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.


Dieser Artikel wurde am 10. January 2019 erstellt. Er wurde am 13. April 2019 aktualisiert. Die fachliche Zweitprüfung hat Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tristan Wegner durchgeführt.

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