Grievances can primarily be divided into three categories:
1. Complaints of corrupt practices against officers
2. Delay in decision making by officers.
3. Grievances against merits of the decision taken by officers.

For dealing with complaints against corrupt practices by officers, the department has a separate vigilance organisation headed by the Directorate General of Vigilance. Any complaints of corruption against the officer can be logged with the D.G. Vigilance at New Delhi or the Zonal units of the Directorate of Vigilance.

Similarly, for redressal of grievances against the merits of a decision taken by any officers, the law itself provides for remedial measures in the form of appeals, revisions etc. to the departmental officers or to the tribunal as the case may be. An order passed by the officer contains a preamble indicating the authority to whom the appeal can be made and the procedure thereof. For the details of the mechanism for appeals, revisions the relevant provisions in the Customs and Excise law may be referred.

For all other types of grievances including delays in decision making, administrative machinery exists in each Custom House/Central Excise Commissionerate to deal with such complaints. To begin with each field formation has an officer designated as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) who can be approached for seeking information on any technical or administrative matter.
For delays in decision making on the part of any officer (such as delay in assessment of a Bill of Entry, Shipping Bill or delays in sanction of refunds, drawback etc.) the aggrieved person is advised to meet the senior officers like Joint/Additional Commissioners as also the Commissioners of Customs or Central Excise as the case may be. Usually the Commissioners set apart an hour during the day to meet any member of the public without any prior appointment.

Apart from the aforesaid arrangements, a system of Public Grievance Committees (PGC) also exists in all the Custom Houses and Central Excise Commissionerates. These committees generally meet once a month and take up specific issues pertaining to delays or other matter of general interest. These committees are chaired by the concerned Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise and have representatives from the various local trade organisations as also representative of other government departments, ports etc. On request any person can be invited specially to these committees for any specific issue to be discussed. At some of the places there are different PGCs separately for the grievances of the public sector and private sector entities.

In the Custom Houses apart from the Public Grievance Committees there is also an institution of Watch Dog Committee. This Committee, chaired by the Commissioner meets once a week and takes up all cases of grievances of individual members of the trade or the public for resolution.

There is another forum in the Commissionerates and Custom Houses in the form of Regional Advisory Committees. These committees generally meet once a quarter and take up issues of general interest as against specific cases which are taken up by the PGCs. At the apex level there is the Customs and Central Excise Central Advisory Council which is chaired by the Finance Minister and comprises the heads of FICCI, CII, ASOCHAM, AIMO, FIEO etc. as its members. Two Members of Parliament are also represented on this council. This council takes up general issues relating to procedures and policy for both Customs and Central Excise matters.