Avoiding customs problems - with Markus Bitzer

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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As an online retailer, what do you think of when you hear the word customs? The term, which often has negative connotations, usually makes retailers think of requirements and obligations. Customs law is the decisive set of regulations, especially for international imports and exports. "Customs law is harmonized in the EU, which means that the same rules apply in all countries [...] But you can't generalize much, the basics are the same, but you have to look at each retailer and each store individually: what do you import, what do you export, which countries do you trade with, what kind of goods do you have?", says customs expert Markus Bitzer and gets to the bottom of these questions, among others, together with our podcast hosts Nadja Müller and Saravanan Sundaram in the new episode of Thanks for Shopping.

Markus is a former aircraft mechanic and has completed his training as a customs investigator for the Customs Criminal Investigation Office. His investigations focused on export controls, but he also investigated narcotics, money laundering and import violations. His personal decision to no longer be active as a customs investigator and instead work as a consultant for companies in customs traffic was also explained to us in the fynax interview tells.

"Customs has evolved over the years and we were no longer a good fit. I wanted more equal opportunities and now advise companies before problems arise," explains Markus, who ultimately classifies customs as a financial authority that inspects but does not provide active assistance. In the new episode of Thanks for Shopping, he tells us about his work as a customs investigator, his change of heart and provides important insights into customs issues for online retailers.

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