Postal universal service provider; application for a certificate

You can apply for a certificate for postal universal service providers under certain conditions. With this, you can apply for an exemption from VAT for postal universal services at your responsible tax office.


The sales tax exemption for businesses that provide postal universal services, for example, postal services,

  • promotes universal postal services and
  • establishes a level playing field among postal universal service providers.

Postal universal service providers offer at least one or all of the following services throughout the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany:

  • Carriage of letter items weighing up to 2 kilograms with certain quality characteristics;
  • Carriage of addressed parcels weighing up to 10 kilograms;
  • Carriage of addressed books, catalogs, newspapers and periodicals weighing up to 2 kilograms, if you also provide the services listed in the first two indents of this list.
  • Registered and insured items.

To qualify for VAT exemption, you must first have a certificate from the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) for universal postal services in Germany. You can then apply for VAT exemption at your local tax office.


VAT exemption can be applied for by

  • entrepreneurial persons (as natural persons and legal entities),
  • who offer a part or all of the universal postal services throughout the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.


You must submit the application informally to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) by mail or via the BZSt online portal (BOP):

  • Compile the required documents.
  • Send the documents together with the application to the BZSt:
    • signed by mail or
    • online via the BOP (personal certificate required)
  • If you meet the requirements of a postal universal service provider, the BZSt will send you a corresponding certificate.
  • If you do not meet the requirements of a postal USP, you will receive a rejection notice against which you can appeal.

Special notes

There are no clues or specifics.


There is no deadline.

Processing time

3 to 4 weeks

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    When submitting your application, you must submit:

    • Declaration of commitment
    • Confirmation that your company offers a subsection or all of the universal postal services throughout the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany

Online procedures

  • BZSt-Online-Portal

    Among other things, you can complete applications and registrations online via the portal of the Federal Tax Office.


  • There are no costs involved.


  • Appeal
  • Action before the tax court


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium der Finanzen

  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Form, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
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  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited

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