30 May Importing a Car and Other Belongings into Germany from Other Countries
It doesn’t matter how near or far you are physically from the new place you will call home. Relocating to another country means that there are many things to sort out and plenty of logistics to balance. Each case is unique, as is a person’s resistance to change, fatigue and unexpected situations. The good news is that we have a basic guide that will help you make some sense of all the confusing process of importing a car and other belongings into Germany.
Let’s see what this task will depend on and what steps you need to check before moving your belongings in the country.
What Goods Can You import to Germany?
When you import something to Germany with the purpose of transferring your residence, there is virtually no limitation to what and how much you can bring. Of course, you cannot cross the borders with items that are considered illegal in Germany. Also, if you want to import everything you have under personal property regulations, then you must have the means to prove that you are not doing any commercial trade with those items.
To make it very clear, here is a list of items that are NOT considered personal goods and will not be treated under personal property regulations:
- Alcohol and tobacco products
- Equipment and items connected to your profession (exception is made for liberal arts or portable instruments)
- Commercial transportation
What is left can be moved on the German territory: household items, provisions, personal vehicles, pets, and other animals, etc. If you have certain items or possessions that would require a permit, you might have to go through an additional trial before being allowed to bring them in Germany. We are talking about certain breeds of dogs, exotic or protected animals, weapons and ammunition.
What Conditions You Need to Meet to Transfer Personal Property into Germany
You must meet certain conditions to be considered an applicant for residency who is transferring personal goods on German territory:
- You must own the items that you are transferring – prove it by providing bills, invoices, sales contracts, etc.
- You must have used the items for at least 6 months prior to coming to Germany;
- You are not allowed to sell your property for at least one year after the new residency is registered.
You also have the possibility to transfer your personal property before you arrive in Germany. However, you will need to make a security deposit that will depend on the value and nature of the property and to meet all the other standard requirements.
When Do Custom Charges Apply?
If the conditions above are not met, then you might have to pay customs charges. These will be calculated based on the value of the goods, the cost of shipment, type of items you are bringing in, and so on. German customs will provide all the information needed on the way the charges are calculated and applied.
What Paperwork Do You Need to Bring in Your Personal Goods?
The a1autotransport.com website says If you are importing goods through a transfer of residency, then you need to provide standard identification documents, like the ID, passport, visa.
If you are relocating from a country outside of the EU, you need to provide documents related to the goods, the transportation of goods and the insurance covering them.
Here is a list of documents required when importing personal goods to Germany:
- A full packing list of your goods, written in English or German
- A letter of employment – proof of employment or employment offer. If you are applying for residency through a different process, provide the documents attesting that
- Air Waybill or Bill of lading, the freight bill that regulates your shipment
- Signed declaration about your shipment
Please verify with the customs authorities or your embassy that you will have all the necessary documents with you. Each relocation case is different, regulations may change over time and it is best to have the information confirmed by the specialized authorities.
How to Import a Car to Germany
In order to import a car into Germany without paying customs fees, you must prove that it is your personal vehicle and that you will not sell it soon after getting into Germany. Certain conditions must be met to be exempted from paying custom import fees for your car:
- The car is registered in your name;
- You have been the owner of the car for at least 6 months before entering Germany;
- You will not resell the car for at least one year after relocating to Germany;
- You did not reside in Germany in the past 12 months prior to relocating (if the reasons for not meeting this condition did not depend on your will, you might be able to bring your car to Germany without paying the import taxes.)
If you are relocating from a country outside of the European Union and one or more of these conditions are not met, then you will have to pay a 10% import duty and an import turnover tax of 19%.
Again, to make sure you will be prepared for the import costs on your car, you need to present your unique situation to a certified expert, either from the customs authorities, your embassy or a lawyer/company specialized in import assistance.
Here is a list of the documents you will have to provide when importing your car into Germany:
- The vehicle title and registration, issued in your name by the origin country;
- Insurance from the origin country, still valid at the time of relocation;
- Ownership documents;
- Freight documents, like the Bill of lading or Air Waybill;
Relocating to Germany may take a while and some effort when gathering all the documentation needed. So, make sure you know what exactly you need to provide to the customs authorities once your shipment arrives at the German border. You will want to have all documents sorted, have copies of them, check the expiration date on certain documents, and be organized.
If you think that the logistics and bureaucracy of this relocation are too much for you to handle, you can employ a professional company to take care of your documents, keep you informed about what the customs office will need and handle the transportation and other import processes.