Customs; information on importing goods from EU countries
You can bring goods from any EU country to Germany. However, there are guideline quantities for certain goods.
The conditions for a tax-free transfer from other EU Member States for private purposes are:
- You are personally carrying the goods in question.
- The goods are intended for your own use (personal use).
- The goods are not intended for commercial purposes.
- You have acquired the goods in free circulation in another EU member state. This means that the goods have already been taxed in that EU member state because you bought them in the normal way, for example in a supermarket.
- The goods do not violate any prohibitions or restrictions.
- The goods are not brought from a special territory under customs or tax law.
If you fall below the guideline quantities and meet the other requirements, you can continue your journey normally.
If you exceed the guideline quantities and cannot disprove commercial use, you must declare the goods brought with you immediately after crossing the border:
- You can obtain the form required for the declaration from the main customs office responsible for your place of residence. Alternatively, you can download the form from the Internet.
- Send the completed form to the main customs office responsible for your place of residence without delay, at the latest after arrival at your destination.
- The main customs office will check your application.
- It may ask you to correct your details.
- At the end of the examination, the main customs office will issue a tax assessment with the amount of excise duty that you must remit.
- Special case: If you are not resident in the tax territory in Germany, you must immediately declare the goods to the main customs office responsible for the place where you crossed the border. You will then also pay the corresponding excise duty there.
If you exceed guideline quantities and/or do not meet the requirements for tax-free border crossing and conceal this when crossing the border during an inspection, you are committing tax evasion. This is also the case if you provide false or incomplete information about your goods during a control. This also applies to the information given in the declaration. In this case, you may be subject to criminal proceedings.
- several minutes, sometimes even more than an hour
Links to more information
Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium der Finanzen
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- Form, Bavaria-wide
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- Fees, Bavaria-wide
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