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Preventive Department

The Preventive Department constitutes a special organ of the Customs Division. Its functions are not only vital to the protection of national revenue through the prevention of revenue leakages, but also ensure maximum border protection against illicit trade across borders with an emphasis on community protection and public safety.

The Department deploys the use of several strategies to ensure culprits are sanctioned, backed by the Customs Act, Act 891 of 2015.  The Preventive Department has the Deputy Commissioner as the head of all Preventive/Enforcement activities in relation to Customs enforcement of tax laws and International agreements which are trade, safety and security related.  The Deputy Commissioner, Preventive, has oversight responsibility over all  units under the collection through the sector/collection commanders.

As the country’s first line of defense, the Customs Division through its Preventive Department suppresses all forms of external aggression and other cross border crimes such as terrorism, money laundering, smuggling of arms/ammunition, narcotics, etc.

Preventive Department Units

The Preventive Department has the following units:

  • Marine Unit
  • Preventive Operation Unit (POU)
  • Canine (K9) Unit
  • Vehicle Task Force
  • Rapid Deployment Team
  • Counter Terrorism Unit
  • Transit Monitoring Unit
  • Re - Examination Team
  • DVLA Vehicle Inspection Team


  • Maintain security presence at all entry and exit points of the country.
  • Plan and execute physical patrols/ambushes, snap checks of all parts of the country including unapproved routes and territorial waters of the country.
  • Pre-empt, detect, and prevent all offences of the Customs laws as well as statutes of other relevant bodies.
  • Provide adequate protection for relevant personnel and properties of the Authority.
  • Gather intelligence about operations and strategies of probable smugglers and other threats whilst employing effective strategies to counter them.
  • Guard against revenue leakages by jointly or independently conducting examination and/or re-examination of goods for both tax and non-tax purposes with the immigration officers.
  • Arrest, detain and arraign for the prosecution of offenders of the Customs laws.
  • Physical safeguarding of all goods admitted under the Suspense regimes at their respective points of entry, points of holding and points of exit.
  • Search and examine persons, luggage, and premises to uncover contraband goods and wanted persons.
  • Boarding and rummaging of aircraft, vessels, vehicles, and other means of conveyances upon suspicion.
  • Provide for the escort and transportation of subjects of interest (goods and persons) to avoid diversion and / or escape.
  • Conduct internal security operations such as counter terrorism operations, election security supervision, among others Jointly with the relevant security agencies like police, BNI, Counter Terrorist Unit, Military, etc


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