Saarbrücken (ots) - "I am very satisfied with the result that we were able to achieve in 2019," said Hans Barth, head of the main customs office in Saarbrücken. “These successes show how well my colleagues have worked. That makes me very proud."
Customs is the federal revenue administration, fights (organized) crime, is committed to fairness and justice in the labor market, stands for environmental, species and consumer protection and thinks European. With this far-reaching task area, the customs officers stand up for the citizens and the companies.
The main customs office in Saarbrücken was able to do the following in 2019
- 1 billion euros in taxes collected,
- 32 kg of narcotics ensured
- 730 kg (hookah) tobacco withdrawn from circulation,
- 2.400 violations of the Medicines Act discovered,
- more than 7.500 criminal proceedings have been initiated,
- 62 years imprisonment in the fight against undeclared work
The main customs office in Saarbrücken is responsible for the Saarland and southern Rhineland-Palatinate. 534 customs officers perform customs duties in this area.
Customs is responsible for collecting federal taxes. This includes customs, import sales tax, excise duties and traffic taxes. A total of 141,6 billion euros were raised nationwide.
The main customs office in Saarbrücken received more than 1 billion euros. The largest shares accounted for over EUR 510 million in import sales tax and EUR 240 million in vehicle tax.
In the case of excise duties, which brought in a total of almost 200 million, the electricity tax (75 million euros) and the alcohol tax (64 million euros) were the highest-earning taxes.
The customs duties amounting to 52 million euros will be paid in full to the European Union.
Financial control undeclared work
The customs officers of the financial control undeclared work have a colorful bouquet of tasks to perform. Customs focuses equally on employers, employees, the community of solidarity and fairness on the labor market.
The financial control undeclared work checks whether the statutory working conditions are complied with. This includes, among other things, the payment of the statutory and industry-related minimum wages, continued payment of wages in the event of illness, and the granting of vacation entitlements.
However, not only the rights of employers are checked, but also the obligations towards the general public. For example, companies are obliged to pay social security contributions, which are used to finance unemployment benefits I and II, among other things. This helps to strengthen the community of solidarity.
Customs also checks that the necessary work and residence permits as well as posting certificates are available.
Workers also have duties that are checked by the main customs offices. In some industries, valid identification documents must be carried. In addition, a check is carried out to determine whether social benefits are being received (wrongly).
In 2019, a total of 1.400 employer audits were carried out by the financial control undeclared work of the main customs office in Saarbrücken. Fines of 800.000 euros and fines of 2,7 million euros were imposed. The calculated damage sum amounts to 19,8 million euros. The sum of the prison terms obtained in 2019 exceeds 62 years.
The control units of the main customs office in Saarbrücken check independently of the suspicion at the borders with France and Luxembourg, but also without reference to the border. In addition, baggage controls at Saarbrücken Airport and the train connections Frankfurt-Paris / Paris-Frankfurt were also in focus.
The traffic routes control unit detected irregularities in every 2019th vehicle in 8. For example, more than 32 kilograms of narcotics were found. The sale and consumption of these seized drugs are no longer possible.
In the area of tobacco, the seizures increased more than tenfold over the previous year; last year 780 kilograms of tobacco were withdrawn from the market. This increase is due in particular to a large number of findings in shisha bars and shops.
During a check at Saarbrücken Airport, a precision slingshot with armrest and 10 steel balls were secured in an American's forwarded luggage. Criminal proceedings were initiated against the owner on suspicion of violating the weapons law.
In the district of the main customs office in Saarbrücken, the customs offices in Germersheim (with the handling point “International Freight Station Speyer”) Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens, Saarbrücken (at the Homburg and Saarbrücken locations) and Saarbrücken Airport are available as contacts for companies and citizens.
The core tasks of the customs offices include the handling of goods, the handling of postal traffic and the acceptance of applications for vehicle tax. Customs officers processed 1,8 million items for import and more than 14 million items for export last year. In addition, more than 1 million mail items were accepted.
In addition to collecting import duties, customs controls also focus on compliance with prohibitions and restrictions. In 2019, 2.400 violations of the Medicines Act, 137 violations of product safety and 71 complaints in the area of species protection were identified.
In December 2019, customs officers in Speyer discovered, for example, 39 living “Gallotia canary lizards” while X-raying a postal package from Tenerife. As these lizards are species-protected, legal transport to Germany is only possible with the corresponding accompanying documents, which could not be presented. The lizards were given to a shelter for further care.
The number of trademark infringements also remains at a consistently high level. In the past year, almost 300 counterfeit parts with a value of around EUR 20.000 were withdrawn from the market in 500.000 cases.
The audit service checks in the company whether all regulations under customs and excise law have been complied with. Among other things, the licensing requirements, the amount of the import duties paid and the import and export licenses are checked. These downstream tests are open-ended. This means that additional claims or reimbursements can be made.
The auditors and tax inspectors at the main customs office in Saarbrücken are responsible for more than 38.000 items to be monitored. This includes, for example, electricity producers, breweries, distilleries or fabric owners who are allowed to process their fruit into schnapps.
In 11,2, 2019 million euros were raised or reclaimed by the examination service. 2,2 million euros were reimbursed due to measures taken by the examination service.
The area of punishment is the administrative office for fines and criminal matters at the main customs office in Saarbrücken, which is responsible for the Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and parts of Hesse.
The findings from 2019 show that the number of newly initiated fine proceedings (660) and criminal proceedings (3.600) remain at a consistently high level and even tend to increase. Criminal prosecutions include tax evasion by fuel oil diesel fuel, black-burning, illegal imports or incorrect billing. Tax theft (resale of illegal goods) is also pursued under customs law.
In addition to tax misconduct, the punishment also deals with violations in the area of undeclared work and illegal employment. The law against illegal employment and abuse of social services, which entered into force on July 18, 2019, gave public prosecutors the opportunity to hand over investigative powers to customs. This allows the punishment to act as a “small prosecutor” under certain circumstances.
In 2019, 4.000 criminal proceedings and almost 800 administrative fine proceedings were initiated in the area of undeclared work and illegal employment at the main customs office in Saarbrücken. These include abuse of social services, fraud, work without a work permit and bogus self-employment
Source: Read here
Originally written by: Hauptzollamt Saarbrücken
The text is a press release from the responsible police authority. The text was not edited or changed by our editorial team.