U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) at the Port of New York/Newark held an event highlighting the 230thAnniversary of the legacy agency U.S. Customs Service, which preceded CBP, by greeting and processing an arriving international vessel marking the anniversary of the first foreign vessel to be processed in the United States at the Port of New York/Newark.
The first ship to usher in this era under the new Customs regulations entered the port of New York on August 5, 1789, less than a week after the Agency was established. The brigantine Persis sailed from Italy into New York Harbor carrying various goods consigned to William Seton, a successful importer who also served as cashier of the Bank of New York under Alexander Hamilton. Seton paid a duty of $774.41, the first collected by the United States.
230 years ago, on July 31, 1789, the Fifth Act of the First United States Congress created customs collection districts and regulated the collection of duties on ship’s tonnage and merchandise at our first ports of entry. These duties funded virtually the entire U.S. Government over the next century. Revenue collected through Customs strengthened government infrastructure, financed construction of cities and buildings, and paid for the operation of the ports.
“Today, exactly 230 years later, we welcome the Maersk Kinloss and Captain Murray to the Port of New York/Newark. Things have changed just a bit. The Kinloss carries thousands of cargo containers. Each container can hold more cargo than the entire Persis, and a handful would weigh more than the entire ship. Just one shipment is valued at over 5.6 million dollars with an approximate duty of $565, 000,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office.
“The Coast Guard has enjoyed an outstanding partnership with US Customs throughout our entire history. We are honored to be part of this momentous occasion commemorating US Customs’ 230 years of dedicated service to our country, and we look forward to celebrating many more years of teamwork,” said Captain Jason Tama, USCG Sector New York Commander.
“US Customs took the approach of integrating security into commercial operations and establishing global partnerships which has benefited our industry’s customers from port of loading overseas to final delivery at our customer’s distribution center. Working together with US Customs and the US Coast Guard is vital to our nation’s economy and keeping our port commerce safe, secure and flowing, said Mark Tierney, Head of Corporate Security & Regulatory for Maersk in the Americas.”
By the early twentieth-century, New York was the world’s busiest port and generated substantial revenue for the United States Custom Service and the Federal Government.