SEIZED! Border and Customs Uncovered


Location:Merseyside Maritime Museum


Time:10.00 am - 05.00 pm


‘Seized! Border and Customs Uncovered’ at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Enter the world of the Customs officer – a dark and unseen world of smuggling, intrigue and danger, where things are not always what they seem.

One of the Seized! gallery’s key themes is anti smuggling. This includes detective work, crime fighting, patrolling frontiers and investigation. In uncovering this story you will reveal some of the clever tactics of the criminal, and discover some of the methods to catch them.

A second theme explores the importance of raising taxes, how the are collected, and how we have reacted to them.

We tell a contemporary story, balanced with a view of the past. We explore issues of fairness and safety in society, affecting all of us today.

Explore our collections and gallery

Our galleries reveal some of the unique seizures used for criminal activity. Discover how wooden carvings were used to conceal 21kg of cocaine. Or explore how the trade in endangered birds crosses Europe to conclude in a small farm in North Yorkshire. Our objects also tell stories of how officers did their job. Below see some of our gallery highlights, as well as some of the collections which are not currenly on display.

In our case studies from the gallery read about some of the extreme measures taken to control smuggling, such as the burning of the fishing fleet near Dover in the 18th century. Or you may remember the protests against fuel duty, when the price of petrol was felt to be a burden by many.