Zoll, short for Bundeszollverwaltung Is the German Federal Customs Service. Unlike the state-by-state police forces, Zoll is a federal institution essentially equivalent to US Border Patrol or ICE.
Founded in West Germany during the early days of the cold war, these are the guys who kick down your door with MP5s and G36s when you've forgotten to pay VAT on that nice little gift you got yourself abroad.
You wouldn't want an import of more than 800 cigarettes to hurt the economy would you?
One of the most common pieces of the uniform seen on Zoll officers, these models are similar to field shirts in their overall construction and style, but are meant to be tucked in to pants. Because of this, you can either get your size and wear them tucked in, size up and wear them more like a typical jacket, or size down in height and get a fitted heavy uniform shirt fit. (You'll want to consult our Germanic sizing chart for more info)
From left to right, our model is wearing sizes 102, 46, and 24. He is 5'10 and weighs 165 lbs (179 cm height, 96 cm chest and 74 cm waist for you non-freedom-lovers)
Sizing on the German Customs Jacket tends to run large. We'd advise starting out with a jacket one size smaller than your normal European size, and if need be sizing down further with our Returns & Exchanges page if that ends up fitting large.
The Boys in Green
The Zoll Uniforms share designer fashion DNA with their Polizei counterparts. They even feature the same reflective lettering. The high quality fit & finish gives these a professional and respectable appearance, because that's what they were made to do. They're the last hurrah of Germany's Iconic law enforcement Greens.
Color is where the lore of these begins (if you want the long version, read our article about the Polizei Sommorblouson).
German Polizei uniforms during the early cold war varied by state and often municipality as well, and the standardization of said uniforms didn't occur until the 70s, once the economy recovered.
Heinz Oestergaard, a German celebrity fashion designer, was hired to re-design and standardize the police uniforms for the whole country. Förstergrün, or "Forest Green" painted all of Germany's Polizei uniforms at the dawn of the cold war. Slowly, it gained as much recognition as the rest of the world's "boys in blue". It became associated with the division of the country and the struggle against communism on the frontiers of the Iron Curtain.
The Blue from Brussels
The color's association with West Germany's divided, anti-communist history didn't fly with the EU. Shades of blue became the new, boring, standardized colors.
To a degree it was logical, the navy blue color is internationally recognized and associated with law enforcement. But Polizei departments would wage a war to keep their beloved greens, until eventually throwing in the towel after going out of their way to keep producing their uniforms in green became too costly to continue.
The Bundeszollverwaltung stuck with their greens until rather recently. In 2012, it was officially announced that the uniforms would switch to match the rest of the EU, with the greens to be phased out completely by 2020. In favor of a more uniform EU, the old uniforms were cast aside.
- 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton
- Front zipper and snapped storm flap
- Two front pockets secured with button snaps
- Shoulder epaulets with button snaps
- 3m ScotchLite Reflective "ZOLL" Printed above right breast pocket & on back
- Triple pen pocket on right bicep
- Button snap adjustable wrist cuffs
Items are in like-new condition and in their packaging, but have had their shoulder patches removed. There may be some leftover thread and light marking from this process.
I’m a believer
this jacket is comfyyyyy. I’ve had nothing but compliments wearing it! Unfortunate that the patch had to be removed but it’s pretty sweet regardless and fits perfectly.
Great fit and great look
Very surprised and pleased with the quality and fit of the jacket. Everything was in tact I would just recommend going down i size if you think it would be too big.
High quality Customs jacket
Fits perfectly, quality is top tier. Will surely be a highlight of your collection.