This section presents future and past events. The link „past events“ provides details of conferences such as the „European Customs Law Conference“, the „Export Control Day“ and the „Foreign Trade Law Day“. Prof. Dr. Wolffgang organises or co-organises these events in his capacity as chairman of the advisory board of EFA European Forum for External Trade, Excise and Customs.

In addition, the section provides details on conferences in which Prof. Dr. Wolffgang participates as member of the PICARD Advisory Group.

The link „future events“ provides details on upcoming conferences involving Prof. Dr. Wolffgang or his team.

Future Events

The ICTL will host the next seminar of ECCE (European Common Customs Evaluation) which will take place in Münster on the 18th of October 2024. More information will follow soon.

Past Events

As part of the „Zollwärts“ conference 2024 in Stuttgart, Professor Wolffgang – together with Janine Lampprecht (CEO, Grenzlotsen GmbH) – gave an interview on the current and future challenges facing customs law and customs administration. The „Zollwärts“ Customs Conference and Congress is a renowned event in the field of customs and export control law. It is  attended by many professionals who work in the area of customs and export control from all over Germany.

For more information please click here and here.

At the 8th Foreign Trade Forum of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Schwarzwald Baar Heuberg in Donauschingen, Professor Wolffgang held a presentation on the geopolitical uncertainties and increasing legal burdens for companies in foreign trade. At the beginning of the lecture, he looked back at the downfall of the Soviet Union (USSR), the German reunification and the foundation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to then turn the spotlight on modern challenges for international trade. In this context, Prof. Wolffgang pointed out the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the growing economical, political and technological influence of China and the powerful economic strength and expansion of the BRICS states. Following this, he gave an overwiev of the legal and political instruments in foreign trade law (i.e. customs, sanctions, export controls, import restrictions). Furthermore, he informed the participants of the Foreign Trade Forum about the latest sanctions package of the EU. In connection with this, he emphasised the economic dependance of the German economy on China. At the end of the presentation Prof. Wolffgang introduced the audience to the US Inflation Reduction Act of the Biden administration and the Green-Deal and Defense strategies of the European Union. In conclusion Prof. Wolffgang underlined the growing relevance and complexity of foreign trade law in these times of global upheavels.

Click at this link for more information.

Once again this year, the European Forum for Foreign Trade (EFA) was hosting the European Customs Law Conference. „Artificial intelligence in foreign trade – possibilities and limits“ was the motto of this year’s „EFA Conference“, which took place in Mannheim. Prof. Dr. Wolffgang co-organized the event in his capacity as chairman of the advisory board of EFA European Forum for External Trade, Excise and Customs.

This year’s main topics included the possible applications of artificial intelligence in customs administration and foreign trade, practical experience with the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the reform of the Union Customs Code and the associated ongoing digitalization of EU customs law, as well as an overview of „green taxes“.

In the morning of the 13th of June Dr. Lothar Harings, chairman of the executive board, welcomed the attendees of this years EFA Conference. After the welcome address, Harald Kröger (Board Member, President Automotive Business SiMa Technologies, San Francisco ) gave the opening lecture, in which he shed light on the latest development in artificial intelligence. The lecture was followed by an overwiev of the pending reform on the Union Customs Code by Philippe Duponteil (Director for Digital Delivery, Directorate General TAXUD, European Commission, Brussels) and Martin Blaesing (Head of Division III B 1, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin). After this, two discussion rounds under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sandra Rinnert and Frank Görtz were held on the usage and possibilites of AI in Customs adminstriations and Foreign Trade. To conclude the first day, Prof Dr Harald Jatzke  (Presiding Judge at the Federal Fiscal Court, Munich), Niko Liebheit (lawyer, Becker Büttner Held, Berlin), Jan Makurath (Head of Division DIV.A.3, Directorate IV, GZD, Bonn) and Dr. Dirk Jansen (Federal University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration, Münster) provided an overview of the latest case law in Electricity tax law.

The next day of the conference was opened with an short address by Kurt Van Dender (Acting Head of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division, OECD, Genf). He spoke about „Green Taxes – overview and environmental impact“. In the course of the day, Petra Heermann and Dr. Lothar Harings hosted discussions with various experts on the topics „Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) – Experiences from the practice“ and „Sustainability and human rights: New challenges for companies for companies (LkSG, EUDR, Forced Labour Ban)“. In this context, Prof. Wolffgang introduced the new EU-Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market (COM (2022) 453 final 2022/0269 (COD)), which is still in the european legislative procress. Finally, Dr. Lothar Harings bid farewell to the participants with a closing statement.

Please click here for an complete overview of the discussed topics .

On the 28th of May the 18th Export Control Day in Berlin was opened by Prof. Dr. Wolffgang with an welcome address. The motto of this year’s Export Control Day was „Trust and Responsibility“. In his speech, Prof. Wolffgang referred to the awarding of the Peace of Westphalia Prize to Emmanuel Macron, which was taking place at the same time and recalled the importance of international treaties to avoid violent conflicts. In addition, he outlined the new European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) and the Commissions Proposal of a European Defence Insdustrial Programme (EDIP).

The president of the BAFA Thorsten Safarik also held an address, in which he highlighted the close dialogue between  the export control authorities and business. The speech was followed by a keynote adress from the state secretary Sven Giegold of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK).

As in previous years, experts in the field of foreign trade law discussed current challenges in export control law. In various forums, high-ranking representatives from business, politics, administration and science exchanged views on the latest developments in foreign trade and offered participants the opportunity to find out about the latest developments in export control law. This year’s focus includeded arms export controls and Russian-Chinese economic relations. Further, attendees gained insights on the development of the EU-Dual-Use-Regulation and had the chance to participate on a forum that dealt with the conflict of scientific freedom and export controls. Finally the Export Control Day hosted a panel regarding the evasion of sanctions against Russia.

The Export Control Day 2024 was jointly organised by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and the Centre for Foreign Trade Law (ZAR) e. V. of the University of Münster.

If you want to know more please click here.

At the Cologne VAT and Customs Days, Professor Wolffgang gave an overview of the customs law reform after the joint opening of the event with Dr Nathalie Harksen. In addition to the new regulations (MUCC), he also shed light on the newly planned EU Customs Authority and the planned EU Customs Data Hub. Professor Rinnert also attended the event and covered other current topics and legsislative changes relating to customs and VAT law in her presentation.

Please click here to see a short video of the event.

The German Tax Consultants‘ Congress took place in Berlin on May 13 and 14. In this context, Professor Wolffgang held a workshop on new developments in customs and foreign trade law.


In the first half of his lecture, he explained how sustainability issues can be addressed through customs law. To this end he, presented the new EU Deforestation Regulation. Further he shed light on the rules and regulations of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act („Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz“) which is applicable since 1st of January 2023. Subsequently, he gave an outlook on the European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD), which has not yet been passed by EU Parliament. Finally, Professor Wolffgang referred to the planned EU Forced Labour Regulation, which is currently still being negotiated between the European institutions and and is not expected to be applicable until 2026 or 2027.

In the second half of the workshop, Prof. Wolffgang gave an overview of the upcoming EU Customs law reform. He illustrated the planned EU Customs Data Hub and outlined the intended EU Customs Authority. Finally he introduced the new AEO plus status for companys which the reform envisages.

For more information please click here.

As a member of the Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Professor Wolffgang took part in a discussion on the topic „Customs engaging traditional and new partners with purpose“ at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels and adressed questions from an international audience which consisted of representatives of the 186 WCO Member Customs administrations, of international organizations, business/privatesector associations, members of the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) and academics.

In particular, Professor Wolffgang gave an outlook on the use of emerging technologies in the training of Customs professionals and how these are already being used within the INCU. Further he discussed strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of capacity building programs for Customs administrations especially in developing countries and how academic institutions like the INCU collaberate with Customs agencies to ensure the sustainibility of the training efforts.

On Friday 19 April 2024, the Erasmus School of Law hosted the Second Seminar of ECCE (European Common Customs Evaluation) dedicated to the topic: ‚VAT on import and customs valuation in e-commerce‘.

At the seminar, Professor Wolffgang, together with Dr Nathalie Harksen and Dr Benedikt Wemmer, held a presentation on „Incurrence of a taxable event at import of e-commerce consignments“.

For more information, please click here or here.


13th Foreign Trade Theme Day

The 13th Foreign Trade Theme Day took place in Cologne on 17 and 18 October 2023. Prof. Hans-Michael Wolffgang again moderated the event and also spoke on the European Union’s customs law reform.

16th World Customs Law Meeting in Berlin

From the 27th to the 30th of September 2023, the XVI World Customs Law Meeting was held at the Humboldt University in Berlin. It was organized by the International Customs Law Academy. Since it was the first meeting since 2019 due to Covid, there were over 200 participants from over 30 countries from all regions in the world. The ICTL was one of the co-organizers of the event.

Topics of the meeting were the current status of world trade, like the implementation status of the TFA, the current mega-FTAs and export restrictions. Also an overview of national and regional legislation and changes in customs valuation was given. Prof Michael Wolffgang and Prof Andres Ponce led the event and participated in a variety of panel discussions.

For more information, please click here. For the whole agenda, please click here.

12th Foreign Trade Theme Day, 18th October

On the 18th Cotober the 12th Foreign Trade Theme Day was held in Cologne. The topics were the newest developments in foreign trade and rules of origin. Prof. Wolffgang was the main moderator of the event as well as one of the speakers.

Foreign Trade & Customs Seminar by the Swiss Shippers´ Council

At the 23rd September 2022, the foreign trade & customs seminar was held by the Swiss Shippers´ Council. Its topic was the challenges presented by the changes in foreign trade. The topics were supply chain law, export controls and sanctions, and the impact of the Russian war on Ukraine.

For more information, please click here.

Prof Wolffgang gives a lecture at the 6th foreign trade forum of the IHK Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg

For the 6th time, regional companies were able to look forward to the Foreign Trade Forum of the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry. For the first time since 2019, the congress is once again taking place in person. At the forum in Donaueschingen, not only current topics such as the Ukraine war were discussed: The border crossing with Switzerland was also the focus.

The digitalisation of administrative processes should not only make the transition to the third country Switzerland easier in the future, but also counteract the lack of personnel. This means an enormous relief for the regional companies and above all also for the local authorities.

For more information, please click here or here.

ICTL hosts the third seminar of ECCE

On Friday 17 June, ICTL hosted the third ECCE seminar. The seminar was on Actual Value of Imported Goods: Actual price, Additions, Deductions. It was the third of four seminars of the joint project of different European universities. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the participants discussed current developments in the calculation of customs value either on site or remotely connected.

To learn more about ECC, please click here. For the schedule of the seminar, please click here.

16th Export Control Day by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control

The 16th Export Control Day took place in Berlin on 9 and 10 June. For two days, experts discussed current trends and developments in export control. The theme of the 16th ECT was „Freedom is the insight into necessity“. The keynote address was given by Woodward Price, envoy of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. Prof. Dr Hans-Michael Wolffgang moderated several question and answer sessions on topics such as the current export control of the USA and the export control of China.

The Export Control Day 2022 was jointly organised by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and the Centre for Foreign Trade Law (ZAR) e. V. of the Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster (WWU).

For more information, please click here. For the schedule of the event, please click here.

11th Foreign Trade Theme Day, 26th and 27th October 2021

From the 26th to 27th October, the Foreign Trade Theme Day 2021 was held. The conference focused on the new regulations regarding the supply chain, tax compliance and customs as well as e-customs

Foreign Trade & Customs Seminar by the Swiss Shippers´ Council

At the 21st October 2021, the foreign trade & customs seminar was held by the Swiss Shippers´ Council. Its topic was the challenges presented by the changes in foreign trade. The topics were the foreign trade agreements, Brexit, digitisation and the future of swiss foreign trade.

For more information, please click here.

32nd European Customs Law Conference

From the 17th to 18th June 2021, the 32nd European Customs Conference has been held under the headline „Outlook 2030 – The Future of Customs and Customs Law“. The conference took place digital as well as in presence at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg. The conference was about the latest developments in the world of customs, be it the new silk road, artificial intelligence and block chain and their role in customs processes, or the development of customs jurisprudence.

For an overview of the topics, please click here.

The ICTL becomes a partner of ECCE

The ICTL has become a partner of the ECCE project. ECCE is an indipendent legal research project financed by European Commission, OLAF and the University of Bologna, Department of Legal Studies. The project is conducted in partnership with Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Universidad de Valencia, and Joint Research Centre (ISPRA).

The project focuses on two main aspects:

The first task of the research  is  to explore and compare national customs control practices. The research will be conducted  going beyond the national legal frame of reference of customs control (law on the books). It aims to understand and explain how customs controls about valuation are de facto performed by national customs authorities, exploring the actual attitude of national customs authorities towards such a control (law in action).

The second objective of the program is to explore the legal status and value of Theseus, which is a European statistical instrument, with potential affordability in fighting undervaluation fraud all over Europe. The legal status of Theseus cannot be taken for granted so far, because it should be checked against the law and other legal means. In other words, it is necessary to investigate the possible legitimate role of statistical tools in the control of customs valuation.

For more information, please click here or here.