unit operate in the Chennai International Airport and the Air cargo Complex. Their main area of responsibility are screening passengers and flights coming from and departing to sensitive areas, screening of the baggage and cargo of these flights.The operations also include keeping a tag on smuggling networks and their operatives, detection of concealments and seizure of contraband

The Deputy Commissioner AIU heads the AIU. Preventive team of officers under him undertake all operations. The team can be contacted at:

Anna International Air port ,
Telephone :2560213



The DIU is one of the key arms of the Preventive setup in Indian Customs, Chennai.Besides Customs Act, 1962, the DIU is responsible for enforcement of 48 other allied acts including the Arms Act, 1959, the NDPS Act, 1985, Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992, FERA, 1973, Customs tariff Act, 1975, SAFEMFOPA, 1976, the Copyright Act, 1974, etc.

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The objective of the DIU is to gather intelligence and effect seizures of contraband both through import and export mode through Chennai harbour and thereby prevent loss of Government revenue

In Chennai Custom House, the activities of DIU is concentrated mainly around the Chennai Harbour including the vessels arriving / departing and at ten other CFS located in and around the city as detailed below:


CWC,131,Shaik Maistry Street,
Royapuram, Chennai – 600 013.
CWC, GNT Road, Madhavaram
Chennai – 110
CWC, Virugambakkam,
No.1, Arcot Road, Chennai – 92
Sanco CFS, Tiruvottiyur
Chennai – 600 019
5735427 / 3440 / 3447 / 3762
5733465 – Preventive Officer
Container Corprn. Of India Ltd.,.
Sathangadu Village
Chennai 600 019.
AS Shipping, Numbal CFS,
Chennai – 600 077
Indev CFS, Manali New Town,
Chennai – 600 103
5941883 / 4 / 5 / 6
Viking CFS, Moolakadai,
Chennai – 600 110
5375333 / 5375017 / 5951671
5951672 / 5954508
MAC-CWT CFS, Valllur village
Ponneri Taluk, Thiruvallur Dt.
5251296 / 7 / 5272063
Sattva Hi-Tech And Conware P Ltd.,CFS,
126/A, Ponneri High Road,
Tiruvottiyur, Chennai 600 103.
594 0016
483 4243 (city Office)
Balmer & Lawrie Co Ltd, CFS
Manali, Chennai-600 068.
594 1647 / 594 1813

Intelligence is gathered about illegal movement of import / export goods through various sources.Any person coming to know of any movement of contraband may approach Officers of DIU and provide details.Information leading to confiscation of contraband shall be suitably rewarded.The identity of such informers shall be kept confidential.


For providing of information, Officers may be approached at

Room No.10, III floor,
Custom House,
No.60, Rajaji Salai
Chennai 600 001
Tel.No.5221918 Ext.4412


             1)                   Misdeclaration of
                                              a)Item Description
                                              b)Item quantity
                                              c)Item Value
             2)Non Declaration



The officers of this unit have a jurisdiction over the entire city of Chennai and suburbs.Their main area of responsibility are detection and seizure of smuggled goods in transit or clandestine storage, follow up action on offenders and investigation of cases pertaining to other Commissionerates.


The officers of rummaging unit are internationally known to crew of vessels as the black gang, as they usually wear black colored dungarees while rummaging ships

Rummaging is an extension of preventive activity into the sea by way of patrolling coastal areas, boarding ships anchored at the outer anchorage for purpose of rummaging the ship and detect any contraband items concealed in cavities of the ship.Rummaging unit also deals with rummaging of vessels inside the harbour.The trend in smuggling activities slowly shifting toward narcotics from gold and electronic items, the Rummaging officers are fully geared for meeting the challenges posed by narco smugglers.


The Custom House has a separate Narcotic Cell entrusted with the enforcement of the Narcotics law in India.It is headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Rummaging & Intelligence)

The Jurisdiction of the Narcotics unit includes the Sea Port, Chennai Customs, Meenambakkam Airport and the area under the jurisdiction of Chennai Corporation, Ambattur and Ponneri Taluk of Tiruvallure District, Tambaram Taluk of Kancheepuram District and designated area in the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of India as declared by the Government of India by time to time.



                 DUTY COLLECTION

Another important aspect of preventive work is collection of customs duty.This duty is leviable on goods of foreign origin brought by passengers arriving from foreign countries at the point of arrival, namely, air ports, sea ports and land routes.The customs Preventive Officer who is the third official a traveler/tourist upon arrival in India would meet – after the health and immigration officials – is the proper officer for collection of customs duty on baggage and can be identified by his white uniform, shoulder epaulettes with three faceted lion insignia in the center and twin stripes and white peak cap with customs logo in front.The Preventive Officer is variously described as the country’s Ambassador of Goodwill and sentinel who guard the country’s economic frontiers


                AUCTION AND DISPOSAL


The third most important aspect of preventive work is auction and disposal of confiscated goods, which is a major source of Government revenue.
All confiscated item (from air port, docks or town seizures) are stored in Customs Warehouse. On disposal orders being issued and if item are retail in nature then they are sold through retail shop and commercial bulk items are sold through mode of open Auction. Presently, Auction is being held once in a month and dates are published in any one national English daily and one vernacular daily. Persons interested in bidding and inspection of goods can contact Superintendent (Disposal) on all working days. The successful bidder has to deposit EMD @ 25% of bid amount at the fall of hammer. The balance is to be paid within 6days failing which EMD will be forfeited. Items brought for auction include foreign & Indian motor vehicles, bulk drugs, chemicals, machinery, computer parts, ball bearings, textiles etc., nowadays even primary gold and silver is being sold by disposal unit. The rates are fixed by Bombay Bullion auction market on daily basis. Anyone can purchase gold [minimum 1 kg and maximum 5 kgs] or silver [maximum 500 Kgs] on production of Income tax PAN No.. A discount of 1% to Bombay price is given. Sales Tax is extra.

Apart from the above aspects of Preventive work, a preventive officer also acts as a facilitator of trade and commerce and tourism.


               Facilitator of Trade and Maritime

Through the Bond section, Container Freight Stations, MEPZ and 100% EOUs, the Preventive Officer’s service to trade like manufacturers, exporters and importers of Chennai is invaluable.

Through the General Preventive Section different facilities are extended to maritime and shipping:


               Conversion/Reversion Of Coastal/Foreign Going Vessels

When a vessel coming from foreign port has to be converted to coastal run, the owners/Steamer Agents have to approach the Asst. Commissioner of Customs, Preventive General with a requisition letter for deputing a Preventive Officer along with letter of undertaking for producing the customs duty paid receipt within 7 days from the date of conversion and Annexure-B (Undertaking that the private properties of crew/officer of the vessel reverted to coastal run cannot be landed without Customs Clearance) for safeguarding the revenue in respect of crew baggage clearance

On receipt of such request, the Section Superintendent will be directed to depute the Section Officer at Docks to take inventory of ship’s stores, bonded stores, bunkers, etc and the Master of such vessel has to give estimate quantity of such consumables during coastal run to the Section Officer.Thereafter the Owners/Steamer Agents have to file a Bill of Entry in the Import Department within 7 days from the date of conversion and the same has to be assessed within 5 days and a demand letter will be issued to the Owners/Steamer Agents who will have to pay the duty within 5 days from the date of receipt of such demand letter.In respect of reversion of the vessel from coastal run to foreign run, the Owners/Steamer Agents have to approach the Asst. Commissioner of Customs, Preventive General with a requisition letter for deputing a Preventive Officer to take inventory of ship’s stores, bonded stores, bunkers etc. along with customs duty paid receipt and copy of stores list/inventory taken at the time of conversion

On receipt of such request, Docks Superintendent will be directed to depute Section Officer who will follow the above procedure mutatis mutandis for taking inventory of goods against which duty has been paid so that any duty paid goods were found, the Steamer Agents/Owners can file refund for such goods.



                MACHINERY OR PINK PASS

Under Pink Pass procedures, ship’s articles can be removed into town for the purpose of repair without payment of duty subject to fulfillment of following conditions:-


             1)The firms and merchants of repute who have a permanent deposit in the Custom House as security for payment and who have executed a standing guarantee/bond in the prescribed form.

             2)Other firms and merchants who execute a separate guarantee/bond in the prescribed form

             3)The local Steamer Agents who are allowed to remove gear and equipment for repairs without payment of duty from vessels under their agency through their authorised firms have also to execute a guarantee bond in the prescribed form.
The prescribed forms can be had from the Preventive General Unit at III floor of Custom House.
The amount of the permanent deposit shall be fixed by the Asst. Commissioner with due regard to the extent and value of the transactions of each firm or merchant and shall be liable to be increased or decreased in proportion to any corresponding variation in the volume of such transaction
New firms on long term basis will be entertained only when the firm concerned has worked for atleast six months under the individual Guarantee system and the bonafides of the firm do not come under question during the probation period. Besides, the concerned firm has to furnish a statement of its financial position, Income-tax certificate and regular orders from atleast two major shipping companies

After fulfilment of the above conditions, the firm will be permitted to handle ship`s goods for repair and the goods so removed for repair will have to be placed on board within one month from the date of removal.


                 LINEN OR WHITE PASS

The Steamer Agents may pass out linen of vessels in port for washing on execution of a general guarantee valid for the duty and fine/penalty involved on the linen.The guarantee to be registered in the Preventive Department shall be renewed every year in January if the Steamer Agents desire that the concession should be continued

Linen of vessels in port will be passed out on a Pass in triplicate which will be presented to the Preventive Officer at the Gate or to the Section Officer at such ports when gates are not manned by Preventive Officers, who will retain the original copy.The duplicate and triplicate copies will accompany the linen passed out.

The ship’s linen after washing should be placed on board the vessel before leaving port.


                 CONTAINER IMPORTS

Container of durable nature are allowed by the Shipping Agents to be imported into the Country, free of duty subject to the condition that the container, so, imported are to be re-exported within 180 days from the date of import after executing necessary Bond.Condonation of 3 months is done by Asst. Commissioner and 6 months at once by the Commissioner for non-re-export of the Container.If the container not-re-exported within the permissible period, duty at the prevailing rate has to be paid.




Facilities such as The ATA Carnet are extended to tourists who wish to tour the country in their own vehicles

Under Carnet De Passage, foreign tourists are allowed to import any vehicle into India free of duty, subject to the condition that such vehicle shall be re-exported out of India within the validity period of Carnet.

The procedure for import is that Form X in duplicate should be filed with the Import Department for manifestation and after manifest, the same should be produced along with original Carnet De Passage and Xerox copy of the passport of the carnet holder.After the above procedure is complied with by the tourist, a Preventive Officer and an Intelligence Officer will be deputed to examine the vehicle at Port Trust/ any CFS where the subject vehicle has been moved and if nothing objectionable found, the relevant entries will be made in the passport of the carnet holder and Carnet De Passage for such import and passed out of customs charge will be issued.

Similarly, at the time of re-export of such vehicle, the tourist has to file Shipping Bill at the exit port along with the Carnet De Passage with the Export Department.After assessment of the same, a Preventive Officer and an Intelligence Officer will be deputed to examine the vehicle and if nothing objectionable found, let export order will be issued by the Preventive Superintendent and entries made at the time of import in the passport of the carnet holder will be cancelled so that the carnet holder can leave the country.

For any help, Preventive General Unit at Custom House can be contacted either in person or at Telephone No.5221918 extn. 4261/4206/4389