The Customs Service is a modern civil and economic administrative unit of the Federal Government whose activities range from the provision of services to exercising sovereign jurisdiction. In addition to collecting taxes and customs duties, its core responsibilities are to ensure the smooth international movement of goods and fair competition, to combat illegal work and illicit employment, to monitor minimum wages, to collect vehicle taxes, to combat product piracy and organised crime, to perform enforcement measures and to actively work to protect species.
The Customs Service is also responsible for preventing smuggling, monitoring the movement of goods with respect to restrictions and prohibitions (e.g. weapons and drugs), and excise duties and import turnover tax at sea.
In addition to traditional customs operations, customs officers working on the vessels also patrol the EU’s maritime borders as part of the German coast guard’s operational cooperation with other agencies. The Customs Service is also responsible for maritime environmental protection at sea and for assistance in marine emergencies.
The Customs Service operates all along the 3,660 kilometre-long German coast, on 15,055 square kilometres of territorial waters and in the Federal Republic of Germany’s Exclusive Economic Zones, which span an area of 48,050 square kilometres and see around 400,000 ship movements in the North and Baltic Seas a year. Lake Constance is also part of the maritime control unit’s operating area.
In order to perform these diverse responsibilities, the Customs Service has a total of 32 vessels at its disposal, two of which are modern twin-hull SWATH ships.
The use of the Customs Service’s vessels is coordinated in cooperation with the Federal Police via the Federal Command and Control Centre for
Learn more on www.zoll.de