Guide to Sending Parcels to Germany

Germany is the economic leader amongst the 28 nations of the European Union. It has the largest economy - over $4 trillion USD (2019), produces and exports a wide range of goods - autos, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, computer and electrical equipment, and hosts the world's largest trade fairs.

Shipping to Germany provides a gateway to the other 27 nations of the EU, which is now easier and less expensive than ever since the signing of the Canada-EU free trade deal (CETA).

The sources of information on this page come directly from the German Customs Pages, the European Union, and number of other government sources.

Secureship Offers Cheap Shipping Rates to Germany

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping shipping options to Germany through a variety of carriers using Secureship

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Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to Germany. Whether you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
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Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to Germany

Full tracking information for parcels to Germany is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Nov 24, 2019
8:49 am
Hessen, HE, GER
Delivered
Nov 23, 2019
7:18 am
Berlin, BER, GER
In transit
Nov 22, 2019
9:03 pm
Bremen, BR, GER
International Clearance
Nov 22, 2019
8:14 am
Bayern, BA, GER
In transit
Nov 22, 2019
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Nov 21, 2019
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in Germany before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.


Shipping Documents Only Image to Germany

Documents Only

Most documents can be shipped to Germany duty free. There are restrictions on what can be shipped duty-free. If you exceed these restrictions, then tax and duty becomes payable. Some restrictions are shown below in the table.

Document Type Restriction
Business cards Up to 15 only.
Cheques Must be personalised.
Gift cards Up to 5 only.
Greetings cards and invitations. Must be personalised.
Stationery Must be personalised and an appropriate amount for non-commercial use.

For more information on restricted documents, click here.

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to Germany

Shipping Gifts

Gift shipments to Germany valued at less than €45 (about $67 CDN) are exempt from duties and taxes, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Shipment is from an individual to individual.
  • The goods are for personal use or consumption of the receiver or his/her family.
  • The shipment is received without payment.
  • The amount of gifts is appropriate for private use, i.e. it cannot be mistaken for a commercial quantity.

NOTE: Any gifts of machines, including toys, must abide by EU safety standards.

Restrictions

Certain goods are restricted to maximum quantities. Exceeding the limits shown below will cause duties to be charged.

  • Coffee (500 g).
  • Coffee extracts, essences or concentrates (200 g).
  • Tobacco (50 cigarettes or 25 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50 g smoking tobacco or a proportionate combination of them).
  • Alcohol (1 L distilled spirits such as whiskys or 1 L distilled spirits such as sparkling wines and aperitifs; and 2 L still wines).
  • Perfumes (50 g perfume or 250 mL eau de toilette)

Gift Parcels Valued Greater Than €45

If the value of a gift parcel is from €45 but less than €700 (about $1045 CDN), it will incur a tax of 17.5% on the value of the goods.

Gift Checklist

  • Complete a commercial invoice with the word 'GIFT' clearly indicated.
  • Provide a detailed description of all items in the parcel and write the value of each.
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sending multiple gifts in one parcel to Germany?

Be sure to:

  • Individually wrap and tag each gift separately
  • Ensure the names on each tag are different and clearly marked on the commercial invoice

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Postal_consignments_internet_order/Shipments-from-a-non-EU-country/Duties-and-taxes/Gifts/gifts_node.html
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Postal_consignments_internet_order/Shipments-from-a-non-EU-country/Duties-and-taxes/Assessment-of-taxes-and-duties/assessment-of-taxes-and-duties_node.html#doc203018bodyText2


Shipping personal effects/belongings to Germany

Shipping Personal Effects

Most personal effects can be shipped to Germany tax and duty free if you have owned the items for longer than 6 months.

German authorities may ask you for documents that verify the goods belong to you.

Some examples of acceptable paperwork include receipts, warranties and insurance documents.

Moving Temporarily

Students:

Students moving to Germany to study must be enrolled for full-time attendance in an educational institution so that their personal effects are duty and tax free.

Personal effects exempt from duties and taxes include:

  • Household goods such as shoes, clothing and linens (these items may be new).
  • Educational materials (books, computers and printers).
  • Furniture (must be used and intended for personal use).

Non-Students:

Moving Permanently

When moving to Germany you may import your household goods free of duties and taxes providing:

  • You have used those goods outside of Germany for at least 6 months.
  • You will continue to use them for another 12 months without lending, selling or disposing of them.

Personal Requirements

You must be able to show to German authorities that:

1. You have given up your residence abroad, for e.g. termination of a lease, or a statement from your employer that you are transferring to Germany

2. You are taking up a new residence in Germany, for e.g. with a lease agreement.

3. For at least 12 months you have been living outside of Germany.

Legitimate personal effects

The following are acceptable personal and household goods, providing they are of a non-commercial quantity:

  • Household items such as furnishings, shoes, clothing, linen, and any equipment needed for daily living.
  • Bicycles
  • Portable equipment, tools and instruments needed by an individual as part of her or his profession or trade

The following are not allowed to enter duty free:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • On-portable instruments, tools and equipment used for a profession or trade

Sources:
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Staying-in-Germany/School-study/school-study_node.html
https://www.germany.info/us-en/moving/966174
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Staying-in-Germany/Transferring-residence/transferring-residence_node.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to Germany

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Food and food items can be shipped to Germany providing they follow the rules and standards established by the European Union.

What You Can Send

  • Edible mushrooms to a maximum of 2 kg.
  • Baby food in an unopened package to a maximum of 2 kg.
  • Foodstuffs with a small amount of milk, for e.g. biscuits, creamy candies, chocolates.
  • Non-meat and milk animal products to a maximum of 2 kg, for e.g. honey.
  • Fresh, cooked or smoked fish and shrimp and lobster to a maximum of 20 kg

Do Not Send

  • Potatoes
  • Caviar from sturgeon
  • Vitamin and dietary supplements considered to be medicinal supplements to treat diseases and illnesses.
  • Animal products, including milk and cheeses

Chocolate and Candy

No information available at this time for shipping Chocolate or Candy to Germany.

Sources:
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Travel/Entering-Germany/Restrictions/Food-and-feed/food-and-feed.html
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/Sendungen-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Einschraenkungen/Waren/Tiere-und-Pflanzen/Schutz-Tierseuchen/schutz-tierseuchen_node.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to Germany

Samples

Commercial samples are those that can only be used for demonstration purposes. The aim is to encourage people to place orders of the samples, not sell them.

Samples may be shipped to Germany duty free providing:

  • They are of a small number that represent the product.
  • They are intended for a trade fair or convention or other exhibitions (for e.g., commercial, scientific, educational, cultural, artistic, touristic, sporting or religious).

NOTES:

Samples for private exhibitions, for e.g. in commercial stores, are not allowed.
The easiest way to send commercial samples to Germany is with an ATA Carnet. (See Temporary Imports for details.)

Sources:
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:324:0023:0057:EN:PDF
https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/ata-carnet/
https://cms.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2016/11/ATA-leaflets-country-English.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to Germany

Advertising Material

Advertising material includes printed items that are handed out to promote products or services. Advertising items include:

  • Catalogues
  • Price lists
  • Brochures
  • Advertising posters
  • Directions for use

Advertising material may enter Germany duty free as long as they are for:

  • Goods for sale or renting
  • Transportation, banking services or commercial insurance

The advertising material must follow the criteria below:

  • The printed material clearly shows the name of the company offering the goods or service.
  • If the parcel contains copies of one document, then the total weight of the parcel can be no more than 1 kg.

Sources:
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:324:0023:0057:EN:PDF

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Have your goods warranty repaired in Germany

Repairs

Shipping products to Germany for repair is a fairly simple process and is exempt from duties and taxes under the inward processing rules of the European Union.

Inward processing means goods from outside the EU brought into the EU to have work done on them, such as repairs.

Items Under Warranty

As Germany and Canada have a free-trade agreement (CETA), repairs under warranty returning from Germany to Canada are duty-free and will not be charged GST.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

An item returning to Canada from Germany that is no longer under warranty will be charged GST on the value of the repair and on any new parts required to complete the repair.

Sending Product for Repair to Germany:

When sending equipment to Germany for repair, include the following information on the parcel:

  • The words "REPAIR & RETURN" are stated on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks.
  • Serial/Product number must be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section on the commercial invoice.
  • Copy of Repair Contract included with all your export documentation.

Returning Product After Repairs are Completed:

If your product has been repaired in Canada and is being returned back to Germany, ensure to do the following:

  • Write "REPAIR & RETURN" on the commercial invoice in the General Description or Remarks section
  • Indicate the value of the product INCLUDING the cost of the repair under the Detailed Description of Goods section
  • Include the original shipping documents or tracking number from when the item was first exported to Germany

Be sure to write the necessary information on the commercial invoice according to the document checklist below.

Document Checklist

  • Commercial Invoice must clearly state under the General Description or Remarks section the following: 'REPAIR & RETURN' and include the estimated time of return.
  • Include repair contract with shipment.
  • Serial or product number and the cost of repairs should be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section.
  • Sources:
    https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/inward-processing_en
    https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-goods/Import/Procedures/Inward-processing/inward-processing_node.html
    https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d8/d8-2-10-eng.html

    Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

    Ship To Invoice
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Bonngasse 20
    53111 Bonn
    Germany

    Phone: 613-555-1234
    Carrier tracking number: 736534736
    General Description:
    Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

    Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
    Customs Broker: UPS
    Date: 21 Nov 2019
    QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
    1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

    US $163.00
    Terms of Sale: None
    Total number of packages: 1
    Reason for export: Warranty Repair
    Contact Name: James Smith
    Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
    Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
    Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to Germany

Temporary Imports

Temporary importation of certain goods into Germany, without incurring duties or taxes, is allowed for a period of up to 24 months. Make sure to clearly indicate the return date on the commercial invoice.

Goods that are often part of a temporary import include:

  • Items that will be used or displayed at a fair, exhibition or event.
  • Scientific and professional equipment.
  • Commercial samples
  • Tools and specialised equipment required for repairing, exploring, producing or manufacturing.
  • Materials and goods to be used for entertainment or during a public exhibition such as a trade show booth
  • Equipment required to evaluate and test the operation of other goods and equipment

Temporary admissions are expected to follow the rules below:

  • They will not be changed other than from normal wear-and-tear.
  • Are intended to be re-exported from Germany.

Qualifying for Duty & Tax Free Temporary Import

In order to import your goods duty and tax free into Germany, you can pick from 1 of the 2 Temporary Import Methods listed below.

Each option has its pros and cons. Regardless, each of the following methods requires

you to complete a Commercial Invoice (CI). More details below.


Option # Temporary Import Method Risk of paying Duties and taxes
1 Commercial Invoice Only (no other documentation is provided). High (if broker cannot clear goods temporarily)
2 Commercial Invoice + ATA Carnet Very Low


1. Complete a Commercial invoice only


This is the simplest and quickest option. See example.

NOTE: You should be aware that shipping using this method doesn't guarantee that your items will be imported duty/tax free. Not all brokers will clear goods as temporary imports (i.e. UPS, Fedex, DHL) nor is it a guarantee that customs won't charge any duties and taxes.


2. CI + an ATA Carnet

This option is great for items that frequently travel in and out of the country. It's also great because once you have an ATA Carnet, it is accepted by 176 countries worldwide making the application process a one-time thing.

In addition to declaring your commercial invoice as a temporary import, you can get an ATA Carnet for the items that are of temporary nature.

ATA Carnets are beyond the scope of this article. You can however, contact your local chamber of commerce and they will be able to guide you along. You can also find more information here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/.


In addition to the 2 options above, the following conditions must also be met in order to qualify for a duty and VAT free exemption:

  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than 24 months in Germany

NOTE:
  • If the above conditions are not followed, duties and taxes will be charged as though the goods have been imported permanently.
  • Your Customs broker can clear goods of a temporary nature (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. typically CANNOT clear goods of temporary nature).

Document Checklist

  • Commercial Invoice clearly stating "Temporary Import" including the return date. This must be written in the General Description section.
  • Include your ATA Carnet with your shipment (if applicable).

Sources:
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/specific-use_en
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/docs/body/guidance_special_procedures_en.pdf
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-goods/Import/Procedures/Temporary-admission/temporary-admission_node.html
https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/france/market-facts-faits-sur-le-marche/7685.aspx?lang=eng
http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/how-to-apply-for-a-carnet/

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge



Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within Germany

Permanent/Sold Goods

Occasional Shipper

If you ship occasionally to Germany (i.e. items you sold on eBay), there isn't too much you need to do. You will need to:

  • Include 3 copies of the Commercial Invoice with your shipment.
  • Provide a detailed description of the goods on the Commercial Invoice (in order to avoid customs delays).

NOTE: An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is NOT needed if you are shipping as a private individual.


Regular Shipper

If you regularly sell and ship goods to Germany, we recommend you consult with a licensed customs broker in Germany. You may need to comply with certain requirements, such as obtaining an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.


Sources:
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Verbote-Beschraenkungen/Schutz-der-menschlichen-Gesundheit/Produktsicherheit/produktsicherheit.html
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-goods/Import/Duties-and-taxes/Entry-summary-declaration/entry-summary-declaration_node.html.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonngasse 20
53111 Bonn
Germany

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 21 Nov 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with Germany. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into Germany, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
Certificate of Insurance Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment is insured.

Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.

Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form is required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Certain goods are prohibited from entering Germany and others have restrictions. Prohibitions and restrictions are in place to protect children, minors and German citizens, protect the German constitution and abide by international trade agreements.

Here's an abbreviated list of items that are prohibited or restricted from shipping to Germany. An extensive list can be found here .


Prohibited items

  • Potatoes
  • Caviar from sturgeon
  • Vitamin and dietary supplements considered to be medicinal supplements to treat diseases and illnesses
  • Animal products, including milk and cheeses
  • Pornographic and obscene material
  • Material with violent and anti-democratic messages
  • Material that depicts violence or disparages symbols of the German state or government
  • Counterfeit items
  • Electric shock devices

Restricted Items

  • Medicines and narcotics
  • Rough diamonds (a valid Kimberly Certificate required)
  • Skins and products from dogs, cats and seals
  • Cannabis (valid permit required from Health Canada)
  • Fireworks
  • Works of Cultural Heritage
  • Weapons and ammunition

Sources:
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/Sendungen-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Einschraenkungen/Waren/Marken-und-Produktpiraterie/marken-und-produktpiraterie_node.html
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/Sendungen-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Einschraenkungen/Waren/waren_node.html
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-9-2-eng.html

Duty & Taxes

Import duty and taxes in Germany are calculated based on the sum of the Customs Value, Insurance Amount, and Freight costs (shipping costs). This is known as CIF.
CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

Using the CIF Value, you can predict how much duty & tax the recipient must pay to the German government to receive their goods.


Thresholds

Some countries provide a Duty & Tax Threshold (i.e. de minimis), which means that below a certain amount no duties or taxes are charged on the import of that shipment.

For Germany, tax is payable on shipments with a value over €22 (about $34 CDN) and duty is payable on shipments with a value of €150 (about $223 CDN) or more. However, certain goods attract other taxes which will be payable before the package can be delivered.

For goods over €150, duties are calculated based on custom tariffs.

Levies below €5 (about $9 CDN), will not be charged.

Currency EUR
TAX (VAT) 19%*
Duty Exemption
(De minimis Value)
150 EUR**
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
22 EUR**
Threshold Method CIF
Tax & Duty Calculation Method CIF

*Reduced rate of 7% on some goods (including food and books)

**Excluding alcohol, tobacco, and coffee products


Duties on Imports
  • Candy9%
  • Chocolate8%
  • Spirits and Wines2.1 - 6.6 euro/litre
  • Tobacco27- 49%
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video Games & Consoles0%
  • Computers & Laptops & Tablets0%
  • E-Reader3.7%%
  • Mobiles0%
  • Cameras (digital and analog*)0 - 4.2%*
  • Leather Clothing and Accessories**4 - 9%**
  • Beauty Products & Cosmetics0 - 6.5%
  • Jewellery 2.5 - 4%
  • Shirts & Pants12%
  • Furniture0-5.6%
  • Sports Equipment0-4.7%

*Digital cameras = 0%, Analog cameras = 4.2%

**Leather clothing =4%, Leather Accessories (belts, etc) = 9%

Sources:
For a more complete list and information about the duty of specific items:
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Reisen/Rueckkehr-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Zoll-und-Steuern/Ueberschreiten-Reisefreimengen/beispiele_zollsaetze.html?nn=289528&faqCalledDoc=289528

For a more complete list and information about the duty on alcohol, beer, and tobacco:
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Reisen/Rueckkehr-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Zoll-und-Steuern/Ueberschreiten-Reisefreimengen/pauschalierte_abgabensaetze.html?nn=289544
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/taric/taric_consultation.jsp?Lang=en
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen/Postsendungen-Internetbestellungen/Sendungen-aus-einem-Nicht-EU-Staat/Zoll-und-Steuern/Internetbestellungen/internetbestellungen_node.html#doc289538bodyText1

Germany Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Television
  • Jewelry in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Additional Resources

Questions about Shipping to Germany



How long does it take to ship to Germany from Canada?

Shipping to Germany from Canada can take between 2-5 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to Germany by getting a quote now.


Does United Parcel Service (UPS) ship to Germany?

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Does FedEx ship to Germany?

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Does United States Postal Service (USPS) ship to Germany?

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What is the cheapest way to ship from Canada to Germany?

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What are the courier charges from Germany to canada?

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How long does parcel mail take from Canada to Germany?

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How do I get a FedEx shipping estimate / FedEx quote to Germany?

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How do I ship gifts to Germany?

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