Duties charged on goods (both home-produced and imported) to raise revenue for governments. In England customs date from the reign of Edward I, when duties were raised on wool and leather. Tunnage and poundage was introduced under Edward II. Excise was first levied in 1643 to finance the parliamentary armies in the English Civil War and was a tax on alcoholic beverages, mainly beer and ale. At the Restoration Charles II was granted excise duties for life by Parliament. Customs duties are tariffs paid on goods entering (or occasionally leaving) a country. Customs duties between members of the European Union were abolished in 1992. Excise duties are paid on the domestic sale of certain goods and activities, such as alcohol, tobacco, motor fuel, and betting.
Subjects: History — Law.