What is the Definition of Custom?


Custom, a word from the Pelvi language (dēwān) that can be translated as “archive” was transferred to Classical Arabic as dīwān and then to Hispanic Arabic as Addiwan. The etymological evolution of the term turned it, in our language, into customs.

Defined by Digopaul, a customs office is a public agency whose function is to register the goods that are exported and imported, collecting the corresponding taxes. In general, customs are located in the border areas and on the coasts, since the products enter and leave the country through these places.

By controlling the merchandise that reaches a nation, customs can seize those products that threaten public health or safety. Thus, by not leaving customs, these products finally do not reach the market or the streets. Suppose that, upon inspecting a container filled with toys, customs authorities discover that these goods contain a substance considered to be carcinogenic. Thus, to prevent children from accessing these dangerous toys, customs does not authorize the products to be distributed in the country.

Customs also help protect the national industry. A government may decide to apply a special tax on imported footwear to favor local manufacturers. Therefore, when imported shoes arrive at customs, the importer must pay a tax to remove them. This makes the product more expensive and national footwear more competitive.

In each country, there are entities that gather and direct the different customs: the General Directorate of Customs in Argentina, the National Customs Service in Chile, the National Superintendency of Customs and Tax Administration in Peru, etc.

Filtering the entry of goods into a country through customs clearance benefits your government, since it allows you to maintain exhaustive control and collect taxes and duties, thanks to which you also increase your monetary income each time you import some good.

However, any benefit that a country may obtain through this process of customs control is frustrated when smuggling comes into play, a criminal practice that has been in our culture for centuries and that consists of forcing the entry of certain articles., either of those that customs would not let pass or of any other, with the aim of not paying the taxes and selling them outside the law.

Failure to pay taxes is known as customs fraud and generally goes hand in hand with smuggling, although sometimes fraud is only practiced. The most important thing is that both put the stability and security of a country at risk, both economically and socially.

When a mafia organization manages to evade its obligations to customs to transport a certain merchandise, it has the opportunity to sell it at a lower price than the one currently available in the local market; In this way, the public begins to consume the cheapest option, in the hands of people who do not contribute to the development of the country and ignore decent merchants. This is normal in many parts of the world, with products ranging from bread to clothing and toys.

Returning to the origin of the word customs, we can say that the Pelvi language is Iranian or Middle Persian, especially used at the time of the Sassanid Empire, which existed from the year 226 to 651. The original name, in the language itself, he is pahlawīg and can be translated as “childbirth”, that is, “from Parthia, a region of the ancient Asian continent”; in modern Persian it became pahlavi and when it came to french it was pehlvi.