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The museum is housed in the former Main Warehouse of Moscow, built by the distinguished Russian architect Konstantin Ton from 1847 to 1853.The museum shows a history of the Russian Customs Service over the centuries.
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Some of the rarest artifacts to be seen in the museum are: the Customs Charter of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1571) and the Law Code of Tsar Aleksey Michailovich (1649).
The Trading Charter adopted on the 25th October 1653 and the Novotorgovy (New Package) Trading Act, dating back to 1667 seem to be the basic customs legislative documents ever to have been agreed upon in Russia.
In the XVth and XVIIth centuries visiting foreigners were often found to be smuggling out of Russia secret maps of its territories and its fortresses.
Even Russian Tsars and Emperors were subject to the rules of the Customs Authorities.It shows various aspects of the activities of the Customs laying particular emphasis on its part in the State’s economic, political and socio- cultural development.There are examples of dutiable goods, prints showing the main trading centres of Russia, Charters granted by the Grand Princes, mannequins of tradespeople [the old name for customs officers].It is well known that many great architectural monuments were financed from money derived from taxes levied by the Customs.