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29 December 2015

Re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of Ger­man cus­toms ad­min­is­tra­tion to take ef­fect as of 1 Jan­uary 2016

The German customs administration will launch a new and efficient structure at the start of 2016. On 1 January, the Central Customs Authority (Generalzolldirektion, GZD) will be established in Bonn as a new higher federal authority under the jurisdiction of the German Ministry of Finance. The aim of this structural reform is to provide even better service to citizens and businesses.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble comments: “In the future, the customs administration will become even more efficient. The new Central Customs Authority is taking over operational control of the customs administration, replacing the existing intermediate authorities. In this way, decisions will reach the local level more quickly. This benefits citizens as well as businesses. It means they will have even better service and greater security than in the past. In addition, Bonn will become home to a new high-level administrative body with national and international responsibilities. I wish the Central Customs Authority and its first director, Uwe Schröder, a successful start.”

The GZD will pool the functions of what are currently the intermediate authorities of the German customs administration. It will also take on customs-related functions from the German Finance Ministry that do not belong to the ministry’s core remit. This new higher federal authority will be in charge of the customs administration with its 39,000 employees.

The GZD will be composed of nine directorates. These include the Customs Criminological Office, which will retain its status in the system of federal security authorities. The Training and Knowledge Centre of the federal revenue administration (BWZ) will also be retained and will continue in its role as the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences’ Departmental Branch of Financial Administration.

The new authority will have its headquarters in Bonn. It will also have additional offices, including some at locations previously used by the intermediate authorities in Hamburg, Potsdam, Cologne, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Nuremberg and Münster. In total, the GZD will have around 7,000 staff in Germany, with 200 of those in Bonn.