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Moving to Germany


Capital: Berlin
Population: 81.89 million (2012)
Area: 137,847 sq miles
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Berlin 2. Hamburg 3. Bavaria 4. North Rhine-Westphalia 5. Hesse
Lanuage: German
Climate: Temperate, Oceanic and Continental.
Motto: “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” / “Unity and Justice and Freedom”

Moving your household goods to a new country is a venture in itself. Allow Nationwide Van Lines to assist you professionally to make your trip a great memory. Our Certified Packers & Loaders are more than knowledgeable of what it takes to move your furniture successfully. Let us accumulate all the details for your Door-to-Door services. We will always value you and your furniture from the start to the very end.

Required Documents for Import

To assist clearing your household goods, Customs requires a number of documents. As member of the European Union (EU), passing through Customs is extremely easy. You must prove to have lived outside of Germany for no less than 1 year. All HHGS must be owned and used for no less than 6 months prior to shipping. After importation of HHGS, the importer must keep the items for at least 1 year.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

The Single Administrative Document (SAD) – The EU importers declaration on household goods.

Summary Declaration – The summary of all contents of your shipment. Filled out by the person responsible of importing the household goods.

Certificate of Origin – Gives verification of which country your household goods are manufactured in.

German Customs Form 0350 – This form is a formal statement that you will not sell any of your household contents within 1 year of time. You can find your German Customs Form 0350 at (http://www……com)(*****Please create a single page for the attached PDF named “German Customs Form 0350” and insert link.*****)

Import Requirements and Documentation

There are specifics when it comes to the requirements and documents of clearing Customs. To make things easier, here’s an accumulation of what’s needed by you the receiver. The following personal documents are required by Customs:

  • Your Visa and/or Work Permit for non-Diplomats.
  • A copy of your Passport including a photograph of you
  • Your Residence Visa or your Residence Permit if applicable
  • Your Packing List in German or English
  • Your Bill of Lading (OBL)
  • A Statement of Transfer
  • A signed Customs Declaration
  • Anmeldebestaetigung is needed to prove registration of your new residence in Germany
  • Customer’s Declaration of no taxable high value goods are present in your shipment such as alcohol, firearms, tobacco, cigarettes, coffee and tea
  • A certificate certified by the diplomatic organization in Germany for Diplomats
  • Diplomatic Entry Form 0349 for Diplomats
  • A Certificate of Registration acquired from the German police
  • A Certificate of Registration from your local registration office
  • If you are a returning citizen, you will need to obtain a Botschaftsbescheinigung stating that your Letter of Employment has been confirmed proving you were abroad and employed for at least 1 year. You can obtain this document from the German Embassy or your Consulate at the origin.
  • For German nationals, you will need a Declaration from the German Embassy or Consulate identifying your length of stay in another country and your exact address of residency in Germany.
  • A Customs Clearance Power of Attorney Form
  • A copy of your Insurance Certificate
  • A letter of Employment for returning citizens
  • A Health Care Certificate may be necessary
  • Your German Customs Form 0350 is needed to state that you will sell your goods for at least 1 year

Additional detailed document requirements

  • For all of your duty-free HHGS, you must have had them in your possession for no less than 6 months at your origin.
  • Your Letter of Employment must show that you’ve lived abroad for no less than 1 year.
  • The processing of you Customs Declaration cannot occur until your HHGS are in the EU and ready for the Customs office. You only will be charged duties when your HHGS enters the EU.
  • Your Customs Declaration must be provided by your local agent in Germany.
  • You proof of residence and the registration cannot be older than 3 month.
  • You must have owned and used your HHGS for at least 6 months preceding the departure of the origin.
  • For duty-free entrance of HHGS for foreign Diplomats, you must have a bilateral agreement with your country of origin.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Germany along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Once your items has arrived to Germany, your duties and taxes will be developed and charged for release. Duties can span from 5% to 17% if applicable. The value-added tax will be a set 19%. If you will permanently reside in Germany and lived outside the (EU) for the past 12 months or more, you may the opportunity to import your household goods into Germany tax and duty free. Furthermore, you must be physically present during the time of clearance through Customs, your shipment must set sail within 1 year of receiving residency and you must have owned your household goods for over 6 months.

Duty-free Items

As part of the European Union, there are duty-free opportunities with restrictions. Busingen and the Isle of Heligoland are considered to be not part of the EU. Below you will find the duty-free scenarios:

If moving from the United Kingdom, these items will be duty-free:

  • Skincare products
  • Fragrances
  • Champagne
  • Fashion accessories
  • Souvenirs
  • Gifts
  • Cosmetics
  • Selected spirits
  • 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos or 1 kilograms of tobacco
  • 90 liters of wine (if sparkling wine), no more than 60 liters)
  • 10 liters of spirits (over 22%)
  • 20 liters of alcoholic beverages (no more than 22%)
  • 110 liters of beer

If moving from a European Union country, all HHGS will be duty-free with the restrictions below to deem as personal use, not for commercial use or sale:

    800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos or 1 kilograms of tobacco
  • 90 liters of wine (if sparkling wine), no more than 60 liters)
  • 10 liters of spirits (over 22%)
  • 20 liters of alcoholic beverages (no more than 22%)
  • 110 liters of beer
  • If moving from a non-European Union country, the following HHGS can be imported by persons 17 years or older duty-free.

    • 16 liters of beer
    • 1 liter of spirits (over 22%)
    • 2 liters of alcohol (less than 22%)
    • 4 liters of wine
    • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos or 250 grams of tobacco
    • Other HHGS up to $546.47 USD in worth for air and sea travelers, $381.26 USD in worth for other travelers and $190.63 USD in worth for children who are 15 years or younger

    Labeling and Marking Requirements

    All labeling must be done in the German Language.

    Required information:

    • The name and address of the importer
    • The country of Origin
    • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory li
    • The quantity

    Prohibited Items

    Not every item is accepted by Customs. To avoid any delays and extra charges, please refer to the list of restricted items below.

    • Explosives
    • Ammunition
    • Radioactive Material
    • Meat
    • Dried Plants
    • Historical Valued Items
    • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
    • Controlled drugs and narcotics
    • Radioactive items
    • Counterfeit items
    • Protected animals, species and their physical parts, i.e., skins, horns, fur, etc.
    • Medias of “Unconstitutional” Content
    • Products made in Iran

    Restricted Items

    Some items are permitted, but still requires either special authorization and/or duties to be paid. Here is a list below of Restricted Items.

    • Items less than 6 months old
    • Alcohol (must have the quantity and size of the bottles, the value of each bottle and the alcoholic strength. Duty-free at a limited quantity.)
    • Guns (must include a Certificate of Registration, the owner’s valid passport, proof of ownership and the proper gun license for importation.
    • Electronic items (must have each serial number documented along with the invoice of purchase.)
    • Tobacco products and cigarettes are due to excise duty
    • Large quantities of Foodstuffs
    • Antiques older than 100 years old are duty-free with a lowered VAT rate
    • Prescription Drugs
    • Live plants requires a special import license
    • Plastic silverware
    • Weapons must have the appropriate license
    • Knives must be inspected to consider them weapons or non-weapons
    • A plethora of handicrafts
    • Artwork that is original can be imported duty-free with a lowered VAT rate
    • Honey must have an Original Health Certificate along with your household goods shipment
    • Medicine can only be imported by pharmacies for a private individual
    • Shoes
    • Smoked salmon
    • Plants, parts of plants, fruits, nuts seeds and vegetables must have a Phytosanitary Certificate

    Receiving your Household Goods

    The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

    For more information regarding moving to Germany, please visit:

    German Customs Form 0350

    Informations- und Wissensmanagement Zoll
    Carusufer 3-5

    01099 Dresden
    Phone: +49 351 44834-530
    Fax: +49 351 44834-590

    All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.