The laws of the United States provide for the collection of duties on imported goods and merchandise in 110 collection districts of the Union, with one Collector of Customs, appointed by the President, for each district.

Collectors Of Customs

Collectors of customs at the various ports of entry of the United States are appointed by the President, for the term of four years.

The oath of office, taken and subscribed by each collector before some magistrate authorized to administer oaths within the collector's own district, affirms his past and present fidelity to the Government of the United States, and that he will use his best endeavors to detect and prevent frauds against the laws of the United States imposing duties upon imports.

Duty Of The Collector

At each of the ports to which there are appointed (by the President) a collector, naval officer and customs surveyor, it is the duty of the collector to receive all reports, manifests and documents to be made or exhibited on the entry of any ship or vessel, according to the customs laws of the United States; to record all manifests; to receive the entries of all ships or vessels, and of the goods, wares, and merchandise imported in them; to estimate, with the naval officer, when there is one, or alone, when there is none, the amount of the dues payable thereon, indorsing such amount upon the respective entries; to receive all moneys paid for duties, and take all bonds for securing the payment thereof; to grant all permits for the unlading and delivery of goods; to employ, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, proper persons' as weighers, gaugers, measurers, and inspectors at the several ports within his district, to provide, with the like approval, at the public expense, storehouses for the safe keeping of goods, and such scales, weights and measures as may be necessary.

It is his business to furnish statistics of commerce and navigation for the use of the Bureau of Statistics, at Washington, relating to the kinds and quantities of all imported articles free from duty, subject to specific and ad valorem duties; the value of articles exported from his district to foreign countries; an accurate account of the characters and tonnage of all vessels sailing from his district to foreign countries; a similar record of all vessels arriving within his district from foreign countries, and an account of the kinds, quantities and value of merchandise entered and cleared coastwise at ports within his collection district.

It is his duty to cause the seizure of any vessel fitted out for piratical or aggressive purposes in violation of the law of nations.