U.S. Customs and Boarder protection celebrates 225th anniversary of the U.S. Customs Service

  • Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today is an historic date for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It marks the 225th anniversary of CBP's oldest legacy agency, the U.S. Customs Service.

In 2003, CBP merged all employees and functions from the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Border Patrol, and select inspectional functions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture into one agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Previously, U.S. Customs served in the U.S. Department of Treasury.

U.S. Customs is not only an important part of CBP's history, but it is also a significant part of America's history.

On April 8, 1789, James Madison - considered to be the Father of the Constitution – proposed that the Federal government levy tariffs on alcoholic beverages and other commodities being imported in the new United States. This new tax would provide the country with needed money to fund its new government.

On July 31, 1789, the Fifth Act of the First U.S. Congress passed as a “Regulation of the Collection of Duties on Tonnage and Merchandise.” Shortly thereafter, the Department of the Treasury was established.

During the past 225 years, the revenue generated by U.S. Customs built Revenue Cutters to patrol our coasts, lighthouses to guide ships to our ports, and custom houses to represent the Federal presence in the states.

“A lot has changed since 1789; however, the important mission begun back then remains the same today with the government's unified border agency, CBP, continuing to play a critical role in America's economic growth by facilitating lawful international travel and trade,” said Robert Fencel Port Director for the Port of Charleston.

CBP's story is about the people who made history two centuries ago. It is also the story of the people who came together 11 years ago to create today's CBP. It very much is a story that the men and women in this border security agency continue to write today.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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