Dr. Ulrich Schrömbges

Solicitor | Tax consultant | Member of Tax & Legal Excellence

About the person

Dr Ulrich Schrömbges specialises in customs law including foreign trade law, VAT law in connection with intra-Community deliveries and export deliveries, excise tax law, customs and tax criminal law, product piracy and state liability law. He represents clients in these matters before German and Austrian authorities and courts as well as before the European Commission and the European Court of First Instance (EuG) and the European Court of Justice (EuGH). Additionally, he offers advice in matters of Chinese-German foreign trade relations (China Desk of Schrömbges + Partner) in collaboration with the company Tiejun Zhang.

Why for this subject?

I used to work for the German Customs Administration (for many years I was the head of the department of foreign trade and excise tax law in the customs department of the Federal Ministry of Finance). As independent director of the Working Group of the CDU/CSU of the German Parliament, I had been mainly working on VAT and excise duty harmonisation within the EU. This has shaped my preferences for those areas of the law, which now also encompass respective criminal proceedings, particularly in the areas of customs and criminal tax law.

What was your most complex and unusual mandate?

For a long time, it has been standing practice in Germany and Austria to treat Import VAT (EUSt) as custom duties. Thereby, as a grave consequence, this practice turned the EUSt into a sanction for customs malpractice, even though its exclusive purpose is taxation of private end consumption. The judicial enforcement of this finding, namely that the EUSt as excise duty is not subject to customs supervision, against all instances including the BFH (Federal Court of Finance) and only through the European Court of Justice, was very challenging and its consequences have been ground-breaking. It has a very important impact on trade and legal practice and its consolidation is still in the preliminary stages.


Dr. Ulrich Schrömbges publishes regularly in magazines (u.a. AW-Prax, MwStR, ZfZ) and books. A small excerpt is shown:


  • Scheller/Schrömbges, Grenzüberschreitender Warenverkehr aus Sicht der Umsatzsteuer – Fehlerursachen und Maßnahmen zur Behebung, 2011
  • Ehlers / Wolffgang (Hrsg.), Recht der Exportkontrolle – Bestandsaufnahmen und Perspektiven, 2015, Die Selbstanzeige bei Verstößen gegen das österreichische Außenwirtschaftsgesetz 2011 unter Berücksichtigung des Verbandshaftungsrechts, S. 115
  • Beck’sches Steuerberater-Handbuch 2017/2018, Zollrecht und Einfuhrumsatzsteuer, 2017/2018, 16. Aufl. 2017, Co-Autor

Zeitschrift für Zölle und Verbrauchsteuern (ZfZ)

  • Zur USt-Freiheit innergemeinschaftlicher Anschlusslieferungen, Nachweispflichten und Vertrauensschutz, 2016, S. 2 (mit Dr. Michael Kotschnigg)
  • Einige Bemerkungen zum Zollschuldrecht des UZK, 2016, S. 156 (mit Jöran Gesinn und Karl Hannl)
  • Zollrechtlich freier Verkehr und einfuhrumsatzsteuerrechtliche Einfuhr, S.10


  • Keine „Automatik“ mehr zwischen Zoll- und EUSt-Schuld, 2016, S. 328 (mit Michael Lux und Karl Hannl)
  • Keine Besteuerung mehr von bloßen Unregelmäßigkeiten?, 2016, S. 359
  • Innergemeinschaftliche Anschlusslieferung und Zoll, (mit Dr. Bernd-Roland Killmann), S.119
  • Neudefinition der umsatzsteuerlichen Einfuhr, (mit Michael Lux), S. 301


  • Zur strafrechtlichen Bedeutung der sog. Betrugsbekämpfungsklausel desEuGH, S. 422

MehrwertSteuerrecht (MwStR)

  • Der EuGH zum Vorsteuerabzug bei der Einfuhrumsatzsteuer, 2016, S. 14 (mit Werner Kuhr)
  • Zur Betrugsbekämpfungsklausel des EuGH bei der innergemeinschaftlichen Anschlusslieferung, 2018, März-Ausgabe


University1971–1978 University of Bonn, law, social sciences, graduation: first state examination in law
Legal clerkship1978–1981 Düsseldorf, graduation: second state examination in law
Doctorate1984 in the field sociology of law (Dr. jur.), Prof. Dres. Eisermann, Department of Economics, University of Bonn
Admission to the bar1997
Admission as tax consultant1997
Professional experience 1981/1982 Regional Finance Office Münster, Customs and Excise Directorate, Main Customs Office Münster, Gronau and Bochum
1982–1988 Federal Ministry of Finance (Customs Department)
1988–1990 finance task group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Federal Parliament (harmonisation value added tax and excises, economic and monetary union)
1990–1997 Federal Ministry of Finance (Customs Department)
1997–2005 partner at the law firm Graf v. Westphalen, Cologne / Hamburg
2006–2008 partner at the law firm Dr. Pelka & Kollegen, PNHR, Cologne / Hamburg
2008 foundation of the law firm Schrömbges + Partner, Hamburg
1988–2006 editor of the customs and excise journal (Zeitschrift für Zölle und Verbrauchsteuern (ZfZ))
MembershipsMember of the advisory board of the Centre for Foreign Trade Law (Zentrum für Außenwirtschaftsrecht e.V.) at the Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster, European Forum of Foreign Trade, Excise Duties and Customs (Europäisches Forum für Außenwirtschaft, Verbrauchsteuern und Zoll e.V. – EFA) at the Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster, Member of Tax & Legal Excellence


Telephone:  +49 (40) 600989-0
Telefax:  +49 (40) 600989-89

Ballindamm 13
D-20095 Hamburg


Download vCard

“I am still motivated by “Justice” in individual cases and the advancement of law.”