Country Guide: Germany

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Updated: August 31, 2016

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of visa
  • Bill of lading (BL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Packing list in German or English
  • Customs declaration / signed letter by owner of the goods
  • Customs registration form 0350
  • Letter of employment or botschaftsbescheinigung (returning citizens)
  • Anmeldebestaetigung (registration)
  • Diplomatic entry form 0349 (diplomats)
  • Certificate from the diplomatic organization in Germany (diplomats)


Specific Information

  • Effective processing of the Customs declaration can only commence once the goods are in the European Union and have been presented at the Customs office.
    • Products imported into the European Customs Union are subject to duties only when and where the product first enters the European Union (e.g., Germany).
  • The Customs declaration should be provided by the local agent in Germany. 
  • A letter signed by the owner of the goods certifying that the following taxable high value goods have not been included in the shipment:
    • Firearms
    • Alcohol
    • Tobacco
    • Cigarettes
    • Tea
    • Coffee
  • Customs registration form 0350 stating goods will not be sold for 12 months.
  • Letter of employment must state the term of employment will be for a minimum of 12 months and that the owner of the goods lived abroad for at least 12 months (will be issued by forwarding agent in Germany).
  • Anmeldebestaetigung can be obtained from the appropriate German town hal confirming registration of new residency in Germany (not older than 3 months).
    • Effective 1st November, 2015, the owner of the goods is required to obtain a confirmation letter, called "Wohngeberbescheinigung" from their future landlord in order to get a registration, "Anmeldebestaetigung".
    • The confirmation letter, "Wohngeberbescheinigung" must confirm that the owner of the goods will live at the address mentioned. 
  • Shipment must arrive in Germany within 12 months after registration in Germany. 
  • Botschaftsbescheinigung from the German Embassy or Consulate at origin. 
    • This document serves to confirm the period of time abroad (returning citizens). 
  • Proof of registration may not be older than 3 months. 
  • All goods for duty-free importation, such as household goods and personal effects must have been in the owner of the goods' possession for at least 6 months in the origin country. 
  • Duty-free entry for foreign diplomats is permitted if a bilateral agreement exists with the origin country. 


Motor Vehicles

Documents Required 

  • Proof of ownership
  • Car documents
  • Original bill of lading
  • Anmeldebestatigung
  • Insurance card from country of origin
  • Third-party liability insurance initiated at Customs clearance
  • Registration and copy of title from origin country


Specific Information

  • Owner of the goods’ town hall registration in Germany (Anmeldebestatigung).
  • Cars and motorcycles must be in the owner of the goods’ possession for at least 6 months at origin prior to shipment; adequate confirmation will be given by simple declaration as part of the Customs declaration.
  • Approval for possession and use requires title and insurance documents showing customers name and identified vehicle for import.
  • Cars must be inspected before licensing, and must comply with German technical and environmental regulations and may require modifications.
  • Customs clearance requires knowledge of all technical details of the car.
    • Tax and duties must be paid in advance to the Customs office. 


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate in German or translated by a licensed veterinarian 

Specific Information

  • The veterinary health certificate is valid ten days from the date in which it was issued (20 days for pets coming from non-European countries).
    • It must describe the animal and state that the pet is free from rabies and other contagious diseases.
  • Animals must be fitted with an identification microchip.
  • The import of cats and dogs under 3 months old requires the purchase of an import permit from the state authority of the future residence in the destination country as well as the authority of the port of entry (POE).

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Weapons (applicable license is required)
  • Live plants (special import license is required)
  • Alcohol (may be imported duty free in reasonable quantities; otherwise it is subject to duties and taxes)
  • Tobacco and cigarettes (subject to duties and taxes)

Prohibited Items

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Explosives
  • Ammunition
  • Dried plants
  • Pornographic materials
  • Certain types of meat
  • Radioactive materials
  • Any protected animal or species (ivory, snakeskin, leopard fur, etc.)
  • Items of historical significance (pre-Columbian items, etc.)

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.


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IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.