Historical records show that the Philippine Customs Service started many centuries back long before the Philippines was discovered by the eastern and western expeditionaries. The Philippines had already a flourishing trade with countries of Southeast Asia, but since money at that time was not yet the medium of exchange, people then resorted to the barter system of commodities. The rulers of the barangays were known as the “datus” or “rajahs” collected tributes from the people before they were allowed to engage in their trade.

The practice of collecting tributes became part of their culture and was then observed and followed as the Customs Law of the Land.