The first information about Customs collectors on Polish Lands goes back almost a thousand years. It is when King Bolesław Śmiały gave orders to his officers to collect Customs duties on the Bug River.
The first document mentioning a Customs system in Poland was the Gniezno Bull, issued on 7th July 1136 AD. The Bull mentions many monasteries and abbeys collecting tributes in custom-houses. The first Polish Customs Tariffs originate from the turn of the 12th century - The Kołobrzeg Tariff from 1159 AD, The Płock Tariff - from 1203 AD, The Szczecin Tariff - from 1257 AD.
In the 14th century the Kings Władysław Łokietek and Kazimierz Wielki reorganised the Polish Customs Administration. They issued many Customs privileges, set up custom-houses. In 1354 AD, King Kazimierz Wielki gave Customs privileges to the city of Kraków and to the students of the Royal University.
At the end of the reign of the Piast Dynasty, in 1367 AD, the word 'CŁO (Customs duty)' began to appear in documents, the names "myto (toll)" or "theloneum" having been used thereto.
At the end of the 15th century, in 1477 AD, the Sejm (National Assembly or Parliament) held in Piotrków passed two statutes concerning the collection of Customs duties. The former privileges were abolished, and the right to determine Customs duty rates remained exclusively with the King.
The gentry were exempted from Customs duties. Customs Management was exercised not simply by one, but by several major Customs officers, each of whom got commission from Customs incomes in their collections and paid rent to the King.
In 1764 AD, the Sejm established general Customs duty, introducing a uniform Customs due for all classes of the State. With the fiscal reform in 1765 AD, 8 collections and 113 custom-houses were created. Each collection was headed by Superintendent, subordinate directly to the Crown Treasury Commission.
The last document concerning Customs matters, before the Partition of Poland by her neighbours began, "Proclamation to the Officials of Custom-Houses" had been issued on 31st May 1792 AD.
A Customs Administration was created also in the Duchy of Warsaw. According to the records, in 1812 AD there were 10 departments and 71 customs-houses in the Duchy of Warsaw. Numerous Customs notices and instructions were issued. The duty of 2% of the value of goods was collected.
After the recovery of Independence in 1918, the Customs Administration was re-established. The first Customs Tariff in the Second Republic was issued on 4th April 1919, and the Department of Customs in the Ministry of Treasury was created in February 1920.
In the Second Republic, the structure of the Customs Administration was as follows:
I. Department of Customs in the Ministry of Treasury,
II. Customs Directorate - Warsaw, Gdańsk, Lwów, Poznań, Mysłowice ( until 1930 there had also been a Customs Directorate in Vilnius),
III. Customs Offices of primary class - 61, of secondary class - 123, Customs branches - 20.
The most important legal act regulating Customs matters in the Second Republic was the Customs Law issued on 27th October 1933. In 1938, the number of staff employed in the Customs Administration was c. 3 500 people.
After the Second World War, the Ministry of Treasury and the Department of Customs as a part of the latter one were established by a decree of 1945. Representations, which were later re-named as Customs offices, were established in Gdynia, Gliwice, Krakow, Poznań and Warsaw.
The first Customs Offices were those created in Gdynia and Krakow in the beginning of 1945. Following 1945, many legal acts concerning Custom affairs were issued.
The following were the most important :
- The Customs Administration Structure and Responsibilities Act of 14 February 1952. The Central Board of Customs was then created as a central organisation for the Customs Administration.
- Customs Law Act - passed on 14 July 1961. It revoked the Customs Law of 1933 and the Act of 14 February 1954r. The Principal Office of Customs (still called Central Board of Customs in English) was then established.
- Customs Law Act - passed on 14 March 1975.
- Customs Law Act - passed on 28 December 1989.
- Customs Code Act - passed on 09 January 1997.
The previous presidents
Presidents of the Central Board of Customs after 1945
01.01.1946 - 30.09.1947 Kazimierz SIEWIERSKI
01.10.1947 - 30.06.1952 Zygmunt CZYŻEWSKI
01.07.1952 - 15.12.1953 Witold TRYUK /p.o./
16.12.1953 - 31.08.1969 Józef KONARZEWSKI
01.09.1969 - 31.01.1972 Tomasz ANTONIEWICZ
01.02.1972 - 15.11.1977 Jarosław NOWICKI
16.11.1977 - 29.02.1980 Eugeniusz DOSTOJEWSKI
01.03.1980 - 30.04.1985 Kazimierz PROŚNIAK
15.08.1985 - 31.01.1990 Jerzy ĆWIEK
01.02.1990 - 21.02.1991 Tomasz BARTOSZEWICZ
22.02.1991 - 24.03.1991 Krzysztof HORDYŃSKI /p.o./
25.03.1991 - 20.08.1993 Mirosław F.ZIELIŃSKI
23.08.1993 - 11.12.1993 Mariusz JAKUBOWSKI /p.o./
11.12.1993 - 16.03.1995 Ireneusz SEKUŁA
16.03.1995 - 29.06.1995 Lech KACPERSKI /p.o./
30.06.1995 - 30.06.1997 Mieczysław NOGAJ
30.06.1997 - 07.01.1998 Tomasz CECELSKI /p.o./
07.01.1998 - 12.05.1999 Janusz PACZOCHA
13.05.1999 - 05.12.2001 Zbigniew BUJAK
05.12.2001 - 30.04.2002 Tomasz MICHALAK
Heads of Customs Service
01.05.2002 - 17.01.2003 Tomasz MICHALAK
17.01.2003 - 23.02.2004 Robert KWAŚNIAK
24.02.2004 - 28.11.2005 Wiesław CZYŻOWICZ
28.11.2005 - 02.01.2008 Marian BANAŚ
03.01.2008 - 01.02.2008 Jacek DOMINIK
01.02.2008 - 19.11.2015 Jacek KAPICA
19.11.2015 - Marian BANAŚ