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Celebrating 227 Years of the US Customs Service

Release Date: August 1, 2016

This weekend, we recognize and celebrate the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Customs Service.

The U.S. Customs Service, the legacy agency of our current U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which was established by President George Washington on July 31, 1789.


Two of the first Collectors of Customs (now called “Commissioners”) were Generals Lincoln (Boston) and Lamb (New York).

General Benjamin Lincoln of Boston
(DHS Photo by /Released)
General John Lamb of New York
(DHS Photo by /Released)

General Benjamin Lincoln (left) and General John Lamb (right)

The U.S. Customs Service holds an important place in our nation’s history: For its first 100 years, the Service was the primary source of funds for the growing U.S. government.

The U.S. Customs Service closed when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency was established in 2003 as the nation’s first comprehensive border security agency, and the Commissioner and the majority of the Customs Service staff joined CBP at that time.

CBP continues to honor the rich legacy of the U.S. Customs Service by maintaining the integrity of our nation’s ports and borders. Learn more about CBP and its origins in the U.S. Customs Service here.

Last Updated: 09/20/2021
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