Germany is an export nation. German companies thrive on international trade. The export traffic of goods is regulated by an unmanageable number of national and intra-community standards. The international community regularly publishes updated regulations in which so-called dual-use goods and critical end-users of the individual importing countries are listed.

For managing directors or executives of German companies, it is important to pay meticulous attention to compliance with export regulations. If a risk has been incorrectly assessed or there has been insufficient coordination with the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), there will be a demand for explanations. It is often a difficult balancing act to meet the requirements of the law and at the same time those of commerce. If this is not successful, the customs authorities will appear. In light of the growing possibilities, it is not surprising that there has been an increase in monitoring measures and subsequent surprise visits by the customs authorities early on in investigations. During this phase, the public prosecutor's offices often leave the processing of the complex procedural material to their auxiliary officers. This involves risks, but also offers opportunities.

has experts who are familiar with the special constellations of foreign trade criminal law from many proceedings. Nevertheless, we are criminal lawyers. If a case raises questions that require special competence in pure foreign trade law, we work closely with law firms working in the field of public law. In this way we guarantee a competent and therefore efficient defence in all areas.

The increase in proceedings in customs criminal law is a further development of the internationalisation of trade. Criminal customs law represents the other side of the trade relationship, on the side of the import of goods. It is special kind of tax criminal law. Criminal proceedings in this area, for example, concern the accusation of breach of tariff laws pursuant to § 372 of the German Tax Code (AO), commercial and gang smuggling pursuant to § 373 AO or tax fraud pursuant to § 374 AO.

Especially in such proceedings, early active defence can prevent major consequences for the accused. In addition to many years of experience in criminal tax law, our specialists in commercial criminal law regularly work together with tax experts in order to effectively enforce their rights here as well.

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