Central Customs Support Group

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Central Customs
Support Group - ZUZ -

State level Federation
Supervisory authority Customs Criminal Police Office
founding 1994
Headquarters Cologne , North Rhine-Westphalia
Servants 47

The Central Customs Support Group ( ZUZ ) is a special unit of the German customs administration and is the equivalent of the special task forces of the state police.


The ZUZ is subordinate to the Zollkriminalamt in Cologne (ZKA) and supports the customs investigation offices and occasionally the police. It was founded in 1994 in response to the increasing propensity to use violence against customs officers. Until the founding of the ZUZ, it was common practice for the ZKA to request administrative assistance from a special task force of the state police or that of the GSG 9 of the federal police for operations that exceeded the skills and equipment of the customs officers . In some cases, however, the support of the above-mentioned units could not be guaranteed because they were too busy.

Recruitment and training

Official of the ZUZ


  • Civil servants up to the age of 35 can apply.
  • In principle, applicants must have completed customs training.
  • Good health, mental stability and high physical performance are basic requirements.

Selection process

The entrance exam for the ZUZ lasts 14 days ("preparation week" and examination week). It consists of a practical part, in which the physical performance is checked, and an extensive psychological test, which should provide information about intelligence, concentration, technical understanding, stress stability and teamwork. The procedure is supplemented by a claustrophobia, altitude and reaction test. At the end there is an interview in front of the selection committee.

Failure rate

On average, around 80% of applicants fail the extensive test program.


Successful completion of the aptitude selection process is followed by the "Qualifying Training ZUZ". This consists of the ten-week "basic training" and the approx. 33-week "introductory training SEK".

The basic training serves the targeted physical development of the ZUZ candidates as well as the imparting of basic skills and abilities, which are indispensable for the subsequent special training. The basic training concludes with another test, the passing of which is a prerequisite for continuing the training.

The subsequent "Introductory Training SEK" is largely carried out by the police in NRW. The focus in this section is tactical training.

The intervention techniques that are taught during the qualifying training are based on the martial art Wing Tsun .


The requirement profile for aspirants is comparable to that of the GSG9 or a SEK. Notwithstanding this, the applicant does not have to be a weapon bearer at the time of application. The shooting training takes place during the basic training. The requirement profile is identical for men and women.


ZUZ weapons: HK G36 K, HK MP5 and Glock pistols

The ZUZ is considered to be one of the most modernly equipped units of its kind, although this is due to the fact that it is a relatively young special unit. In addition to an extensive fleet of vehicles, the ZUZ has an arsenal that is comparable to other units; weapons from Heckler and Koch and Glock are generally used. The standard medium-range weapon is currently the H&K 416. The Glock 17 with a laser light module is used as a short weapon.


Little is known about the work of the ZUZ, although, due to various customs and anti-fraud agreements within the EU, it can also be active in other European countries, in rare cases even worldwide.

The fact that so little is known about the operations is due, among other things, to the fact that the officers of the ZUZ often wear the police inscription on their bulletproof vests. This is so that everyone can identify the officers as enforcement officers. Due to this fact, it is possible that a deployment of the ZUZ is presented in the press as a SEK deployment.

Web links

Commons : Central Customs Support Group  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

Coordinates: 50 ° 58  '37.2 " N , 7 ° 3' 53.2"  E

  1. Central Customs Support Group. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .
  2. ZUZ / Central Customs Support Group. Retrieved February 28, 2019 .
  3. 4K DokuTV: Access: Customs in action (documentary, ARD). September 6, 2018, accessed February 28, 2019 .
  4. Doku24: Customs in the fight against smuggling. January 27, 2019, accessed February 28, 2019 .