In 1980, the Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Taxes commissioned the restoration of the former clearing warehouse inside the Hôtel des Fermes in Bordeaux in preparation for housing the National Customs Museum. After nine months of restoration work on the 18th-century warehouse, the museum opened to the public on 22 June 1984.
Affiliated to a government department in 2011, the museum was expanded under the supervision of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
The only one of its kind in France, this unusual museum presents the history of taxes from the Roman Empire to the present day. Conserving the rich heritage of customs within its walls, the museum offers an original and often surprising look at the history of France through the lens of one of its oldest administrations.
Its collections allow visitors to discover the fascinating and diverse subjects and periods of history covered.
The permanent exhibition provides insight into the development of foreign trade, the work and tools of customs agents, and the hundred and one ways they have attempted to prevent smuggling. The visit ends with a focus on the modern-day duties of customs, a forward-looking, dynamic and vibrant agency, just like the museum dedicated to it.
To help you in your next visit, and to discover all the history of the building, please find our online guides.
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