For Over 33 Years

Customs infringements: Catalogue of fines

We are frequently asked by clients whether there is a list of customs fines in which penalties can be checked. Unfortunately there is no such catalogue of customs fines, comparable to the catalogue of fines in road traffic. It should also be noted that there are a large number of rules on fines under which offences can be punished by the customs administration. In this respect, there are also different penalty frameworks in which the customs administration can set the fine.

There’s a fine for these customs violations

There are a number of rules which must be observed in the area of customs law and infringements can result in a customs fine. As an example, we would like to list some infringements for which there is a fine:

  • Goods not declared for import (“Green channel” used at airport)
  • Transit procedure not ended properly
  • Leave the goods in temporary storage and do not place them under a customs procedure
  • Documents not stored
  • Wrong supplier’s declarations issued
  • Failure to comply with conditions of a permit
  • Import of goods subject to restrictions
  • Failure to comply with supervisory obligations
  • Improper export of goods
  • Absence of presentation of goods for export
  • Failure to comply with export licensing requirements
  • Incorrect commodity code registration
  • Declaration of an incorrect customs value

No customs fine catalogue but fine at discretion

Each fine regulation sets a fine limit. In this respect, a fine of one euro or more may be imposed and may amount to up to 1 million euro. For example, a fine of up to EUR 1 million may be imposed in the event of non-compliance with customs regulations if criminal offences have been committed in the company and the management has not taken any supervisory measures.

It is important that the fine limits apply per offence. In this respect, a theoretical fine of up to the maximum amount may be imposed per infringement.

In the context of a fine procedure, it is important to convince customs that mitigating circumstances exist or that there is no infringement at all of legal provisions. It is more common for fine proceedings to be initiated by the relevant authorities and for there to be no actual infringement of the law.


Attorney Dr. Tristan Wegner

Ihr Ansprechpartner

More interesting articles on this topic

How to handle (long-term) vendor declarations (LTVDs)

The vendor’s declaration (VDs) is one of the most frequently issued commercial documents in ...

Dual-use regulation – what you need to know for export

What does the EU Dual-Use Regulation actually regulate and what do exporters need to know? What are ...

Brexit and customs – companies need to know this now

On the roadshow “Brexit und Zoll“, customs informed the economy about changes in the upc...

Call directly and get advice 040 - 36 96 15 0