Zollkriminalamt

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German Customs Investigation Bureau
Zollkriminalamt
Abbreviation ZKA
Agency overview
Formed 1992
Preceding agency Zollkriminalinstitut
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency Germany
Constituting instrument Zollfahndungsdienstgesetz (ZFdG)
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction Customs.
Operational structure
Headquarters Cologne, Germany
Elected officer responsible Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance
Parent agency Federal Ministry of Finance (Germany)
Child agency Zollfahndungsamt
SWAT teams Zentrale Unterstützungsgruppe Zoll (ZUZ)

The German Customs Investigation Bureau in Cologne (Zollkriminalamt, ZKA) and its investigation offices are federal agencies that fall under the German Finance Ministry. The ZKA coordinates customs investigations nationwide in particular monitoring foreign trade, uncovering violations of EU market regulations, illegal technology exports, subsidy fraud in the agricultural sector, drug trafficking and money laundering.

In reaction to increasing violence, its Zentrale Unterstützungsgruppe Zoll (ZUZ) was formed in 1997 as the customs SWAT team for use when regular officers would be in too much danger.

The Customs Investigation Offices (Zollfahndungsamt, ZFA) are directly integrated into the ZKA. There are currently eight ZFAs (in Berlin, Dresden, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich and Stuttgart) with 24 branches. They are subdivided into functional areas and investigate embargo contraventions, violations of market regulations, tax evasion and trademark violations. In addition, they have formed many joint task forces with the German Federal Police and State police forces to combat drug smuggling and international money laundering.

Coordinates: 50°58′34″N 7°03′47″E / 50.97611°N 7.06306°E / 50.97611; 7.06306