Export Control & Customs
Welcome at Export Control, Customs, Nagoya Protocol and MFP
The Export Control & Customs Unit offers the following services for employees of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel:
- Support regarding Export Control Regulations for all stays and expeditions outside the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as operational handling of the processes with the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
- Customs support for all stays and expeditions in third party countries outside the European Union, as well as operational handling of the processes with the customs authorities.
- Coordination of all matters relating to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (officially: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity), as well as operational handling with the authorities of the provider countries and with the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
- Support and training of employees in the use of the Inventory Software "Marine Facilities Planning" (MFP) for sea-going equipment for e.g. issuing packing lists / proforma invoices.
You can find further information on the individual topics on our GEOMAR intranet pages.
As we constantly asked why a scientific centre for ocean research needs an export control & customs unit, here is a little insight into our daily business:
Marine research is international and carried out at GEOMAR at the highest technical level. For this reason, the preparation of the expeditions for our scientists and technicians also includes topics such as export controls and customs.
The Export Control & Customs Unit, together with the GEOMAR expedition members, sometimes already classifies scientific equipment (goods, software, technology) according to armaments, dual-use or goods that do not require approval one year or longer before loading for the cruise. If necessary, u. a. embargo regulations also checked. Subsequently, the required export approvals under German, European or US (re-) export control law are applied for from the relevant authorities in order to ensure that the export is correct under foreign trade law. This also applies to the approvals of the provider countries for the sampling, which is subject to the Nagoya Protocol of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
The GEOMAR research equipment does not only consist of technical equipment. Research vessels are floating laboratories so that research on the sample material obtained can begin right there on the high seas. For this reason, the GEOMAR scientists' equipment containers also contain equipment and material for this purpose. When importing and exporting u. a. laboratory supplies or sample material, we also observe the prescribed information in the context of further prohibitions and restrictions in foreign trade, e.g. B. CITES (Washington Convention on the Protection of Species), radiation protection or the basic Substance Monitoring Act (GÜG) for drug precursors.
Another main task of the department is the issuing of export documents for customs clearance of all kinds. Of course, there are normal final exports in the context of cooperation with other research institutes and universities or service companies for e.g. the processing of research samples. 90% of the customs clearance, however, concern the worldwide research cruises in which scientists and technicians take part with the large equipment of GEOMAR (ROV, AUV). Even if a large part of the equipment leaves GEOMAR only for a limited period for research cruises outside the European Union and its territorial seas, the corresponding customs papers and additional documents are also required for this by law. Due to this we need packing lists / proforma invoices that must be made available by the responsible scientists. Every piece of equipment has to be mentioned in the packing lists. This starts with the necessary technology, empty containers for samples, laboratory equipment and ends with the work clothes and personal belongings of the expedition participants for the cruise, which often take several months. These packing lists are created in a special web application for seagoing equipment in which the required export information such as customs tariff number or export control classification number etc. is already stored in accordance with the current legal situation. The employees in customs clearance then prepare the packing lists in such a way that they comply with the international customs regulations for exports from the European Union and import / transit in the recipient country until they are loaded onto the German or international expedition vessel. Many countries have individual requirements here. After the expeditions, the equipment comes back to the centre in Kiel and need to be processed under customs regulations when imported into Germany. This also applies to the samples obtained, such as e.g. sediment cores, water or excrement from marine life.
The aim of the department in this procedure is not only to enable smooth export and import, but also to keep the amount of customs duties, fees and taxes as low as possible during the entire customs process. To ensure this, the cruise of the expedition equipment is considered holistically and the most suitable and legally permissible customs procedure is then selected.