Customs law

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In the Middle Ages, customs law (also known as the customs shelf ) was the right to levy a duty or a toll on passing travelers and traders . Usually the ruler of the country, for example the emperor, or the bishop, if he had worldly power, granted his feudal people or vassals this right. A city could also obtain customs rights within the framework of city law. For centuries, customs law was the main source of income for many nobles and monarchs who, among other things, financed wars and the court. Nowadays so-called "economic tariffs" are mainly levied when goods are imported into a customs area and are intended to control the flow of goods.

Customs law in the EU

In the European Union , the Union Customs Code (UCC, Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013) and the associated implementing acts apply .

The "customs regulations" include:

  • the Customs Code and the implementing provisions adopted for it at Union and, where appropriate, national level
  • the Common Customs Tariff
  • the legislation on the Community system of customs exemptions
  • international agreements containing customs regulations insofar as they are applicable in the Community.

Customs law in Germany

European customs law applies in Germany. However, there is sometimes room for national regulations. In Germany, these are mainly based on the regulations for financial management.

Various consumption taxes are also levied and administered by the German customs administration. These are also anchored in national laws. When the import duty is levied , it is collected under the provisions of customs law, as is the import sales tax (value added tax).

The old customs law expired with the 1992 Customs Code.

Other laws apply in the customs administration, but they cannot be regarded as customs law, as they also cover various other areas (e.g. social code , criminal code and civil procedure code ).

Customs law in Austria

European customs law applies in Austria. However, there is sometimes room for national regulations.

International customs law

Various agreements have been concluded within the WTO that promote free world trade, for example by dismantling trade barriers such as tariffs. These contracts therefore have a direct influence on national, European and international customs law. Most importantly

There are also important free trade zones that have harmonized their customs law. These include:

The group of ACP countries is also important for international customs law . These are developing countries that benefit from the European Union in terms of customs law. Similar preferential treatment takes place in all economically more developed regions compared to developing countries (e.g. USA, Japan).

See also


  • Reinhart Rüsken, Ulrich Krüger, both judges at the Federal Fiscal Court: ZFZ - Journal for Customs and Excise Taxes. Stollfuß Medien GmbH & Co. KG, ISSN  0342-3484 .
  • Reinhart Rüsken, judge at the BFH: Customs law - law of cross-border goods traffic. Commentary, Stollfuß Medien GmbH & Co. KG, ISBN 978-3-08-253800-5 .
  • Peter Witte, Hans-Michael Wolffgang (Ed.): Textbook of European customs law . 5th edition. nwb, ​​Herne 2007, ISBN 3-482-43545-6 .
For Austria

Individual evidence

  1. ZollVG
  2. ZollV
  3. ZFdG
  4. International Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures. World Customs Organization, January 1993, archived from the original on February 13, 2008 ; Retrieved February 5, 2008 .