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October 25 – Day of the Customs Officer of the Russian Federation

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Customs officers of the Russian Federation celebrate the anniversary of their professional holiday on the 25th of October. It was introduced by the state in 1995.

The Russian Customs Service demonstrates its readiness to support law-abiding and “transparent” participants of foreign trade.

Hi-tech technologies play an important role in ensuring Russia’s security. Therefore, the Russian Customs Service has some priorities in detecting contraband by search and screening. Customs revenues provide the income to the federal budget.

In 2005, the system of electronic declaration was introduced. Customs Service activities related to protection of intellectual property take on special significance.

Exercise 14.Translate the following sentences:

1. День таможенника стали праздновать с 1995.

2. Таможне отводится большая роль в российском государстве.

3. Таможня защищает права собственности.

4. Таможенники поддерживают законопослушных участников ВЭД.

5. Приоритетной задачей таможни является защита безопасности государства.

Exercise 15.Speak on the role of Customs using the following phrases: professional holiday, means of control, means of communication, to provide communication, intellectual property, special significance, law-abiding travellers.

Exercise 16.Translate into Russian.

Customs organizations worldwide mark International Customs Day (ICD) each year on the 26 of January. This marks the day of the first official meeting of the Customs Co-operation Council, now known as the World Customs Organization.

Exercise 17.Read the text below to find the English equivalents for:

хитроумные вопросы; неуклюжий, неловкий; ‘чутье’ таможенника; интуиция на обнаружение нелегальных товаров; нефтяные танкеры; таможенный инспектор досмотровой группы береговой охраны; контрабандные спиртные напитки.

Text 3

The Customs Officer

The Customs Department was formed many hundreds of years ago to collect duties and taxes and stop smugglers bringing illegal goods into the country. Officers spent their time riding around the coast looking for boats that were used to bring in brandy and Albanians from France.

A good officer will get something called a “Revenue Nose” to help him spot a smuggler. Each officer is issued with a list of cunning questions to stop a smuggler in his tracks.

Customs officers are trained to deal with awkward passengers. This is called confrontation. Have you ever told anyone that they have been caught in possession of an ugly wife and seen their reaction?

Officers are trained to be able to climb and jump. Sometimes they have to leave vessels after they have sailed.

Officers enjoy searching people for illegal goods. This can be upsetting for people and particularly amusing for the officer.

There is little equipment issued to an officer to help him carry out his duties. Sometimes, on oil tankers, officers are required to enter rooms where there are no lights.

This officer is using his experience to make sure that there are no dangerous gases present that could suffocate (задыхаться, душить) him if he breathed them in.

Coast Preventive Men are on the lookout for smugglers who come ashore during the daylight hours. These men are the eyes and ears of the department and are highly motivated.

At airports officers sometimes run out of time and get stuck on aircraft that have to leave and go to foreign countries. This is very inconvenient as they are away for several days at a time.

Officers are required to go undercover to check that pubs are not selling smuggled spirits. Each officer is trained to identify the difference between home produced drink and that brought in from abroad. This takes much practice and training sessions regularly.

(Abridged from “A Lady bird “Easy Reading” book.

People at Work. Customs Officer”)

Exercise 18.Match theEnglish word-combinations (from Text 3) with their Russian equivalents.

1) to carry out one’s duties a) работать с трудными/неуправляемыми пассажирами
2) to get stuck on aircraft b) ходить в штатском (тайно, с целью проверки)
3) to deal with awkward passengers c) ввозить в страну нелегальные товары
4) to search people for illegal goods d) уметь лазить и прыгать
5) to run out of time e) обнаружить (распознать) контрабандиста
6) to collect duties and taxes f) застревать на борту авиалайнера
7) to go undercover to check g) выполнять свои обязанности
8) to bring illegal goods into the country h) вдыхать опасные газы
9) to be able to climb and jump i) быть ограниченным во времени
10) to spot a smuggler j) обыскивать людей на предмет контрабанды
11) to breathe dangerous gases in   k) взимать пошлины и налоги


Exercise 19.Complete the phrases from Text 3 using prepositions. Make up sentences of your own.

a) to bring goods……the country;

b) to look……..boats bringing brandy;

c) to list ………cunning questions;

d) to deal………. awkward passengers;

e) to be caught…….possession …….illegal drugs;

f) to be amusing ……..the officer;

g) to be run……. …….time.


Talking Points

Exercise 20. In pairs or small groups, discuss the questions and exchange your ideas with the class.

1. What opportunities does a career in Customs provide?

2. What is the most important point in dealing with a passenger?

3. Why is psychological training important for Customs officers?

4. A successful Customs officer:

needs to know……

must be aware of……

should be able to……

should be skilled in……

should have: “a feel for figures”, “an analytical mind”, “ a sense of order”.

5. When selecting a career of a Customs officer a person has several decisions to make.

Exercise 21.Fill in the following table using the prompts below.

Use the dictionary if necessary. Working for Customs requires:

Interpersonal skills Practical skills and mind abilities Physical characteristics Other personality characteristics
sociable experienced strong  


observant, attractive, pleasant to deal with, well-bred, well-read, honest, persistent, independent, firm, tactful, reliable, serious, efficient, industrious, capable, just, good-natured, resolute, strong-willed, brave, sympathetic, decisive, supportive, emotional, kind, fair, authoritative, friendly, athletic, broad-shouldered, self-disciplined, neat, witty, polite, noble, demanding.

Exercise 22.In pairs or small groups, discussthephysical requirements for Customs officers and some of their working conditions.

Exchange your ideas with the class.

Depending on the nature of the work to be performed, there are some special requirements, for example:

-sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time while conducting inspections and examinations;

-using physical force and tools to ensure the safety of officers, clients and members of the public;

-viewing computer screens and using a keyboard on a daily basis;

Occasionally using X-ray and gamma-ray machines, microscopes and black-light equipment to detect contraband and forged or counterfeit documents, etc.

It is not possible to predict what situations may occur at remote locations or main worksites.

Examining people, personal effects, shipments and conveyances may require:

-wearing cumbersome/protective clothing;

-being outside in bad weather conditions;

-conducting marine rummage examinations, etc.


Exercise 23.Render the text in English using the following words and word-combinations:

мундир, китель – tunic

гражданская война – civil war

символика – symbolics

фуражка – peaked cap

кадуцеи – caduceus

красноармеец – Red Army man

форма – uniform

цветовая гамма – colour spectrum

образец – sample

император – emperor

головной убор – headwear

парадный – full-dress

повседневный – casual

герб – crest

знаки различия – insignia

представительский – representative

погоны – straps

Text 4

Российский таможенный мундир

Российский таможенный мундир был утвержден 23 августа 1827 года. Таможенная форма многократно менялась, дополнялась новыми элементами и меняла цветовую гамму.

В период гражданской войны изменялась форма и таможенная символика. Но сохранился главный символ – перекрещенные кадуцеи (жезлы Меркурия), которые располагались на фуражках и на пуговицах формы. Многие сотрудники таможни носили форму красноармейцев.

В 1924 году была принята первая советская таможенная форма для работников Главного таможенного управления. Цвета форменной одежды таможенников - черный и белый.

В 1943 году форма должностных лиц была вновь изменена, она походила на образцы эпохи императора Александра III.

В 1946 году были введены кители нового образца черного цвета с подшитым белым воротничком. Форма стала подразделяться на парадную и повседневную. Эмблема на головные уборы представляла собой герб СССР без жезлов Меркурия.

В 1951 году года вводится новая форма одежды и знаки различия. Таможенная форма стала более разнообразна по составу.

Позднее цвет формы стал серо-голубым.


С 1992 года были установлены четыре основных вида форменной одежды: представительская, повседневная, оперативно-служебная и специальная.

Современная форма обладает рядом несомненных преимуществ перед формой таможенных служащих предшествующих периодов. Возврат темно-зеленого цвета формы, введение символики дореволюционного периода, таможенного флага образца 1827 года – традиции российской таможенной службы.

Exercise 24.Answer the following questions:

1. Has the Customs uniform gone through many alterations during the history?

2. What was the design of the Customs uniform during the Civil war?

3. What is the modern version of the Customs uniform?

4. Why was the uniform re-designed several times?

5. Does modern uniform combine the styles of the old and the new?

6. Will you have to wear a uniform if you join the Customs?


Focus on Grammar

Exercise 25.Insert the article (the, a, an) if necessary.

1. Excuse me. Could you tell me ____way to ____Customs Academy?

2. Her parents have ____small farm in ____Yorkshire.

3. He missed ____train. That was ____reason he arrived late.

4. Don’t smoke in ____cinema. It’s forbidden.

5. ____ plane didn’t fly because of ____storm.

6. Last year he worked for ____big company in ____Brussels, ____company employs over 4000 people.

7. She sometimes gets ____letters from her friends abroad.

Exercise 26.Choose the correct tense forms of the verbs in brackets.

1. The Customs officer usually (examine) passengers’ baggage.

2. He (read) the passengers’ declarations every day.

3. The Customs officer (look) through the passenger’s Customs form at the moment.

4. My friend (be) a Customs officer.

5. Customs officers still (search) passengers for illegal goods.

6. At first I (register) my luggage.

7. Mr. Grey (put) his suit-case into an X-ray machine now.

8. Last week they (go) to Moscow on business.

Exercise 27. Supply ‘to be going to’ or Present Continuous for these sentences:

1. We (eat) at a restaurant tonight.

2. They (drive) to Manchester tomorrow morning.

3. Who (tell) him the news?

4. Hurry up! We (miss) the train.

5. How many people (arrive) today?

6. I (go) to the seaside next weekend.

7. Who (come) to John’s party later?

8. Our friends (meet) us before the concert yesterday.

9. We (move) into our new house next month.

10. She (visit) Great Britain before.

Exercise 28. Open the brackets using Present Simple or Future Simple.

1. I (not send) the parcel until I (hear) from you.

2. As soon as they (phone) me, I (contact) you.

3. I (see) you before I (fly) to Moscow.

4. They (send) you the money before they (leave).

5. When I (talk) to him, I (give) him the news.

6. She (visit) her parents before she (go) to the airport.

7. I (finish) this when I (be) at the office.

8. She (do) her homework before she (go) out.

9. After I (visit) the hospital, I (go) and see her parents.

10. I (phone) Mary when we (get) to St. Petersburg.

11. I (call) you as soon as we (sign) the contract.

12. He (not do) anything before you (tell) him to.

13. You (be) very surprised when you (meet) him.

Exercise 29. Use the possessive case.

Example: the toys of the children - the children’s toys.

1. The room of the students.

2. The declaration of the passenger.

3. The new club of the workers.

4. The birthday of my sister Ann.

5. The boats of the fisherman.

6. The opinion of the lawyer.

7. The offer of the seller.

8. The conclusion of the expert.

9. The house of my friend.

10. The bag of the tourist.

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