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Import duty & taxes when importing into Germany
Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into Germany from outside of the EU whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. The import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the CIF value, i.e. the sum of the value of the imported goods and the cost of shipping and insurance.
The duty rates applied to imports into Germany typically range between 0% (for example books) and 17% (for example Wellington Boots). Some products, such as Laptops, Mobile Phones, Digital cameras and Video Game consoles, are duty free. Certain goods may be subject to additional duties depending on the country of manufacture, for example Bicycles made in China carry an additional (anti dumping) duty of 48.5%.
The standard VAT rate for importing items into Germany is 19%, with certain products, for example books, newspapers and magazines, attracting VAT at the reduced rate of 7%. VAT is calculated on the value of the goods, plus the international shipping costs and insurance, plus any import duty due.
For imports into Germany, there are minimum thresholds below which duty and VAT are waived.
Duty is not charged if:
- the FOB value, i.e. the value of the goods excluding shipping and insurance cost, does not exceed €150
- the FOB value, i.e. the value of the goods excluding shipping and insurance cost, does not exceed €22
Both duty and VAT are waived if:
- the sum of duty and VAT payable does not exceed €5
Other taxes and customs fees
- Excise duty is payable on for example tobacco and alcohol.
- Additional customs fees can be charged to cover the expense of performing any required examinations, verification and or testing of the imported goods.
Local Customs office and contacts
More information on import declaration procedures and import restrictions you can find at the German Customs website.