What does Customs Mean?

Customs is a public body that controls and regulates the entry or import, and exit or export, of cargo, merchandise, documentation, transportation, passengers and, sometimes, even foreign exchange, at the borders of a country.

Customs are responsible for tax collection and for the control and registration of international movements of products, people or currencies of a country.

Customs are located at strategic points where there is a flow of entry and exit of products, people or currencies and are divided into three types of customs:

  • Maritime customs: it focuses on traffic through the sea and is usually found in the country’s seaports.
  • Air customs: controls traffic through the air, therefore it is located in the country’s international airports.
  • Land Customs: Manage traffic through the land. It is located at the places of entry and exit of the country’s borders.

Customs depends on the Ministry of Economy and aims to:

  • supervise that the laws regarding the import and export of a given country are complied with,
  • collect the associated taxes,
  • ensure safety and health and,
  • collect statistics on international trade traffic.

customs agent has the power to import and export merchandise and facilitates the shipment of the merchandise, people or foreign currency in the customs clearance process.