230 years ago, on July 31, 1789 the Fifth Act of the First United States Congress created the Customs function in the central government and regulated the collection of duties on ship’s tonnage and merchandise at our first port of entry. Thus begin the history of the U.S. Customs Service, the oldest legacy agency of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
For its first 100 years, the U.S. Customs Service was the primary source of funds for the growing U.S. government. Tariffs averaging about 20% of foreign imports accounted for nearly 95% of the federal revenue.
Today, to celebrate the rich history of the U.S. Customs Service legacy and its critical impact in the economic prosperity of Southern California, CBP Los Angeles hosted an open house to news media, guests and employees at an inspection facility near the LA/Long Beach Seaport.
“As we celebrate our 230th anniversary, I can’t help but to think about our mission of protecting our Nation from dangerous people and goods, and protecting the critical infrastructure on which our lives and our economy depend has not changed. I’m proud to serve an agency with such an important and long standing heritage,” said Carlos C. Martel CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
Several historical artifacts were on display including an early 20th century safe and scale, stamping machines, uniforms, historical documents and photographs. Also on display samples of counterfeit and health and safety seizures and state-of-art Non-Intrusion Inspection (NII) technology used at our Nation’s largest seaport.
“I’m proud to be part of such a historical and rich legacy that began 230 years ago with the formation of the U.S. Customs Service for the collection of revenue to support our Nation’s growth after the American Revolutionary War. Today, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is integrated with our legacy mission and it is critical to our National Security and Economic Prosperity as it was 230 years ago,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director LA/Long Beach Seaport.
“It truly is an honor to be part of an agency with an incredibly important mission that is steeped in the history dating to very beginning of our nation,” remarked Donald R. Kusser CBP Area Port Director Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
CBP continues to be the second-largest source of revenue in the federal government, collecting approximately $52 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees in Fiscal Year 2018.