General Terms and Conditions for Customs Services (hereinafter “Customs GTC”)
§ 1 Application
- Grenzlotsen GmbH provides customs services solely on the basis of these Customs GTC.
- These Customs GTC apply between Grenzlotsen GmbH and the Principal indefinitely or until cancelled or amended in respect of all concluded contracts and (subsequent) orders without requiring confirmation by the Principal.
- The General Terms and Conditions of the Principal and / or third parties do not form part of the contract. This will also apply if Grenzlotsen GmbH does not object to the latter when concluding a contract. The fact that Grenzlotsen GmbH refers to documents which contain or refer to the terms and conditions of the Principal and / or third parties does not constitute the agreement of Grenzlotsen GmbH with the applicability of such general terms and conditions.
§ 2 Conclusion of agreements
- The Principal will make an offer for the conclusion of a contract by submitting an offer at least in text form (letter, fax, email etc.) using the internet page of Grenzlotsen GmbH or signing the customs power of attorney within the meaning of § 4.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH reserves the right to examine and reject the offer without having to give any reason. The offer will be deemed accepted if Grenzlotsen GmbH provides the customs service.
- Amendments by the Principal to orders already issued will only be valid if Grenzlotsen GmbH confirms the same in writing.
§ 3 Customs services
- Grenzlotsen GmbH provides services. These comprise the following:
- the customs clearance of imports (release of goods into free circulation),
- the customs clearance of exports (final export of goods from the EU),in respect of German customs offices.
- The customs service includes the lodging of the customs declaration by way of direct or indirect representation and undertaking the required statements and acts connected with the customs service in respect of the authorities involved in the customs service.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH is under no obligation to provide legal or tax advice. In particular, it is under no obligation to examine import or export clearance for optimisation regarding either the incurrence of import duties (duties, import VAT and other charges) or the choice of customs procedure etc.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH is entitled to engage servants when carrying out the customs service and the Principal agrees with this.
§ 4 Authorisation
- The Principal shall issue Grenzlotsen GmbH with a power of attorney corresponding to the customs service requested.
- If the Principal is a freight forwarder, carrier or other service provider and has been engaged to provide the customs service for its Principal, it shall provide Grenzlotsen GmbH with a customs power of attorney signed by its Principal. Grenzlotsen GmbH is entitled to suspend the provision of the customs service until it has received such power of attorney.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH is entitled to issue sub-powers of attorney.
§ 5 Obligations of the Principal
- The Principal shall provide all necessary documents and information for the customs service requested to Grenzlotsen GmbH on time before the customs service is provided and to inform Grenzlotsen GmbH of any peculiarities relevant for the provision of the customs service. If the necessary documents have not been sent at the time of providing the customs service Grenzlotsen GmbH will be entitled but not obliged to provide the customs service using the available information.
- The necessary documents which the Principal must send Grenzlotsen GmbH include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Commercial invoices / proforma invoices
- Transportation documents (bills of lading, packlists, delivery notes etc.)
- Proof of origin
- Preferential certificates
- Binding Tariff Information (BTI)
- Binding Origin Information (BOI)
- Import and export authorisations
- Import and export licences
- The necessary information which the Principal must send Grenzlotsen GmbH includes (but are not limited to):
- Description of the goods
- 8- or 11 digit customs tariff number
- Status of the goods (Union goods / non-Union goods)
- Number, type and weight of the items in the dutiable consignment
- Document / authorisation codes
- Customs value / additions for purposes of customs valuation (licence fees, costs of tools etc.).
- The Principal hereby confirms that all particulars are accurate and complete. The Principal must answer all questions of Grenzlotsen GmbH without delay.
- The Principal shall instruct Grenzlotsen GmbH to claim customs quotas, beneficial rates of duties or similar factors. The sole responsibility for obtaining information about preferential treatment, customs benefits and / or customs relief and similar tax benefits as well as the documents and information required to utilise them lies with the Principal. Therefore, Grenzlotsen GmbH will not act on its own initiative.
- The Principal hereby confirms that it and, if applicable, the person on whose behalf it acts, is entitled to fully deduct input tax. Should this not be the case, the Principal shall inform Grenzlotsen GmbH in writing thereof.
- The Principal is responsible for complying with foreign trade law. In particular, foreign trade law includes export controls as well as restrictions and prohibitions in both the EU and third countries. Upon request, the Principal shall provide Grenzlotsen GmbH with confirmation that it complies with the applicable terms and / or (if not already re-quired for the provision of the customs ser-vice) submit authorisations / licences / permits in the original (or copies thereof) etc. and provide all information about the transaction underlying the customs service which is relevant for the application of cus-toms and foreign trade law.
- Besides complying with its duties under customs law, the Principal shall also assist Grenzlotsen GmbH in complying with its own customs duties under customs law. This includes (but is not limited to) present-ing or having the goods presented at the customs office. The Principal shall prove the same to Grenzlotsen GmbH on request
- Since Grenzlotsen GmbH will not act as the exporter under customs law, the Principal shall inform Grenzlotsen GmbH of the identity of the exporter under customs law in re-spect of each order performed.
- In the event of a customs inspection, an ex-post customs audit or the collection or re-covery of import duties (duties, import VAT and other duties), the Principal shall, on re-quest, immediately send or make available all the required information and documents to Grenzlotsen GmbH and / or the authori-ties or obtain the same from third parties.
- The Principal shall store all documents forming the basis for or resulting from the customs service (customs declaration, preferential certificates etc.) in accordance with the applicable statutory retention re-quirements. If legally required, the docu-ments shall be stored as originals. Grenzlotsen GmbH is not subject to a statu-tory duty of retention.
- The Principal shall ensure the customs service is correct. This particularly applies to the customs declaration submitted. Com-plaints about the customs service provided by Grenzlosten GmbH must be made within three months in text form. After this period expires, any claims owing to the irregular lodgement of customs declarations will be excluded. Grenzlotsen GmbH shall specifi-cally draw the Principal’s attention to the significance of its conduct at the start of the period. The exclusion of liability does not apply to cases referred to in § 13 of these Customs GTC. In such cases, the liability of Grenzlotsen GmbH will be determined in accordance with this clause.
§ 6 Provision of security
- At the request of Grenzlotsen GmbH, the Principal shall provide the same with a banker’s guarantee as security for the fulfilment of obligations arising from the customs service requested. The guarantee must be directly enforceable on first demand. The right of deposit must be waived. The guarantor shall waive the defence of advance claim, invalidity and set-off under §§ 770, 771 BGB. The necessary waiver of the defence of set-off does not apply to uncontested or legally established counterclaims of the Principal. The only acceptable guarantors are German credit institutes or a German credit insurer. Furthermore, the guarantor shall declare that disputes arising from such a security will only be subject to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany and the place of jurisdiction will be the registered office of Grenzlotsen GmbH. Furthermore, the Principal shall declare that the demand for the security will not expire prior to the secured principal claim.
- If the guarantee secures claims arising from and in connection with an import duty debt (duties, import VAT and other charges), it must generally be surrendered after four years after from the date on which the import duty debt arose. This period will be suspended from the lodging of an appeal against the duty ruling until the conclusion of the appeal procedure.
§ 7 Deferment account
- The Principal shall pay the import duties (duties, import VAT and other charges) assessed and due using its deferment account. The Principal shall ensure that the import duties assessed and due are paid on time. Accordingly, Grenzlotsen GmbH is under no obligation in this respect.
- Exceptionally, where the Principal does not have a deferment account, the parties may agree to use the deferment account of Grenzlotsen GmbH. Grenzlotsen GmbH willuse this deferment account to compensate the import duties assessed and due resulting from the lodgement of an import declaration for release for free circulation. The deferment account cannot be used to pay retrospectively assessed import duties; these must be paid by the Principal itself.The use of the deferment account of Grenzlotsen GmbH is conditional on the Principal informing Grenzlotsen GmbH about the amount of import duties to be set-off each month by means of the deferment account. The Principal shall immediately inform Grenzlotsen GmbH if the amount of import duties notified changes by 10% or more. Grenzlotsen GmbH will not make any payments using the deferment account in excess of this maximum amount. Grenzlotsen GmbH may change the maximum amount at any time subject to notification in text form without having to give any reason. This also applies to the basic willingness to make payments on behalf of the Principal using the deferment account. Grenzlotsen GmbH is under no obligation to set-off import duties using its deferment account.
§ 8 Remuneration / due-date
- Grenzlotsen GmbH shall fulfil the Principal’s orders in accordance with the current customs service tariff subject to the agreement of an individual tariff. The customs service tariff can be provided on request.
- The Principal shall treat individually agreed tariffs and arrangements confidentially. If this duty is breached and / or not complied with, the Principal will be held fully liable for any actual and future economic loss arising therefrom.
- The Principal undertakes to make payment on time. Violating and / or failing to comply with this duty may result in penalty fees or other legal remedies.
- The Principal hereby grants Grenzlotsen GmbH a right of retention for goods which Grenzlotsen GmbH holds or will hold when providing the service. Grenzlotsen GmbH is entitled to liquidate the pledged item as compensation for any outstanding claims against the Principal.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH shall issue an invoice for each customs service ordered, unless otherwise contractually agreed.
§ 9 Termination for important reason
- Grenzlotsen GmbH reserves the right to suspend the provision of the customs service owing to an important reason and to terminate the contractual relationship unilaterally.
- Important reasons include (but are not limited to) the following:
- enquiries which are illegal or violate good morals, whereby the mere suspi-cion of a violation will be sufficient;
- missing documents and information needed to duly provide the customs service;
- legal prohibitions on the provision (e.g.embargo rules);
- US-export control provisions, especially embargoes and sanctions, unless their application is prohibited by EU law;
- delayed payment by the Principal.
§ 10 Assignment of claims
- Any assignment of claims arising from the contractual relationship by the Principal requires the prior written agreement of Grenzlotsen GmbH.
- This is without prejudice to § 354a para. 1 HGB.
§ 11 Set-offSet-off against counterclaims of the Principal or the retention of payments owing to such claims will only be permissible if the counterclaims are uncontested or have been legally established. Set-off against the Principal’s counterclaims will also be permissible if they arise from the same contractual relationship.
§ 12 Liability of the Principal
- The Principal bears full liability for the timely submission of all necessary documents and information as well as for their accuracy and completeness, which are a condition for performing the order.
- The Principal shall fully indemnify Grenzlotsen GmbH without delay for all claims made by another customer or other third party in connection with the performance of an order regardless of the legal grounds. The Principal shall compensate Grenzlotsen GmbH for all damages (especially the legal costs, customs penalties, fines and surcharges for delay), which Grenzlotsen GmbH suffers in this regard and for which it is not responsible as well as all expenditure incurred, if Grenzlotsen GmbH considers this necessary.
§ 13 Liability of Grenzlotsen GmbH
- When providing the customs service, Grenzlotsen GmbH will be liable for the intentional acts and gross negligence of its legal representatives and senior employees or servants.
- This is without prejudice to liability for the fault-based injury to life, body or health as well as liability in accordance with the German Product Liability Act (“Produkthaftungsgesetz”).
- Furthermore, Grenzlotsen GmbH will be liable for minor negligence if this infringes a duty whose compliance is particularly important for achieving the aim of the contract and thereby gives rise to a loss. In this case, the liability in damages will be limited to foreseeable loss of the kind which typically arises.
- If the liability of Grenzlotsen GmbH in damages is excluded or restricted, the same will also extend to the personal liability of employees, factory workers, staff members, representatives and servants in damages.
§ 14 Liability of claims GmbH
- Claims against Grenzlotsen GmbH, which are not based on imputed intentional or grossly negligent conduct, injury to life, body health, the infringement of important contractual duties or the German Product Liability Act (Produkthaftungsgesetz), will be subject to a limitation period of one year.
- The limitation period will begin to run in accordance with the statutory provisions.
§ 15 Cancellation
- Contracts agreed between Grenzlotsen GmbH and the Principal in accordance with these Customs GTC will be valid for an in-definite period. The contract can be can-celled at the end of the month subject to a two-week notification period. The contract will continue until the orders issued before the end of the contract have been fully performed.
- This is without prejudice to extraordinary cancellation for an important reason. An im-portant reason may be the infringement of applicable customs and foreign trade law committed when carrying out an order.
- The cancellation must be made in writing.
- The cancellation of the contract also serves to extinguish the customs power of attor-ney. However, this will remain valid for or-ders which have not yet been completed when the contract ends. Once the final or-der has been completed, Grenzlotsen GmbH shall return the customs power of at-torney to the Principal on request. In the event of an official audit after the customs service has been provided, Grenzlotsen GmbH will be entitled to retain a copy of the customs power of attorney.
§ 16 Data protection
- Grenzlotsen GmbH is entitled to save and use data in order to provide the customs service. The Principal expressly agrees to such usage and saving of data for this pur-pose.
- Grenzlotsen GmbH shall ensure to a rea-sonable extent that the data is not accessi-ble to unauthorised third parties and, for this purpose, will take the necessary measures to protect the data and keep it confidential to a reasonable degree. This also includes the right to check the data sent by the Prin-cipal in order to prevent any actions which could breach the contract or contravene the law. This will particularly be the case if there is a suspicion that the documents and information required for providing the cus-toms service as well as the underlying transaction have been interfered with.
§ 17 Amendments of the Customs GTC
- Grenzlotsen GmbH may amend these Cus-toms GTC at any time. Grenzlotsen GmbH shall inform the Principal separately thereof.
- The Principal may object to the amendment of the Customs-GTC in writing.
- If the Principal does not object to the amendment within one month after notifica-tion thereof or if it confirms the amendment by placing an order, the amended Customs GTC will apply forthwith.
§ 18 Applicable law and jurisdication
- The contractual parties hereby agree that Stuttgart will have jurisdiction over all legal disputes between the parties.
- These Customs GTC and related contracts are subject to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, excluding the UN law on sales.
§ 19 Severability Clause and Other Matters
- If any provisions of these Customs GTC should be wholly or partially invalid and / or null and void, this will not affect the validity of the remaining provisions
- Any discrepancies between the English and German versions of these Customs-GTC will be decided in favour of the German version.