Institute of Customs and Trade Law

The University of Münster has been researching and teaching legal issues relating to customs and foreign trade law since 1995. Due to the numerous research projects, academic publications and international collaborations, the Institute for Customs and Foreign Trade Law (ICTL) was founded as an independent institution at the University of Münster in 2016. The quality of research and teaching is guaranteed by the Faculty of Law; funding is secured through the sponsorship of the AWA Foreign Trade Academy.

The ICTL is the first and only university institution in Germany to provide academic support for customs and foreign trade law. The Institute ensures that all topics relating to customs and foreign trade law are dealt with academically in research and teaching at national, European and international level. Scientific publications are compiled at the Institute. Over 80 doctoral theses have been supervised in the last 25 years.

Since 2005, the University of Münster has been one of the first universities in the world to offer an international postgraduate Master’s degree programme in customs:, the Master of Customs Administration (MCA). The English-language MCA programme trains strategic managers in the customs sector. Students on the online MCA programme learn to recognise long-term developments in the customs world at an early stage and to act proactively, e.g. when it comes to global procurement, production locations or sales markets. In view of the geopolitical and geo-economic changes in recent years, these skills are indispensable for internationally active companies.

The Institute is involved in international research projects on all aspects of customs. The projects are often initiated by the World Customs Organisation or the European Commission.

An important task of the Institute is to maintain contacts with other academic institutions in the field of customs, both in Europe and globally. In 2007, the International Network of Customs Universities was founded with the participation of the University of Münster, which now includes several hundred training centres and customs experts worldwide.

Together with the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at the Charles Sturt University, Australia (CCES), the ICTL publishes the only academic online magazine on customs law, the World Customs Journal.

Tasks of an An-Institute

In 2007, there were about 550 An-Institutes nationwide, of which about 100 were in North Rhine-Westphalia. An-Institutes meet university standards and represent an important transfer bridge. They are a link between university and practice. This is also the case with the Institute for Customs and Foreign Trade Law at the University of Münster. 

Münster University currently cooperates with twelve affiliated institutes, including the Institute for Customs and Foreign Trade Law. 

Source: wissen/leben, July/August 2023, Newspaper of the University of Münster