|Population||84.3 million (2022)|
|GDP||4.03 trillion USD (2022)|
|GDP per capita||48,810 USD (2022)|
|Internet penetration||93% of the population use the internet (2022)|
|Ecommerce users||82% people in Germany shop online (2022)|
|Leading product categories||Fashion, media (books, music, movies, and video games), and electronics (computers)|
|Preferred online payment method(s)||Ewallets, PayPal, invoice, credit card (Visa and Mastercard), Paydirekt, and direct debit (Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA))|
|Languages||German and English|
The landed cost for a cross-border transaction includes all duties, taxes, and fees associated with the purchase. This includes:
CIF: CIF (cost, insurance, freight) is a method for calculating import taxes where the tax is calculated on the cost of the order, plus the cost of freight, insurance, and seller's commission.
Further explanation of duty, tax, and de minimis is provided below
Applied CIF value of the order
Duty and tax will be charged only on imports into Germany where the total CIF value of the import exceeds Germany’s minimum value threshold (de minimis), which is a duty de minimis of 150 EUR and a tax de minimis of 0 EUR. Anything under the duty de minimis value will be a duty-free import, but because the tax de minimis is zero, every import is subject to tax.
Applied CIF value of the order
Import VAT is charged on the CIF value of the order. VAT is charged at the standard rate of 19%, but certain products, such as food, books, hotel accommodations, cultural services, and more, receive a reduced rate of 7%. The EU employs IOSS (Import-One-Stop-Shop) as their method for collecting VAT.
Applied to the CIF value of the order
Like VAT, duty is charged on the CIF value of the order. The duty ranges from 0-17%, with an average rate of 4.2%.
Below are sample landed cost breakdowns for Germany (one below and one above the duty de minimis threshold) calculated using Zonos Quoter. Since the tax de minimis is 0 EUR, tax will always apply:
Landed cost for a shipment to Germany below the duty de minimis value:
Landed cost for shipment to Germany above the duty and tax de minimis values:
Germany, being a member of the EU, has at least 60 trade agreements. These trade agreements offer a zero or highly discounted duty rate for goods made in a participating country.
Germany participates in the European Union's Common Customs Tariff, which applies preferential rates to imports from other countries with which the EU has signed agreements.
Germany is a member of the World Trade Organization
Germany is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Therefore, Germany must abide by the most-favored-nation (MFN) clause, which requires a country to provide any concessions, privileges, or immunities granted to one nation in a trade agreement to all other WTO member countries. For example, if a country reduces duties by 10% for one country, the MFN clause states that all WTO members will have their duties cut by 10% into that country.
European Commissions - Customs
Talk to your carrier about customs refunds.
ICS2 is a cargo information system aimed to screen shipments for security and safety prior to their arrival into or across the European Union as well as the United Kingdom.
Depending on the courier, additional shipping fees may include:
Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI)
Tax ID number
Germany Power of Attorney (POA) form needed for clearance
Government agencies regulate imports.
Restricted items are different from prohibited items. Prohibited items are not allowed to be imported into a country at all. Restricted items are not allowed to be imported into a country unless the importer has approval or a special license that allows them. Controlled goods have military or national security significance.
The Combined Nomenclature (CN) is used to classify most goods when they are declared to customs in the EU. The CN document is updated and published every year, and the latest version can be found on the European Commission's website.
The Single Administrative Document (SAD) and Summary declaration are documents used for customs declarations.
Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) is an identification number for the importer. Generally, a business needs to provide an EORI (for business-to-business shipments), but a business-to-consumer shipment does not need an EORI upon import.
Rules and VAT rates
Each country in the EU applies the standard VAT rules differently, and each country has different VAT rates.
There are rules and procedures that EU exporters need to be aware of prior to exportation.
How do I comply with the EU VAT scheme?
There are several different shipping options to choose from in order to remain compliant with the EU’s VAT scheme. Zonos' EU VAT guide has further information about your options.
What does ICS2 require retailers to do?
Everyone who ships to Europe and the UK is impacted (eg. online retailers, manufacturers, and exporters) must ensure they have accurate information regarding the recipient and package contents before they send the shipment through the carrier or postal operator to the EU or the UK.
See Zonospolicies and agreements.
A cross-border guide to German ecommerce, shipping, and importing goods
If you are looking to grow your ecommerce business into Germany , you’ve come to the right place. In our guide, created by Zonos' cross-border experts, you will find the following: