This Attorney Assists US/CDN Defense Manufacturers Shipping Cargo via Germany

Jul 27, 2021

Air carriers, US and Canadian defense manufacturers, export/import defense industry traders, and freight forwarders can face criminal charges for inadequate weapons transport licenses. Our experts at Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling can help companies facing such legal pitfalls in German law and get you back on track with your business and reputation.

If you’re an air carrier, freight forwarder, exporter, or importer of military equipment vie Germany to and from Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia you may be exposed to criminal prosecution without the correct German license.

We are seasoned attorneys, experts in German and European Union weapon transport controls. Our law office Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling employs a unique proven system of legal services for air carriers, US and Canadian defense manufacturers, export/import defense industry traders, and military freight forwarders.

Visit us at for more information! Our website contains numerous educational videos and a free webinar with in-depth presentation of real cases we have turned around sucessfully.

As many organizations shipping to or from continental North America prefer stopovers in Germany for reasons of economy and flight logistics, our recently upgraded service system is designed to assist you and your company if you face legal problems due to insufficient transport licenses.

We know that many freight forwarders, exporters, and importers of military goods, production, testing, protection, training, maintenance, and repair equipment believe that the only licensing required is that provided by the State Department in accordance with the US Munitions List (USML). However, any flight landing on German soil, is also required to carry a German war weapons transport license.

The same is true for cargo using a plane or ship registered in Germany and for transhipments in German ports. A German cargo aircraft or ship is German territory by law. And, of course freight trucks which pass Germany on their way to the airport need a license as well

All European countries have similar regulations in place.

Failure to comply is a criminal offense that can result in serious consequences for your company and you personally. Our Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling can substantially assist your organization if you face such a situation. We manage the timely acquisition of requisite licenses even under the dire situation of a criminal investigation, and our stronghold is liaising with German authorities on your behalf.

How can German Customs check Aircargo for military items easily? (this equally applies to ocean and truck freight). Well, they definitely won’t enter the plane and open every box. That would need excessive manpower and delay all flights. Instead, they just check the accompanying documents. One of these documents is the USML license (e.g., DSP 5, DSP 83). Every US weapon manufacturer will have to get that license, and hand it to the freight forwarder, who is listed in that license.

This US license has to be part of the accompanying documents everywhere in the world where the cargo will go. US customs check that at the US airport, and no military cargo can leave the US without it. (Otherwise, the manufacturer and the freight forwarder risk intensive punishment, usually imprisonment or high fines, and their military business license is at stake).

Additional successful searches by surveillance and enforcement agencies include cargo description, enduser, and international HS codes. E.g. HS 9301 and 9302 are proof of weapons delivery for German customs, and not only in Germany, but everywhere in Europe

Our unique Ebook details how easy it is for Customs Enforcement to detect any violations of the past 10 years. We make it available to you upon your first contact to us via this link:

Enforcement agencies can check the files of airfreight carriers for the past 10 years. Air carriers and freight forwarders are required to keep all relevant documents in their files for 10 years as well. These documents include contracts, Airway Bills, and licenses.

When any cargo – by air, land, or sea – defined as war weapons under German regulations is found without you having a valid German transport license, your cargo is seized and turned over to the German State Attorney who will immediately open a criminal prosecution against you and your partners in this transport. The same applies if such transactions are found by Enforcement Inspectors in the books of German or foreign airfreight carriers and freight forwarders, traceable up to ten years into the past.

We are aware that German customs inspections of transiting aircraft, including those which are just refueling, have become a more frequent occurrence as are inspections of corporate files of air carriers and freight forwarders. When any equipment defined as war weapons under German regulations are found without you having a valid transport license, your cargo is seized and turned over to the German State Attorney who has an easy case to prosecute you.

In such cases, we at Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling will now act on behalf of your organization to ensure the release of the goods and minimization of damages. In the first instance, our law firm will apply immediately for a license. You can find more details in this video:

After receiving your license we will then petition the German State Attorney for release your cargo, as well as lowering of the punishment from imprisonment to fine. Usually, we also manage to lower the fine sufficiently to avoid that you attract a criminal record under German jurisdiction.

Acting in similar recent cases, our Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling has achieved a 100% success rate in resolving such situations to the satisfaction of all parties.

A company representative stated: “Many manufacturers, export/import traders, and freight forwarders think the only license they require is the US Munitions license. But touching German ground or German planes with military weapons is a criminal offense in Germany, punishable by law. And most manufacturers, export/import traders, freight forwarders and air carriers are not aware of the fact that all cases of violations can be easily tracked in the companies mandatory database for years to come, and Customs Enforcement and the State Attorney can search this database 10 years back in the past.”

Our Kanzlei Roth Export Controlling will always act in your company’s best interests.

Click on to contact us 24/7, especially when your case is extremely urgent which is a natural situation if your air cargo has been seized.

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