General Customs Directorate

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General Customs
Directorate - GZD -

State level Federation
position Higher federal authority
Supervisory authority Federal Ministry of Finance
founding January 1, 2016
Headquarters Bonn
Authority management Colette Hercher , President
Servants approx. 7000

The General Customs Directorate ( GZD ) is a German higher federal authority within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). It is responsible for the operational control of the Federal Customs Administration .

Colette Hercher has been President of the General Customs Directorate since August 1, 2018 .

Legal position and duties

According to Section 1 No. 2 of the Financial Administration Act (FVG), the GZD is a federal finance authority with the rank of a higher federal authority .

According to Section 5a in conjunction with Section 4 (2) and (3) FVG, the GZD carries out tasks on its own responsibility which are assigned to it by law or which, as the federal authority in charge, the Federal Ministry of Finance or, with the latter's consent, another professionally competent Federal Ministry be assigned to.

The General Customs Directorate manages the duties of the customs administration nationwide. As the central authority of the Federal Customs Administration, it is responsible for organization and personnel matters within customs, for legal and technical supervision of subordinate local authorities ( main customs offices and customs investigation offices ). The GZD also determines the districts and the headquarters of the main customs offices and the customs investigation offices.

In some cases, the GZD also performs operational tasks. For example, Section 5a (2) FVG regulates that within the GZD a directorate responsible for the customs investigation service (Customs Criminal Police Office) must be set up and that the Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations , which is responsible for receiving, collecting and evaluating reports of unusual cases, continues to be set up within the Customs Criminal Police Office or suspicious financial transactions related to money laundering or terrorist financing.


Previous organizational structures

Upper finance directorates

Until 31 December 2007, there were regional tax offices (OFD) as double authorities of the country tax authorities (tax) and the Federal Finance Administration (inches) and were as a means authorities of the Federal Finance Administration directly to the main customs offices superior (see mixed management ). The individual OFDs each had a local area of ​​responsibility.

Federal Finance Directorates

As part of the Customs Structural Development project , extensive changes were made within the Federal Customs Administration - in particular due to the amendment to the Tax Administration Act on January 1, 2008 - which primarily aimed at a federal financial administration that was separate from the state structures. The existing regional tax offices were dissolved or the customs-specific tasks were removed and five new federal tax offices (North, Central, West, Southwest and Southeast) with offices in Hamburg, Potsdam, Cologne, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and Nuremberg were created. At the same time, Department III of the BMF, which was responsible for customs and excise duties and which at that time was still fully located in Bonn , was assigned an operational area of ​​responsibility that was unusually large for ministerial conditions. Because of this and the fact that there was no central higher federal authority for the federal customs administration at the time, Department III of the BMF was de facto the head of the federal customs administration.

The five federal finance directorates - similar to the current specialist directorates of the GZD - already had their own subject-specific nationwide responsibility. Unlike today, however, they continued to have a local area of ​​responsibility in the area of ​​legal and technical supervision, so that several main customs offices were always assigned to one BFD. As a result, the entire federal territory was divided into five BFD districts. In addition, the Customs Criminal Police Office was already responsible for the legal and technical supervision of all customs investigation offices nationwide in the area of ​​the prosecution and prevention of medium, serious and organized customs crime, and the Education and Science Center of the Federal Finance Administration (BWZ) was also a separate authority and Central educational institution responsible for the entire theoretical part of the training of customs personnel.

Foundation of the GZD

With the law on the reorganization of the customs administration , which came into force on January 1, 2016, the General Customs Directorate was founded as a higher federal authority for the customs administration as a fundamental organizational change. The GZD has taken on the existing five Federal Finance Directorates, the Customs Criminal Police Office and the Education and Science Center of the Federal Finance Administration in the form of specialist directorates, as well as established two directorates for cross-sectional tasks such as personnel matters, organization, budget and information technology.

The operational areas of activity previously carried out in the Federal Ministry of Finance were relocated to the GZD and at the same time those posts in the customs department of the BMF, which are primarily concerned with legislative tasks, were relocated to the headquarters of the BMF in Berlin. Of the previous 210 posts that were previously located in Bonn, around 130 will finally move to Berlin by the end of 2019, the remaining 80 have been transferred to the GZD. The GZD headquarters in Bonn (Am Propsthof 78a) has a total of around 200 employees. Nationwide about 7000 employees belong to the GZD.

The lawyer Uwe Schröder , previously ministerial director at the BMF, was appointed as the first president , who held the office until the end of 2017.

Takeover of the central office for financial transaction investigations (Financial Intelligence Unit - FIU) from the BKA

On June 26, 2017 was prepared by the Law on the Implementation of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, to carry out the EU Money Transfer Regulation and the reorganization of the Center for Financial Transaction studies ( BGBl. 2017 I, p 1822 ), the FIU by the BKA within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to Customs was relocated to the Federal Ministry of Finance and was incorporated into Directorate VIII (Customs Criminal Police Office) as a new department with the letter D.


Organigram The GZD is divided into nine directorates - two central directorates and seven specialist directorates. Central Directorates I and II bundle the diverse cross-sectional tasks of the General Customs Directorate and create the organizational, personnel and budgetary requirements for the professional performance of tasks. The departments III to IX take over the operational control and task structuring in the customs administration.

Organization chart (as of January 2018)

Directorate I - personnel matters and organization as well as maritime tasks

Headquarters: Bonn

  • Department - Human Resources
    • Fundamental questions
    • Individual decisions
  • Department - Organization
    • Post and post management
    • Information and knowledge management customs
    • Procurement
    • Home services
  • Department - Maritime Tasks

Directorate II - household and information technology as well as the central information

Headquarters: Bonn

  • Department - Budget and Central Information
    • Budget of the Federal Customs Administration
    • Central information
    • Occupational, health and radiation protection
  • Department - Information Technology and Technical Service
    • Policy issues for IT projects and procedures
    • Requirements management
    • quality control
    • IT support and IT operations
    • technical service
  • Department - Service Center
    • Service Center Rostock
    • Service Center Cologne
    • Service Center Dresden
    • Service Center Düsseldorf
    • Service Center Saarbrücken
    • Service Center Stuttgart

Directorate III - General Tax Law and Controls

Headquarters: Potsdam

Directorate IV - Excise and Transport Tax Law and Audit Service

Headquarters: Neustadt an der Weinstrasse

Directorate V - General Customs Law

Headquarters: Hamburg

Directorate VI - Special Customs Law

Headquarters: Nuremberg

Directorate VII - Financial Control of Undeclared Work

Headquarters: Cologne

Directorate VIII - Customs Criminal Police Office

Headquarters: Cologne

  • Department A - International Cooperation, Risk Management, Central Technical Management
    • International coordination and committees
    • Joint centers (e.g. the joint counter-terrorism center (GATZ) )
    • Coordination of cooperation with other authorities
    • IT forensic technology
    • Customs investigation office
    • Risk management strategy and operational analysis, information gathering and management
  • Department B - Foreign trade surveillance and customs crime

Directorate IX - Education and Science Center

Headquarters: Münster

  • Teaching department
  • Department - Science and Technology
    • Examination, analysis and appraisal of goods
    • Dog being
    • Central language service


The president of the General Customs Directorate is paid according to grade B 9 , the vice president according to grade B 7. The former head of the Customs and Excise Department in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Colette Hercher, has been President of the General Customs Directorate since August 1, 2018.

President Vice President
Uwe Schröder (January 2016 - December 2017) Hans Josef Haas (since January 2016)
Hans Josef Haas (acting, January - July 2018)
Colette Hercher (since August 2018)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bonner General-Anzeiger
  2. Law on the reorganization of the customs administration of December 3, 2015 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2178), (PDF).
  3. ^ Federal Ministry of Finance: General Customs Directorate: Customs has reorganized itself - Federal Ministry of Finance - Press. Retrieved February 2, 2018 .
  4. Customs online - General Customs Directorate. Federal Customs Administration, accessed on February 2, 2018 .