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Living in Europe, Working in EuropeEntry conditions/visasGermany

Customs Formalities

Traveling Within the European Union

The right to free movement allows all European Union nationals to move freely within the EU. All such nationals have the right to be treated in the same way as nationals of the Member State concerned. This includes borderless travel with its attendant benefits. Goods for private use can usually be carried duty-free, although there may be restrictions on certain goods. Restrictions must be observed in the movement of numerous goods.

Travel within the EU

Entering from a Non-EU country

When entering Germany from a non-EU country, not all goods may be brought in without further ado. For example, there are restrictions or import bans on animals and plants and products made from them, textiles, medicines and narcotics or fireworks. Under certain conditions, however, goods and gifts in your luggage are duty-free.

Customs formalities may also differ depending on whether you intend to stay in Germany only temporarily and maintain your normal place of residence in a non-EU country or whether you transfer your normal place of residence to Germany:

  • Whether and how much duty is payable on gift consignments depends on the value of the goods and the type of consignment. Shipments from or to companies are generally not tax-free gift shipments. For information on whether duties are payable on these consignments, see the section on Internet orders below:

    A "consignment" is the quantity of goods sent by one private individual to another on the same day and cleared by the same customs office - regardless of whether the consignment consists of several packages or only one.

    The value of the goods is determined by the information on the customs declaration (CN 22 or CN 23). It is not checked whether the transport or postage costs are included in this value.

  • Whether and to what extent import duties are incurred depends on the value of the goods and the type of consignment. The value limits apply to private individuals and commercial recipients. The following value limits also apply to gifts from or to companies.

    The value of the goods is decisive for the calculation of import duties. The decisive factor is the amount actually paid to receive the goods. If postage costs are included in the final invoice amount, they are not deducted.

    Excise duty is levied and paid on alcoholic products, tobacco products as well as roasted coffee, soluble coffee and coffee-containing goods irrespective of the value of the goods in the consignment.