Results for the first half of the year – Customs seized ivory, parrots and watches


In the first half of the year, Austrian customs mainly recovered ivory jewellery, exotic parrots and luxury watches. Customs registered a decline in both drug smuggling and product piracy. More illegal drugs were seized, but fewer seized. The same goes for smuggled cigarettes.

In the first six months, the Austrian customs office (ZAÖ) registered significantly more seizures of illegal medicines than in all of 2021: 39,702 prohibited imports were identified in 5864 cases, and in the comparable period of 2021 there were 3,419 seizures of 151,200 items. The number of reports of illegal drug trafficking increased from approximately 2,000 in the first half of 2021 to approximately 6,000.

There were 1,491 reports of narcotics in 2021 from January to June, this year 763, nearly 148 kilograms, were seized. This development is also related to the registration requirement and the increased pressure to check small consignments in the second half of 2021. In addition, supply chains were interrupted.

Watches seized for 500,000 euros
Customs discovered 60 pieces of jewelery and art made from ivory on an online sales platform. More than three kilograms of ivory was found in the seller’s house in the Vöcklabruck district. The Carinthian customs investigation prevented the illegal sale of four rare parrots, the macaw pairs were offered at an online bird fair. At Salzburg airport, four travelers from Istanbul were carrying 15 luxury watches, and the Ministry of Finance stated that the total value of the goods that should have passed through the Green Canal unpaid was more than EUR 500,000.

The number of cigarette smuggling cases is higher this year at 1,066 tobacco products seized than in the first half of 2021 (780 seized), but the amount is significantly lower: 418,143 were almost twice as many in 2022 and at the end of June 2021 (818,377).

“Smuggling Is Shifting”
Customs has identified a similar phenomenon in product piracy. The number of seizures is decreasing. It’s important to note that smuggling routes are changing – just like the way illegal trade takes place. The steering is continuously adjusted.

New regulations “pay off”
According to the eCommerce regulation that came into effect on July 1, 2022, even small shipments now have to be taxed from the first cent and thus cleared through customs. “As we can see, this regulation is bearing fruit, because it and the great commitment of our employees in its implementation will ensure fair competition, more tax fairness and at the same time strengthen our Austrian trade,” said Finance Minister Magnus Brunner ( ÖVP).

Source: Krone


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