Definition of customs noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    customs

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌstəmz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌstəmz//
     
    [plural] Plane travel, Airports
     
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  1. 1  (also Customs) (British English also Revenue and Customs) the government department that collects taxes on goods bought and sold and on goods brought into the country, and that checks what is brought in The Customs have seized large quantities of smuggled heroin. French Customs have arrested two men. a customs officer North American Englishuses a singular verb with customs in this meaning.
  2. 2  the place at a port or an airport where your bags are checked as you come into a country to go through customs and passport control See related entries: Plane travel, Airports
  3. 3  the taxes that must be paid to the government when goods are brought in from other countries to pay customs on something customs duty/duties Synonymstaxduty customs tariff ratesThese are all words for money that you have to pay to the government.tax money that you have to pay to the government so that it can pay for public services:income tax tax cutsduty a tax that you pay on things that you buy, especially those that you bring into a country:The company has to pay customs duties on all imports. customs tax that is paid when goods are brought in from other countriestariff a tax that is paid on goods coming into or going out of a country, often in order to protect industry from cheap imports:A general tariff was imposed on foreign imports.rates (in Britain) a tax paid by businesses to a local authority for land and buildings that they use, and in the past also paid by anyone who owned a house:Business rates are very high in the city centre.Patterns (a) tax/​duty/​tariff/​rates on something to pay an amount of money in tax/​duty/​customs/​rates to pay (a) tax/​duty/​customs/​tariff/​rates to collect taxes/​duties/​rates to increase/​raise/​reduce taxes/​duty/​tariffs/​rates to cut taxes/​duties/​rates to impose a tax/​duty/​tariff to put a tax/​duty on something
  4. compare excise1
    Word Origin late Middle English: originally in the singular, denoting a customary due paid to a ruler, later ‘duty charged on goods on their way to market’.Extra examples We cleared customs by five o’clock. We got stopped and searched at the Italian customs. We had to fill out customs forms on the plane. We had to pay customs duties on the beer. We were waiting for the goods to receive customs clearance. We were waved through customs without a pause. You will have to declare these goods when you go through customs. the customs post on the border the removal of European customs controls Customs have seized a large quantity of smuggled heroin. Imports from non-EU countries are subject to customs duty of 20 per cent. We had to go through customs before we could leave the airport. You must pay customs on all imports of alcohol.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: customs