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Check out below the Germany's customs regulations.
German Customs Tariff Information

Please note: the following information is not legally binding!

All industrial imports into Germany are subject to an "Import Turnover Tax" of 16%, which is charged on the duty-paid value of the import article plus a customs duty, which is different and determined by the imported goods. (Exemptions: certain agricultural and a few other products which are taxed 7% ad valorum). The Import Turnover Tax is designed to place the same turnover tax burden on imported goods as is imposed on goods produced domestically, which are levied with a 16% "Value-added Tax" (VAT).Both customs duty and tax are collected by the German customs authorities.

General

Both the Customs Act and the Foreign Trade Act impose obligations - the fulfilment of which is supervised - on the importer. As a rule, these obligations apply only to residents in the customs territory. The foreign exporter must observe such obligations only if he acts as importer or person liable to pay duty. This does not apply to normal foreign trade transactions. In that case, it is generally the foreign seller who settles everything in connection with the sale of the goods and their delivery to the place of importation at the customs frontier whereas the domestic buyer has to fulfil all obligations within the customs territory. The foreign exporter has no statutory obligations under customs law. However, in the interest of a smooth conduct of foreign trade transactions, he has to present the documents required for import and customs clearance and to observe the existing requirements pertaining to goods. In general, there are no specific marking requirements for packages, and import goods are not generally subject to a compulsory indication of origin. It should, however, be noted that false declarations of origin and the abuse of registered trademarks are inadmissible.

Documents Accompanying Goods

Imported goods must be accompanied by a customs declaration which has to be submitted in writing and an invoice in duplicate. As a rule this declaration is filed by a German importer.Customs legislation in the Federal Republic of Germany does not make it compulsory to present customs invoices, a procedure which imposes on the person liable to pay duty the duty to present the seller's invoice according to standard patterns and officially attested or otherwise authenticated.According to German foreign trade legislation, the commercial invoice must show the country of purchase and the country of origin of the goods.By making out a detailed invoice with the following data, the foreign supplier will make it easier for the German importer to draw up the customs declaration and declaration of customs value:

Name (company) and address of seller and buyer; place and date of issue; number, kind, sign, and consecutive number of packages; precise description of articles (usual trade description in terms of nature of goods, quality grades etc. stating in particular value-increasing of value-reducing characteristics); volume or quantity in normal commercial units; invoice price; terms of delivery and payment.

For reasons relating to foreign trade legislation, the presentation, in single copy, of a certificate of origin or a declaration of origin is required for only a few commodities which are marked on the List of Imports. The import licence may, however, make presentation of such evidence compulsory.

Customs Treatment

Import goods - unless exemption is granted - must be presented as dutiable goods to the appropriate customs office and thereafter subjected to customs treatment. The clearance for home use is the rule with goods meant for use in Germany. This clearance is usually effected in the interior of the country and not at the border. Clearance for home use may be preceded by storage in a bonded warehouse.Customs clearance must be applied for since dutiable goods cannot be subjected to customs treatment without an entry for customs clearance. As a rule only the person authorized to dispose of the goods is in a position to file the entry (German Importer).The person liable to pay duty has to declare the dutiable goods at the customs office, stating characteristics and facts relevant for customs treatment, and the nine-digit code number of the German Official Customs Tariff.

Customs Tariff

The tariff nomenclature, i.e. the description of commodities under tariff headings and tariff sub-headings, and the tariff rates are the basic elements of the customs tariff. Before it is possible to calculate the amount of customs duties according to the rates, tariff classification must show under which heading or sub-heading in the tariff a commodity is to be classified. In the tariff classification of goods, each commodity can finally be allocated to only one appropriate number in the nomenclature. Tariff classification of commodities mentioned by name in the Customs Tariff causes no difficulties. But, as a rule, a single feature is not sufficient to define the nature of an article and thus effect final tariff classification. The decisive factor is the sum of different characteristics which have a bearing on the tariff classification.This also explains that neither this Consulate General nor any other diplomatic or consular office is authorized or able to provide any binding information on German customs duties. An accurate classification and assessment can only be made by customs authorities when the merchandise in question is actually entered into the Federal Republic of Germany.Binding advance tariff classification can only be obtained from the competent German Treasury Department Field Office (Oberfinanzdirektion) based on an application in the German language together with 3 samples or - if that is not possible or feasible - 3 detailed descriptions in German. As a rule this application is filed by a German importer.US exporters seeking to approach the German market can obtain information from: Department of Commerce Field Office 26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3718 New York, NY 10278 phone: (212) 264-0683 or -0615 Dept. of Commerce Office of EU and Regional Affairs Washington, DC 20013 phone: (202) 482-2905

All the import duties and taxes are constantly changing and traders need to establish the current tax position shortly before carrying out any import transaction.

Duty-Free Items

Please note: the following information is not legally binding!

Personal Effects -- Articles intended for your personal use during your trip may be imported free of duties and taxes. If you reside outside of Germany, the exemption of your personal effects from duties and taxes is conditional upon their re-exportation. If such articles are to remain in the customs territory, they must be presented to a customs office with an application for clearance for home use, and will then be subject to duties and taxes. If you are a resident of Germany, this exemption applies only to articles in your possession when leaving German territory.

Souvenirs and Gifts -- Goods purchased abroad and carried in your personal baggage when you enter the country qualify for exemption from duties and taxes as travel souvenirs and gifts if they are not destined to be used for commercial purposes and provided they do not exceed the legal maximum limits in terms of quantity and value.

Perfume -- The legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 50 grams of perfume or scent and one quarter of a liter of eau de toilette.

Tobacco -- If you are 17 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of smoking tobacco.

Alcohol -- If you are 17 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 1 liter of spirits of an alcohol strength exceeding 22% vol. or 2 liters of spirits, aperitifs or similar beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% vol. or 2 liters of sparkling wines or liqueur wines, and 2 liters of still wines, or a proportional assortment of these different products.

Coffee and Tea -- If you are 15 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 500 grams of coffee or 200 grams of extracts, essence or concentrates of coffee or coffee preparations. The legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 100 grams of tea or 40 grams of extracts, essence or concentrates of tea or tea preparations.

Other Products -- Besides the legal maximum quantities of coffee, alcohol, tea und perfumes you are entitled to bring into the country duty free other products up to a total value of not more than € 175 (Euro) . ( gold and gold alloys are excluded )

Duty-Free Items

Please note: the following information is not legally binding!

Personal Effects -- Articles intended for your personal use during your trip may be imported free of duties and taxes. If you reside outside of Germany, the exemption of your personal effects from duties and taxes is conditional upon their re-exportation. If such articles are to remain in the customs territory, they must be presented to a customs office with an application for clearance for home use, and will then be subject to duties and taxes. If you are a resident of Germany, this exemption applies only to articles in your possession when leaving German territory.

Souvenirs and Gifts -- Goods purchased abroad and carried in your personal baggage when you enter the country qualify for exemption from duties and taxes as travel souvenirs and gifts if they are not destined to be used for commercial purposes and provided they do not exceed the legal maximum limits in terms of quantity and value.

Perfume -- The legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 50 grams of perfume or scent and one quarter of a liter of eau de toilette.

Tobacco -- If you are 17 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of smoking tobacco.

Alcohol -- If you are 17 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 1 liter of spirits of an alcohol strength exceeding 22% vol. or 2 liters of spirits, aperitifs or similar beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% vol. or 2 liters of sparkling wines or liqueur wines, and 2 liters of still wines, or a proportional assortment of these different products.

Coffee and Tea -- If you are 15 years or older, the legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 500 grams of coffee or 200 grams of extracts, essence or concentrates of coffee or coffee preparations. The legal maximum limit for duty exemption is 100 grams of tea or 40 grams of extracts, essence or concentrates of tea or tea preparations.

Other Products -- Besides the legal maximum quantities of coffee, alcohol, tea und perfumes you are entitled to bring into the country duty free other products up to a total value of not more than € 175 (Euro) . ( gold and gold alloys are excluded )

Phamaceuticals

Please note: the following information is not legally binding!

The legal maximum limit for pharmaceutical products is the quantity required to meet the traveler's personal needs during the trip.

Travelers are advised to carry a doctor's prescription or statement concerning the medication in question.

Due to strict and different regulations regarding pharmaceuticals (some vitamins are considered drugs for example) this Consulate General advises not to mail medications into Germany.

Most pharmaceuticals are obtainable in international pharmacies in Germany with respective doctor's prescription.

Source: German Embassy Online

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