Tuesday, 23 August 2022
Well, would you believe that www.customscollector.com has been on the internet for 20 years! Amazing! I figure that this means it's time for an update to the website. So, without further ado, please enjoy some new additions to the different insignia from Customs administrations around the world! I will progressively roll out more images in the days and weeks ahead. If you would like to provide images, please email me.
Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Csaba Kutasi collection - recent updates
Friday October 2, 2020
Some nice new images courtesy of Maxim Titov from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia x2, Finland and Tajikistan.
Monday May 11, 2020
Some nice new images courtesy of Roy Stammwitz from Belgium Customs. I particularly like the container control insgnia. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 11, 2020
We are certainly living in interesting times! I am looking to update this website with new images and information about Customs Insignia. I am looking to receive and update these pages with images received. Here are some of the latest additions:
Sunday, January 22, 2017
It has been a long time since this site was last updated. Many changes have taken place since that time and many images have been sent my way. Quite simply, I do not have time to address these additions.
So, I have had no response to my request for others to assist me with updating the website, so it will go into maintenance mode only, for now.
New additions in 2016:
Australian Border Force | British Indian Ocean Territory |Denmark | Fiji | Germany | Guam | Indonesia | Republic of Korea | New Zealand | United Kingdom | United States Badges | United States Hat Badges
In addition, I now have a small shop where I will advise of patches for sale. Payment is via PayPal.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Welcome to 2014! As you can see, I have updated the template and redesigned the site quite significantly. These updates include:
- Larger image thumbnails - so visitors can better see the thumbnails of each image. This was something previously under trial.
- Removed the forum and member sign on requirements - those who had previously signed on as members will be progressively added to the collectors section, as will any images added to the forum previously.
- Search options have been placed in the lower (footer) menu, as have most read and recently updated pages
- Approximately 100 images are awaiting upload and addition to the site
- Feedback on the new(er) setup would be greatly appreciated.
- Below, please find attached some recent submissions by Tanel Orro
11 May 2013
1. The site was defaced and access for members became problematic, this has subsequently been restored. Members are invited to request their login details be resent to their registered email address and then request a password rest.
2. A number of personal issues intruded upon my ability to devote as much time as I normally do to the website. These issues have largely settled down and I am looking forward to putting out a bumper round of site updates, including details about a new book from a retired Canadian Customs Officer.
3. Updates will include new images from Australia (published recently), USA, UK, Russia, Czech Republic and more. I welcome any new information and images for the site.
4. The accompanying image to the left is that of the Honour Customs Administration of the Czech Republic. The badge is awarded for exceptional merit in the performance of tasks for the benefit of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic. It is made from silver plated alloy with dimensions of 42x30mm. It has the shape of a winged helmet and sticks, wrapped by two mutually entwined snakes, on top are placed gilded stylized letters CS. The accompanying ribbon, measuring 32x12mm is made in blue with a white stripe in the middle. Minature stylised letters CS are placed within (Image and information courtesy Jaroslav Polach).
17 January 2013
Several new images have been added recently from the Canadian Border Service Agency, Ethiopian Customs, Hungarian Customs and from the United Arab Emirates. Image thumbnails are also progressively being made larger for easier viewing across all documents, so please, let me know if the increase in size is appropriate.
In the meantime, please enjoy these operational photographs of Russian Customs Mil 8, tender and SWAT team, courtesy recently retired Andrey Pervakov. Enjoy!
Also, new insignia have also been proposed for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The collection, retention, trading or unauthorised possession of these items will be considered an internal disciplinary matter. What does this mean? Members of the general collecting community are okay, as long as they do not acquire them from a serving member of Customs and Border Protection.
11 December 2012
Seasons greetings to you all and I wish you a very merry Christmas and new year! Unfortunately, as we all know, Customs officers are usually busiest in the lead up to the vacation season. Be safe, enjoy the festivities and make sure you spend time with your loved ones.
As promised, the focus on fraund has commenced, with a new main menu item Counterfeit comparison (which is only accesible for registered members) of comparisons of items for sale on eBay and genuine articles. Once viewed, the detail (or lack thereof) of fraudulent items are easy to spot. This is currently a work in progress (with over 110 images to provide comparisons of).
Focus on fraud - fraudulent manufacturers insignia shown on eBay will also be listed on the site, so collectors can compare genuine items to fraudulent reproductions.
16 November 2012
As you probably know, there hasn't been a lot happening to the site for some time now. Well, since I have returned from a well earned vacation, I hope to update the site on a more regular basis over the coming months.
To this end, I have been undertaking some site maintenance and looking at making the site more secure, robust and relevant. This has involved updating the software for the site, editors, forum and backup. Not an insignificant task to undertake.
Also, I am now making the site member only access and all requests for membership will be by email - no more self registration, due to increasing amounts of spam / false registrations. If you would like to register to use the site, please use the "Contact Us" link in the main menu.
So, updates to come over the following weeks include the following:
Focus on fraud - fraudulent manufacturers insignia shown on eBay will also be listed on the site, so collectors can compare genuine items to fraudulent reproductions.
Customs in the media - links will be added for popular TV shows featuring Customs in action
Customs books - new additions to the Customs literature
I hope you enjoy these updates and I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future.
Well, due to the priority of work, updates have been slow coming through. However, the updates for this month are quite significant. Updates for several nations that have not previously been showcased are now present - with grateful thanks to Georg Gruber from Austria.
These new nations being displayed for the first time include the following: Trinidad and Tobago, Oman, Jordan, Ecuador, Malaysia and Macao.
Several additions to insignia from Peru, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Canada.
These new images are only viewable to site subscribers, as I am progressively restricting viewing the Customs Insignia to members only. Membership will however, remain free.
Well, it has been some two months between updates, so I thought it was about time to add some more insignia items to the site, starting with several items from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority on Singapore, a number of older warrant cards from Jersey Customs, Guernsey, Vietnam, Libya, Turkey and Bhutan.
Also, in the members only forum section, Viv Wright, former Canada Customs and Revenue Agency member is writing a Masters level paper on the subject of change and change management in Government Services. Viv writes "My interests lie in the transition of Canada Border Services Agency from CCRA in 2003...This particular transition was quite succesful given the massive change of culture from revenue generation to an enforcement model...However finding documentation is quite difficult, as is first-hand annecdotes..."
So, I encourage you to drop into the forum, if you are current or former CCRA / CBSA officers and either reply to Viv in the forum or send him an
These new images are only viewable to site subscribers, as I am intending to progressively restrict viewing the Customs Insignia to members only. Membership will however, remain free.
10 April 2012
I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Easter / Passover time.
Recently, I have recevied a number of new insignia items from several of our regular contributors, so thank you once again, for all of the additions that keep coming.
I'd especially like to welcome Brian Richard, Deputy Head of Customs (Danish Civilian Contingent Leader) EULEX Customs Component, KOSOVO and say thank you for supplying the site with images of the rank insignia used by EULEX in Kosovo.
This particular bullion insignia is from the European Union Office for Criminal Investigations (Customs) - thank you Brian for sharing!!
Also in the news recently, Ukranian Customs / Border Guards received a makeover ahead of the Euro 2012 football championship.
9 March 2012
Meet the latest addition to the site, Kosovo Customs.
We've had a number of new members join the site, which is fantastic. I am aiming to send via email a per month update on what's happening in the hobby around the world and to notify collectors of new members, in concert with an email list. If you'd like to participate, please sign up as a member to this site.
An update to the Operation Zanella Avalon social club patch - to date, courtesy of insignia collectors and members of the Australian Customs, Vanuatu Customs, Australian Federal Police, Queensland Police and members of the Australian Defence Force, a total of AUD$400 has been raised for the two Customs staff welfare funds in NSW and Queensland.
This fundraising represents a fantastic result and the managers of the Customs welfare funds in NSW and Queensland will be dispersed $200 per account. A very heartfelt thank you to the collectors out there who were keep on purchasing one or several of these patches for this effort!!
Additions to the site wil be delayed for a two week period due to some in service training requirements, additions will continue after this period. I will however be able to access email during this time.
A little bit of "back of house" housekeeping has been taking place over the last month or so, hopefully without too much interruption to site members and visitors. New additions to several Russian Federation groups, the United Kingdom Border Agency, Poland and Guam.
Pending additions over the next couple of weeks, with several hundred (yes, hundred) US Customs / Department of Homeland Security / Immigrations and Customs Enforcement / Customs and Border Protection images. I hope you agree with me that it has been a long time coming, with these updates to the United States.
The patch was produced with 251 made. These items are being sold for AUD$10 per patch (postage extra) with proceeds going to the staff welfare funds in New South Wales and Queensland. To date $300 has been raised for the welfare funds, with hopes of reaching a total of $500 to $600.
The staff welfare funds are used in times of genuine need by officers, for example, during recent flooding (early 2011) in Brisbane, Queensland or at times of family misfortune (tributes at funerals, etc.,) Officers are voluntarily asked to donate $2 per pay
24 January 2012
The 26th of January of each year, besides being Australia Day, is also the 60th Anniversary of the World Customs Organisation (also formerly known as the CCC or Customs Cooperation Council - does anyone remember those beautiful international intelligence reports with the gold / copper cover sheet from the days before email?)
So, congratulations to the World Customs Organisation on the occasion of their 60th Anniversary!! The theme this year is "connectivity" - Borders divide / Customs connects.
In addition, happy Australia Day too!!
10 January 2012
Welcome to 2012! I hope that you were able to have time with loved ones and friends over the busy festive season. Updates will continue to the site and I am about half way through the upgrades to the site.
These upgrades include integrated Google Translate and the ability to register on the site with your Twitter or Google account details. If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know so I can update details for the site, thank you. However, if the website does appear offline over the next week or two, there is a reason for it.
Once the upgrades have been completed, I will be again asking for more images of insignia, so around the last week in January, please get ready any further insignia images that you consider worthwhile adding to the site.
14 December 2011
A special addition - I've started adding displays. To begin with, I have uploaded my collection that I have had framed, with some of the history behind these items and how I framed them.
Well, it is that time of year again when all good Customs Officers are on the lookout for the only man to have an exemption from detailed Customs scrutiny worldwide!! If anyone has images of Customs at Christmas they would like to see here, please email them to me and I will add them from now up until Christmas. Lets make this a really great Customs Christmas festive message.
Additions may be a little slow between now and the new year, however there are plenty of additions to continue adding over the coming weeks, including a special section on reproduction German insignia and how to tell the difference.
Further to this, I have made accessing the forum easier now from the main menu. I'd like to see more of our visitors registering and for our registered members to consider using the forum more now that I've fixed this up a little bit. Suggestions are always appreciated!
07 November 2011
Updates continue, with recent additions to the United Kingdom, including a badge from the new UK Border Agency, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Gambia, St Helena and British Indian Ocean Territory. Unfortuantely, if you are not subscribed to the site, you will not be able to see these insignia now, as I have decided, as a security measure to reduce the public availability of many insignia to site subscribers only.
Oh! Before I forget, check out the following blog, "Why I became a Customs Officer". It is an interesting read and I must say, I enjoyed it!
16 October 2011
Identified!! Saint Georges Customs - Grenada
Unfortunately, it would appear that this insignia item may indeed be a fraudulent item.
14 October 2011
Several countries Customs administrations recognise the extremely valuable service their Customs Officers perform in protecting the community by way of official service medals. Such is the case with New Zealand, who were recognised in May 2008 with their Customs Service medal. Canada too recognise their officers with the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal.
On a similar note, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has finally recognised the law enforcement role fulfilled by many officers, which commenced from 23 September 2011, eligible service counting towards the national medal commencing from December 1999. Congratulations to officers fulfilling recognised law enforcement duties!
If you know of other Countries that recognise members of their Customs administrations for their service, can you please forward details for inclusion on this site.
20 August 2011
Updates continue apace, now with some time to spend on the site. These updates also include refreshing some of the odler images with higher resolution / better quality scans of some insignia, courtesy of Roy Stammwitz and Georg Gruber.
1 June 2011
I am very please to report that Customscollector.com is now one year old, since having moved from an old HTML based static site to the much more user friendly CMS based system.
Statistics at a glance:
4,576 visitors to the site since 31 May 2010
2,405 images (I haven't done an accurate count for some time)
247 Countries and dependant territories listed (with a total of 269 articles for these countries)
17 Countries and dependant territories are currently absent, with several of these pending addition of their insignia. These are Botswana, Conga Democratic Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Jordan, Lesotho, Macao, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Oman, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands US and Yemen.
4 contributors / article editors: George Gruber, Lawrie Weston and Roy Stammwitz
3 May 2011
A recent development, regarding the identification of the old US Customs badge:
Courtesy of Kenneth Lucas Sr. producer of "G-Men Badge's - A chronology of federal law enforcement badges" which he has for sale on his eBay site, I have managed to identify the above badge from approximately 1893.
Once I contacted the current owner of the badge with the history behind the item, he has indicated that he is looking to part with the item, in his words, "I believe an item such as this should possibly be with a collector that actually has an interest in the item if indeed it is of interest to someone. If you know of someone who would be interested in this item please let me know, I would ask for a small donation for the grand children's account."
So there you go.
If you are interested in this badge, please contact me and I can forward the current owners details. Negotiations are then up to you.
25 March 2011
As a courtesy to collectors of US Customs items, I have recently updated the US Customs listing, in order to add the reference numbers from Raymond Sherrard's book, "Encyclopedia of Federal Law Enforement Patches".
I have updated these listings for one extremely important reason. Raymond is currently selling off his collection and, at the moment, there are plenty of US Customs items still available. The average prices for these patches are US$10 per patch.
For those of you who are looking to expand your collection, this presents a very rare opportunity to acquire a large number of insignia in a very short period of time.
To view his list of available items, please head to www.raymondsherrard.com and go to "Patch Auction". I can guarantee these items will not last long!!
7 March 2011
Have received the following request today. A prospector in the Eastern United States recently made contact via email and stated the following:
"I am sending this e-mail because of a very old U.S. Customs Badge that I have. I am interested in it's history and age. I have been metal detecting for 35 years and found this badge approx. 2 years ago at a house sight dating back into the 1700's in Vermont. It was found approx. 12" deep with some old silver coins from the 1800's very close in the hole. It looks to be solid copper (Badge # 28)and still has the pin attached. I am looking for any assistance on the subject.
I found the badge on a property in Ludlow, VT along main street after obtaining permission from the business owner to use a medal detector there. I have not attempted to clean the badge in any way, it still has some soil and grass debris on it especially on the back side. It looks like it would clean up very nicely by someone with the appropriate skills. I am very interested in it's history and looking forward to your findings."
If you have any information about this type of badge, please contact me, so I can coordinate a response and also add the information to this site.
Dimensions of the badge are 2" in height and 1 5/8" wide.
14 February 2011
Well, into the new year with a bang!! Apologies to all for the delay in the updates, however, work does tend to come first!!
For something slightly different, but still with a Customs theme, please check out the BBC review of the latest Dany Boon film, "Rien a Declarer (Nothing to Declare)". Even though I do not speak French, the film shorts really appeal to my sense of humour. This film reminds me very much of the interstate rivalry between New South Wales and Queensland. I hope they do a version with subtitles, it looks like it will be a very humorous film. And yes, there are Customs uniforms and insignia aplenty!!
Still plenty of work to be done, uploading insignia to the site. Over the next coming months, the vast majority of information to be added will be from European nations, which I am most pleased about. Also, several behind-the-scenes enhancements to the site will be undertaken. I am still somewhat troubled by some people attempting to use images from this site to make reproduction insignia.
In order to address the issue of illegal reproductions, I'd like feedback from visitors. Should I make the majority of insignia information available only for subscribers, or should the information be freely available? Please, let me know.
25 December 2010
Seasons Greetings to all!!
Thanks to the additions for German Customs by Roy Stammwitz, there has also been a marked increase in the number of visitors to the site from Germany over the last month, which has been fantastic - thank you for visiting!
Now, I am in need of assistance, regarding French Customs. I have added approximately 75 French insignia. There are several divisions (Air / Sea, Customs School, GIR or Regional Intervention Group, Brigade Surveillance, Detector Dog Unit) within the agency. I would appreciate some assistance in correctly identifying the divisions and providing a small explanation about each insignia.
28 November 2010
Well, I hope you all are enjoying the updates to the site and the new forums. The new images supplied by Roy Stammwitz have certainly added to the body of knowledge contained on this site and many positive comments have been received. As the updates have been rolled out, I have replaced many of the smaller images with larger images from Roys collection.
Still, there are many more images to come.
27 October 2010
Work has commenced to upload all of the images supplied by Roy Stammwitz, as noted in the Recently updated, so keep checking back to see the latest additions.
The forum is now officially on line and appears to be working well. Martin Graul from Germany has posted his trade list of German Customs insignia items to the forum. I encourage you to visit the forum and contribute.
14 October 2010
Checking on our visitors, it appears we have a frequent visitor from Oklahoma, USA. If you'd like, please drop me an email and let me know what you think of the site.
Over the next two weeks, expect significant additions to the web site. Roy Stammwitz from Germany has forwarded his entire collection on DVD for addition to the site - a total of some 1,500 images (some of which are duplicates, some are not).
In addition, with the extensive additions to several European nations, there will be considerable re-organisation of the individual national collections.
Also, we now have our own forum for Customs Collectors to exchange information, ideas and insignia, all hosted here on this site. I am excited and looking forward to increasing the numbers of visitors and contributors to the site! In order to use the forums, please register your interest.