Customs Lawyers in Germany

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

Customs Lawyers
in Germany

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

With the increasing cross-border movement of goods, customs law is gaining importance. In Germany, this is strongly regulated by national legislation and European and international law. In particular, the applicable customs regulations significantly influence companies that trade goods across national borders.

To minimise the risks arising from customs clearance as effectively as possible when importing and exporting goods and optimising the customs processing of the flow of goods, continuous legal support from experts in customs law is virtually indispensable. Whether you need an expert opinion and clarification of individual customs law issues or the development of a comprehensive customs strategy for your company – the German lawyers at Schlun & Elseven are at your side with their expertise and many years of experience.

Appeals against German Customs Decision

If the customs authority has already initiated measures and goods have now been seized or destroyed, as a result, you may have legal means of defence, such as objecting to the seizure or filing an appeal against the decision to destroy or confiscate the goods. The assistance of experienced lawyers in this regard significantly increases the chances of success.

Our German customs law team advises you on your legal options, examines the prospects of success of an action against customs, lodges an objection/appeal considering the applicable deadlines and formalities, and supports you throughout the proceedings.

German Customs Criminal Law

Should your company be accused of breaching customs criminal law, expert legal advice should be a priority. Accusations of such actions can have drastic consequences for a manager or those in higher positions at a company. Convictions in customs criminal law can lead to fines for the company and even imprisonment for the people involved. The penalties involved in this legal field are ruled upon on a case-by-case basis.

Misdemeanours and offences in German customs law are provided for in the German Fiscal Code (AO). Here are some of the crimes listed in the area of customs law:

Such an offence of reckless understatement of law (under § 378 AO ) carries a potential fine of up to €50,000, while tax evasion can carry a prison sentence of up to five years. Minor tax fraud includes when a person or company recklessly or intentionally fails to record transactions.

  • Endangerment of excise duties (§ 381 AO)
  • Endangerment of import and export duties (§ 382 AO)
  • Illegal import, export, or transit of goods (§ 372 AO)
  • Professional, violent or organised smuggling (§ 373 AO)

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we are available to defend those accused of customs criminal law offences. Our customs lawyers will provide expert analysis of your case to provide the specialised counsel needed. Together we will create a strategy tailored to the case. Should you become aware of alleged actions for customs criminal law, then time is of the essence.

German customs law

As a member of the European Union, Germany is (with minor exceptions) part of the associated customs union (cf. Art. 4 UCC). Trading and travelling with goods within the customs territory is relatively easy, as there are no customs duties or barriers to action here. However, the EU imposes external customs duties on third countries and controls the movement of goods from and to these territories. Therefore, companies trading with third countries need to be aware of their requirements for importing and exporting goods – from classifying goods to determining and declaring the value of goods to complying with declared customs duties. These standards can complicate the business of importing and exporting.

Customs law for consumers

Whether ordering online or travelling to a destination outside the Federal Republic of Germany – when crossing the border, private individuals must observe the customs-controlled restrictions. Within the EU, the travellers’ allowances for alcoholic beverages, medicines and tobacco products must be followed. If you are travelling outside the EU, you should inform yourself in detail before the trip concerning entry and exit and regarding the return to comply with any restrictions and import bans.

Certain restrictions regarding the cross-border movement of goods must also be observed when ordering online. In particular, you should ask which goods you are allowed to have sent to you or whether they are subject to an import ban/restriction. Our lawyers for German customs law will inform you about the existing restrictions and advise you in your possibly already existing customs case.

Customs law for companies

Companies should familiarise themselves with the customs regulations. We recommend obtaining information early and to complete documentation regarding the execution of exports and imports.

The applicable restrictions and regulations relevant to you and your company depend on the type of goods. For example, the movement of goods with chemicals, pharmaceuticals and narcotics, animals or agricultural products is subject to stricter regulations. These must be checked and complied with.

Our customs law practice group advises companies of all sizes. We carefully examine your business’s legal aspects and provide clear recommendations for your customs law needs. This will enable your company to develop and implement appropriate strategies. We will check which regulations need to be complied with and how they should be implemented. Should you require specialised advice tailored to your needs, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm.