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German customs uncover “underbilling”

June 28, 2022

German customs in Hamburg uncovered the evasion of import duties amounting to more than €3.8 million ($4.02 million).

Responsible actors in an import company are suspected of having declared goods values ??that were too low during customs clearance of goods from China and thus evaded customs duty and import sales tax.

The audit service and the white-collar crime risk team of the Hamburg main customs office, together with the investigation service of the Hamburg customs investigation office, have uncovered a company network through which the import, logistics and distribution of Chinese goods of all kinds are said to have been processed to a considerable extent.

These so-called fulfilment service providers handle the entire logistics process for the goods – from dispatch from the country of origin or manufacture to dispatch to the end customer, for example in Europe. The business and financial structures range from China via Hamburg to companies in Great Britain.

Two companies were identified, which are said to have carried out the imports one after the other and interlocked according to very detailed specifications by the Chinese consignors and sellers. The companies established in Hamburg handled the import of the goods and are suspected of having declared purchase prices at customs that were far below the relevant and usual market and benchmark values.

A large number of imports were detected. For example, office furniture, suitcases, mains adapters for notebooks and prams were imported to Europe. Those responsible in the company construct are suspected of having evaded customs and import sales tax by under-invoicing.

After evaluating the evidence seized during the search measures and the payment transactions, customs in Hamburg have so far levied import duties totalling around €3.8 million ($4.02 million) and a physical arrest of €1.46 million ($1.54 million) has also been enforced.

“Customs are successfully fighting against tax evasion. With our work, we secure large parts of the tax revenue of the federal government and the EU. The honest taxpayer must not be the fool,” commented Stephan Meyns, spokesman for the Hamburg Customs Investigation Office.

The imported goods were sold in Europe via large trading portals on the Internet and then delivered to the end consumer in parcels, the customs announcement said. The Hamburg Customs Investigation Office is conducting further investigations on behalf of the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : China Customs Germany Import Investigation Tax Evasion

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