Requirements for export

  • Generally, no special permit is required
  • Register your trade with the local regulatory authority (make sure to comply with any company naming requirements)
  • Trade register entry required from specific size categories and always for corporations (AG, GmbH) or partnerships (OHG).
  • Citizens of countries outside the EU require a residence permit that also allows them to perform independent business activities.

What should I take into account?

After receiving an order, you should of course check whether the agreed conditions have been observed.
  • Delivery terms
    Costs and risks are incurred when trading with third countries (transport, insurance, customs duties), and the exporter and foreign importer must agree in advance how to split these costs. These delivery terms are often standardised internationally using the INCOTERMS® 2020.
  • Payment terms
    Payment terms can range from payment in advance to invoices with a long payment term. For the exporter, payment security can also be guaranteed by an irrevocable letter of credit certified by the exporter’s bank. The foreign importer opens the letter of credit with his bank in favour of the exporter. In part, it is also possible to hedge against economic and political risks using state export credit guarantees (so-called “Hermes securities”). You should discuss any other options with your bank in advance.
    UNCISG was created specifically for the international transfer of goods. It often applies without requiring a special agreement and can form a joint basis for contract partners. Individual components can be amended. UNCISG is available in all important trading languages. The trading partners should be familiar with its contents and consequences.

German export regulations

  • Customs duties
    • Exporting companies require an  EORI numberfrom their first export transaction, which they must provide when registering the export.
    • Exporters must generally register their exports from a goods value of EUR 1,000 or a weight of 1,000 kg. The export registration documents can be compiled using the electronic customs system ATLAS export. If you do not have an ATLAS link, you can use the free customs administration interface to ATLAS called Online customs registration Plus (IAA+). You can find the instructions on how to complete the customs registration here.
      Alternatively, you can instruct a service provide to complete the customs formalities. A non-binding database of customs providers helps you to find suitable providers.
    • You can register using the two-step export process. The electronic customs registration is sent to the locally responsible, domestic customs office. This checks the registration, if necessary performs a customs inspection of the goods, and electronically releases the goods for export (Export Accompanying Document EAD with Master Reference Number MRN). The second processing step is performed by the border customs office which also electronically confirms the export of the goods (export confirmation).
    • Domestic customs offices for preliminary processing of the goods in the Stuttgart region are situated in Böblingen, Göppingen, Ludwigsburg, Nürtingen, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart-Harbour and Winnenden.
    • A customs tariff number (goods number) is required to register all goods. To allow goods to be allocated, they must be declared precisely in accordance with the Goods Register For Export Trade Statistics. The customs tariff number also determines any further customs formalities that may need to be observed.
  • Export controls
    A general delivery ban applies in the case of personal embargoes. In addition, a number of goods require an export permit. On the one hand, this applies to weapons, and on the other to goods used in the production of conventional and ABC weapons and to technologies which are of strategic importance. These goods are in part recorded on the export list. A general obligation to obtain a permit applies to these goods. This also applies to dual-use goods subject to the EU Dual Use Ordinance. Even if the goods are not included on the export list or subject to the Annexes to the Dual Use Ordinance, a permit might still be required if the exporter is aware that the goods are intended to be used for military purposes. If the delivery is to a country where the EU has imposed an embargo, this must be checked in each individual case.
    Technical understanding may be required to check whether a permit must be obtained. Code Conversion Register helps you to determine whether your goods are featured on the export list or subject to the Annexes to the Dual Use Ordinance. The approval authority is the Federal Office of Economics and Export (BAFA) in Eschborn, Tel. 06196 908-0, Website: www.bafa.de.

Foreign regulations

  • Depending on the type of goods, several different documents may need to be submitted abroad. Some of these may have to be compiled by the exporter. These obligations are set out in the agreed delivery terms (see Item 2). The requirements for foreign customs administration and customer can vary in type and content from commercial invoices, certificates of origin (issued by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and import licences.
  • Discounts on customs duties may be available for recipients due to preferential treatment and the related movement certificates (EUR.1/declaration of origin, A.TR) where the relevant treaties have been concluded (overview under "Additional Information").
  • Furthermore, detailed regulations may apply to packaging and labelling.
  • For help, see the EU databases and reference work. E.g. the following have been published: “Consular and Sample Regulations”, published by the Chamber of Commerce for Hamburg; available from the Mendel Publishing House, Witten; “Accompanying documents for foreign sales”, Mendel Publishing House, Witten, “Import regulations for other countries”, Form Publishing House CW Niemeyer. Where possible, the importer of the destination country should make a binding statement as to which documents are needed for customs processing. If applicable, the requirements in the letter of credit must be observed. If a letter of credit is used, these aspects may need to be checked in advance before acceptance to ensure that they can be observed.
  • Depending on the destination country and the type of goods, controls in advance of dispatch may be required before export or certification obligations may apply.

Foreign import duties

The type and amount of ancillary import duties vary significantly from country to country. While customs duties and import turnover tax apply in most countries, additional taxes and processing fees may be incurred depending on the type of goods. The Chambers of Commerce and Industry offer non-binding information about foreign customs tariffs and ancillary import duties. Binding information about foreign customs rates can only be issued in writing by the customs administrations for the relevant country. The foreign import customs rates can be obtained from a customs database. Normally, foreign importers pay for any duties incurred abroad.

Temporary use abroad

This issue comes up primarily in relation to professional equipment, goods samples and trade fair articles. If these goods are to be imported into a country for a temporary period only, the foreign customs office normally requests a security in the amount of the standard import duties in the relevant country’s currency, usually in cash. More than 70 states offer the alternative of a Carnet A.T.A/C.P.D. This customs guarantee is issued by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany. In individual cases, you can obtain advice from your local Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Stand: 19.04.2024