Trade Compliance in Germany

Overview by
International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of the European Union
Member of the European Economic Area which since 1 January 1993 guarantees the free movement of most goods between European countries.
Multilateral agreements and bilateral agreements with many countries.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Goods coming into a country of the European Union from another country in the Community are exempt from Customs duties and Customs formalities. The documents which must accompany goods moving between EU countries are the following:
- the commercial invoice (at least in duplicate, it must contain the intracommunity VAT number of the operator who is carrying out the delivery, that of the buyer by which he is identified in the country of delivery, it must mention "VAT exemption, art. 262 b-1 of the CGI")
- the delivery note (not compulsory)
- the sanitary and phytosanitary certificate (for live animals).
- the single administrative document (SAD) for trade with overseas Departments as well as with the Channel Islands and the Canaries.

In the case of temporary export within the EU, the ATA carnet and the Community carnet are no longer necessary. It is enough to keep a register listing the temporary shipments.

Concerning transport, no transport documents are required for intracommunity trade.
However, in the case of goods transiting or destined for one of the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), form T2 should be produced or a copy A (computerized transit). In the same way, goods transiting or destined for the Channel Islands or the Canaries must be accompanied by form T2F.

For a transaction outside the Community, you must add:
- Import licenses
- Certifications
- Single Customs Document (SAD)
- Health certificate

Free Zones
There are 7 free zones in Germany: Freihafen Bremerhaven, Freihafen Cuxhaven, Freihafen Deggendorf, Freihafen Duisburg, Freihafen Emden, Freihafen Hamburg, Freihafen Kiel.
For Further Information
German Customs
Bundesministerium der Finanzen (Federal Ministry of Finance)
Non Tariff Barriers
As it is a member of the European Union, Germany applies the Community regulations which are valid throughout the Union.

If the EU has quite a liberal foreign trade policy, there are a certain number of restrictions, especially at the level of agricultural products, ensuing from the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): applying compensations when importing and exporting agricultural products to favor the development of agriculture within the EU implies a certain number of systems to control and regulate goods entering EU territory.
Moreover, for sanitary reasons, as regards the presence of Genetically Modified Organisms, if they are allowed in Europe, their presence must, for example, be systematically specified on packaging. Importing beef fed on hormones is also prohibited. The BSE crisis (called "mad cow disease") has encouraged the European authorities to reinforce phytosanitary measures to ensure the quality of meat entering and circulating in EU countries. The principle of precaution is now more widely favored: in case of doubt, import is prohibited until the non- noxiousness of the goods is proved.


Some other goods remain prohibited or subject to specific formalities. For example, medicines for human use, waste, plants or live animals.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Agricultural products: cereals, bananas, poultry, geographical appellations d'origine, garlic, salmon, sardines, sugar, wine, corn, coffee, melted cheese, rice.
IT materials, films and television programs, merchant vessels, civil aircraft, steel and cotton.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
German commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States
Find more on about Trade Policy in Germany.

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