- TRAVELING WITHIN THE EUROPEAN UNION
When entering Germany from an EU Member State, goods for private consumption can be carried free of charge. However, restrictions may apply to certain goods.
- ENTERING GERMANY FROM A NON-EU COUNTRY
If you enter Germany from a non-EU country, goods for your personal use (computer equipment, mobile phones, electrical appliances etc.) up to a total value of 430 euros can be carried free of charge and without customs formalities (for air and sea travellers). This sum is reduced to 300 euros if you enter Germany by road.
Most German airports have a green and a red customs exit.
You should use use the green "Nothing to declare" exit if you only carry goods up to a total value of 430 euros.
If you carry in your luggage goods for personal use that exceed the value of 430 euros, it is recommendable to take the red exit in order to register the goods at the customs office and, if necessary, to pay customs duties.
In principle, goods for personal use can be admitted free of import duties provided that it can be credibly explained that the following criteria are met:
- Your normal place of residence is in a non-EU country;
- You will be staying in Germany temporarily;
- The goods are part of your professional equipment, which will be fully taken out of Germany after completion of your research stay.
If you are asked to pay customs duties, keep all receipts and immediately make an application for refund of customs duties. The application can be submitted by means of the customs form 0223 (in German) or be made informally.
Further information can be found under Erlass- bzw. Erstattungsverfahren (in German only).
For a stay of up to 24 months, the temporary importation procedure (in German: Zollverfahren der vorübergehenden Verwendung) may be used. This allows for a full or partial exemption from import duties.
When transferring your normal place of residence from a non-EU country to Germany, your personal property can be exempted from import duties under certain conditions.
The customs form 0350 (in German only) is to be used for the transfer of a resident’s goods.
Instruments, apparatus and machines which have a clear scientific character and are imported for research purposes may be exempt from customs duties.
Further information (in German only):
A motor vehicle not registered in the EU can be imported free of charge to Germany if the following conditions are met:
- Your normal place of residence is in a non-EU country
- The use of the vehicle within the EU does not exceed six months
Individuals in Germany in a temporary, official capacity from a non-EU Member country may use their private vehicle free of duties until the end of their official stay.
POSTAL CONSIGNMENTS, INTERNET ORDERS FROM NON-EU COUNTRIES
Gifts worth up to 45 euros which are sent by one private individual to another can be admitted free of customs duties under certain circumstances.
A simplified calculation of charges by means of a flat rate of duty may be applied if the value of the goods does not exceed 700 euros.
In the case of Internet orders, orders of goods valued up to 150 euros will have sales tax charged at the rate of 19 percent or 7 percent and, if applicable, the excise duty. Exempt from this rule are cases where the sales tax on the goods amounts to less than one euro.
For a value of more than 150 euros, the duties are calculated according to the valid tariff.