Civil Defense and Disaster Relief Act

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Basic data
Title: Law on civil protection and federal disaster aid
Short title: Civil Defense and Disaster Relief Act
Previous title: Civil Protection Act
Abbreviation: ZSKG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Administrative law
References : 215-12
Issued on: March 25, 1997
( BGBl. 1997 I p. 726 )
Entry into force on: April 4, 1997
Last change by: Art. 144 VO of June 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1328, 1345 )
Effective date of the
last change:
June 27, 2020
(Art. 361 of June 19, 2020)
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The law on civil protection and disaster aid of the federal government (Civil Protection and Disaster Aid Act) forms the legal basis for civil protection in Germany.


The Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Act was enacted in 1997 with the Law on the Reorganization of Civil Protection (ZSNeuOG) by the Bundestag with the consent of the Bundesrat as a Civil Protection Act (ZSG), at the same time the previous Federal Association for Self-Protection was dissolved. The Federal Office for Civil Protection , which had previously been defined in the ZSG, was dissolved by the Budgetary Redevelopment Act (HSanG) of December 22, 1999 and its administrative tasks were transferred to the Federal Office of Administration . With the Civil Protection Act Amendment Act (ZSGÄndG) of April 2, 2009, the law was given its current title and content.



In the first section of the law, the tasks of civil protection are defined and the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief is designated as the competent authority for federal tasks. Reference is made to the Geneva Conventions for the design of units, facilities and systems used for civil protection and, in Section 8 of the Act, for the protection of cultural property . In the fifth section of the law, rules of residence and evacuations can be arranged in the event of a defense. The costs caused by the law for the local authorities are imposed on the federal government in Section 10.

Self protection

In the second section of the law, responsibility for self-protection is assigned to the communities . The fourth section of the law defines the responsibilities for the construction, administration and maintenance of public shelters .


In the third section of the law, the federal government is obliged to support the state authorities responsible for warning the population and to record the particular dangers of a state of defense .


The sixth section of the law defines the cooperation between the federal and state governments in the event of defense and disaster. Among other things, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief supports state authorities in civil protection. The ninth section stipulates, among other things, that men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 can be called upon to provide assistance in the event of a defense.

Measures to protect health

The seventh section of the law defines measures to protect health in the event of a defense and their use for civil protection tasks.


Violations of individual regulations, in particular instructions from the municipalities for self-protection and residence regulations, can be punished as an administrative offense with fines of up to 10,000 euros.

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