- United States Customs Service
Infobox Government agency
agency_name = United States Customs Service
seal_width = 150px
July 31, 1789
March 1, 2003
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Federal government of the United States
parent_agency = Department of the Treasury
website = [http://www.customs.gov www.customs.gov]
Until March 2003, the United States Customs Service was the portion of the U.S. federal government dedicated to keeping illegal products outside of U.S.
borders. It also regulated what could leave the United States and was partially responsible for who could enter the United States.
Responding to the urgent need for revenue following the
American Revolutionary War, the First United States Congresspassed and President George Washingtonsigned the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789, which authorized the collection of duties on imported goods. Four weeks later, on July 31, the fifth act of Congress established the United States Customs Service and its ports of entry.
For over 100 years after its birth, the U.S. Customs Service was the primary source of funds for the entire government, and paid for the nation's early growth and infrastructure. Purchases include the
Louisianaand Oregonterritories; Floridaand Alaska; funding the National Roadand the Transcontinental Railroad; building many of the nation's lighthouses; the U.S. Militaryand Naval academies, and Washington D.C.
With the passage of the
Homeland Security Act, the U.S. Customs Service passed from under jurisdiction of the Treasury Departmentto the Department of Homeland Security.
March 1, 2003, parts of the U.S. Customs Service combined with the Inspections Program of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine from USDA, and the Border Patrol of the Immigration and Naturalization Serviceto form U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Federal Protective Service, along with the investigative arms of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, combined to form U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Examples of illegal items
Cuban products without a specific license for their importation, such as cigars.
fruits and meats
*Excessive quantities of
*Undeclared liquor over allowable limits
*Tobacco products over allowable limits
*Undeclared money or monetary instruments over $10,000
*Undeclared firearms and weapons
This table lists all Commissioners of Customs, their dates of service, and under which administration they served.
Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System
* [http://www.cbp.gov/ United States Customs & Border Protection]
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