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Cash controls, money laundering and corruption

Information is provided below on cash controls for travellers, money laundering and corruption.

Cash controls

Customs information for travellers – cash controls

Money laundering

The offence of money laundering is set down in § 165 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code – StGB). Any party who conceals or disguises the origin of assets from a prior criminal offence committed by the offender or by a third party, or provides false information on the power of disposition over such assets, or acquires, holds in safekeeping, invests, manages, converts, realises or transfers such assets to a third party is guilty of money laundering.

Predicate offences include:

  • all felonies, that is, all intentional acts punishable by more than three years imprisonment
  • offences against property punishable by more than one year imprisonment
  • and the following exhaustive list of offences: offences under §§ 223, 224, 225, 229, 230, 269, 278, 288, 289, 293, 295 or in the area of corruption §§ 304 to 308 of the StGB
  • The fiscal offences of smuggling or evasion of import or export duties under § 35 and the fiscal offences under §§ 38a and 39 of the Finanzstrafgesetz (Fiscal Offences Act – FinStrG) that fall under the jurisdiction of the courts

References to money laundering are made under tax law in §§ 25 and 25a of the Glücksspielgesetz (Gambling Act – GSpG) and in § 13 of the Körperschaftssteuergesetz (Corporate Income Tax Act – KStG).


Corruption is the "misuse of power to obtain personal benefits, both in the public and private sectors". Corruptibility exists when a public office holder (Amtsträger) requests, accepts or allows himself to be promised a benefit. The provisions on corruption and corruptibility are set down in §§ 302, 304-309 of the StGB. The definition of a public office holder is provided in § 74(1) no. 4a letters b and d of the StGB.

These topics are also incorporated into tax law.
For the restriction on claiming deductions for cash and non-cash gifts and donations that are punishable by the courts, see § 20(1) no. 5 letter a of the Einkommensteuergesetz (Income Tax Act – EStG) and §12(1) no. 4 of the KStG . Further detailed information is provided in the Einkommensteuerrichtlinien (Income Tax Guidelines – EStR) starting from marginal number 4840. 

Further information