How should I start an import/export business from China to Germany?
- Learn the German language
- Be aware that Germans have extremely high standards for goods. Make sure the goods you produce are ON POINT.
- Make sure you follow every procedure to the letter. Be punctual, always, always, always.
“Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.
Last Published: 7/22/2016
The TARIC (Tarif Intégré de la Communauté), described above, is available to help determine if a license is required for a particular product.
Moreover, the European Commission maintains an export helpdesk with information on import restrictions of various products. http://www.exporthelp.europa.eu/...
Many EU member states maintain their own list of goods subject to import licensing.
For example, Germany's "Import List" (Einfuhrliste) includes goods for which licenses are required, their code numbers, any applicable restrictions, and the agency that will issue the relevant license. The Import List also indicates whether the license is required under German law.
The Single Administrative Document
The official model for written declarations to customs is the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD describes goods and their movement around the world and is essential for trade outside the EU, or of non-EU goods. Goods brought into the EU customs territory are, from the time of their entry, subject to customs supervision until customs formalities are completed. Goods are covered by a Summary Declaration which is filed once the items have been presented to customs officials. The customs authorities may, however, allow a period for filing the Declaration which cannot be extended beyond the first working day following the day on which the goods are presented to customs.
The Summary Declaration is filed by:
- the person who brought the goods into the customs territory of the Community or by any person who assumes responsibility for carriage of the goods following such entry; or
- the person in whose name the person referred to above acted.
The Summary Declaration can be made on a form provided by the customs authorities. However, customs authorities may also allow the use of any commercial or official document that contains the specific information required to identify the goods. The SAD serves as the EU importer's declaration. It encompasses both customs duties and VAT and is valid in all EU member states. The declaration is made by whoever is clearing the goods, normally the importer of record or his/her agent.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein also use the SAD. Information on import/export forms is contained in Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2454/93, which lays down provisions for the implementation of the Community Customs Code (Articles 205 through 221). Articles 222 through 224 provide for computerized customs declarations and Articles 225 through 229 provide for oral declarations.
More information on the SAD can be found at:
Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 laying down the Community Customs Code (so-called the “Modernized Customs Code”) aimed at the adaptation of customs legislation and at introducing the electronic environment for customs and trade. This Regulation entered into force on June 24, 2008 and was due to be applicable once its implementing provisions were in force by June 2013. However, the Modernized Customs Code was recast as a Union Customs Code (UCC) before it became applicable. The Union Customs Code (UCC) Regulation entered into force in
October 2013 and repealed the MCC Regulation. Its substantive provisions went into effect on May 1
Imported goods must be accompanied by a customs declaration, which has to be submitted in writing, and an invoice in duplicate. Normally the German importer files this declaration. The commercial invoice must show the country of purchase and the country of origin of the goods. The invoice should contain:
- (Company) and address of seller and buyer
- Place and date of issue
- Number, kind of packages
- Precise description of articles
- Volume or quantity in normal commercial units
- Invoice price (in invoice currency)
- Terms of delivery and
In addition, a certificate of origin may be required in some cases.
Import duties and taxes are subject to change and companies are well advised to verify the correct tariff level shortly before carrying out any export transaction. For further information, including current customs tariffs, please visit: www.zoll.de
Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)
Since July 1, 2009, all companies established outside of the EU are required to have an EORI number if they wish to lodge a customs declaration or an Entry/Exit Summary declaration. All U.S. companies should use this number for their customs clearances. An EORI number must be formally requested from the customs of the specific member state to which the company exports. Member state custom authorities may request additional documents to be submitted alongside a formal request for an EORI number. Once a company has received an EORI number, it can use it for exports to any of the 28 EU member states. There is no single format for the EORI number. Once an operator holds an EORI number s/he can request the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO: see below under “MRA”) status, which can give quicker access to certain simplified customs procedures.