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German Customs Investigation Bureau
Agency overview
Preceding agency
  • Zollkriminalinstitut
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyGermany
Operations jurisdictionGermany
Constituting instrument
  • Zollfahndungsdienstgesetz (ZFdG)
General nature
HeadquartersCologne, Germany

Elected officer responsible
Parent agencyFederal Ministry of Finance (Germany)
Child agency
  • Zollfahndungsamt
SWAT teamsZentrale 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 police tactical unit 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