A quote from the Wikipedia article [Boston Tea Party][1] states:

> The Tea Act in 1773 authorized the shipment of 5,000 chests of tea (250 tons) to the American colonies. There would be a tax of £1,750 to be paid by the importers when the cargo landed. 

So this would seem to be a normal *payment on arrival* customs procedure which is still used today. 



[1]:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party