Michael Lux holds a degree as lawyer (besides law, he studied economics, sociology and Government in Germany, the US and France), who began his career in the German customs administration in 1974. His first job, at the regional headquarters in Hamburg, saw him responsible for the surveillance of external trade and agricultural policy measures. In 1978, he joined the Ministry of Finance in Bonn as the deputy head of the 'Customs Tariff' unit, acting, inter alia, as delegate in the WCO Harmonized System Committee as well as the WTO and EU Antidumping Committees. He was subsequently made deputy head of the unit responsible for IT in customs and excise.
In 1987, he joined the Directorate-General “Taxation and Customs Union” of the European Commission as the head of the 'TARIC' unit where he was in charge of creating and managing the EU database for customs tariff and other external trade measures. He headed the 'Economic Tariff Questions' unit in 1993 being in charge of tariff quotas, tariff suspensions, and customs procedures with economic impact. In 1998, following a reorganisation and merging of the previously three tariff units at the Commission, he was nominated head of the 'Common Customs Tariff' unit. In December 2000, he became the head of the 'Customs Legislation' unit and was in charge of the overall legislation, coherence and correct application of the Community Customs Code as well as the specific provisions on the customs debt and import/export formalities, including simplified procedures. After another reorganisation in May 2006, he became the head of the 'Customs Procedures' unit which included the responsibility for all customs procedures, simplified procedures, free zones and later also business process modelling; he kept this post until January 2012.
In each of his different posts, he has launched various modernisation initiatives, such as the creation of an electronic interface for TARIC, the simplification and alignment of the customs procedures with economic impact, the inclusion of supply chain security and the Authorized Economic Operator concept in the Community Customs Code, the proposal for a modernised Community Customs Code, as well as the decision on a paperless environment for customs and trade. He was involved in the drafting of the proposal for the Union Customs Code. Furthermore, he took the initiative for the creation of the Trade Contact Group which he chaired for many years. During his 25 years at the European Commission, he has been chairing meetings of various sectors of the Customs Code Committee and has represented the Commission in the Council working groups, as well as towards public and private stakeholders.
He is a member of, and speaker at, the International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), the European Forum for External Trade (EFA), the International Institute for Fiscal and Economic Law (IFS), as well as the Brussels Trade Lawyers Association. He gives lectures at the University of Münster in the framework of the “Master of Customs Administration” program, as well as at the Hamburg Customs Academy (HZA).
Since February 2012 he works as an attorney in Brussels in the area of customs, anti-dumping, VAT, excise, the free movement of goods within the EU, and international trade law, initially as partner in Brussels office of the German law firm Graf von Westphalen and since January 2015 in his own practice. His activities include legal advocacy before the EU institutions.
He has given presentations and lectures on customs, VAT, international trade law and trade facilitation for over 30 years, and has published numerous articles and commentaries on customs procedures and the customs tariff, customs valuation, anti-dumping duties, restrictions on dual-use goods, embargoes, measures against goods infringing intellectual property rights, the free movement of goods within the EU, VAT and excise duties, statistical reporting requirements, as well as some books, including a book on the Harmonized System (1986, Cologne), the "Guide to Community Customs legislation" (2002, Brussels, latest German version from 2009, Cologne), and a book on Customs, VAT and excise duties (2014, Cologne). He has been involved in projects, training and capacity development, both for economic operators and Governments, inter alia in the following countries: Belgium, China, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, the United States, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe. He has been working as an expert in missions concerning capacity building and trade facilitation for the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the German Development Agency (GIZ).
Besides German, he speaks fluently English, Dutch, French and Spanish.