Can You Send Food To Germany Using The Postal Service? German Postal Guide

Do you have a friend or relative in Germany that is missing some home comforts they are unable to find in their local German supermarket?

Can You Send Food To Germany Using The Postal Service? German Postal Guide

Even if you’ve only been away for a short while, we can all miss our favourite foods, so moving to a new country can be tough! 

Certain countries are stricter than others when it comes to what you can send in the post, especially with regard to food items.

It’s important to be aware of these restrictions as you may be liable for fines and the food items will be destroyed.

Although you may be helping out a friend in need, the customs office won’t see it that way. 

Although you can send food in the post to Germany, there are a number of restrictions that we will detail within in this article to give you all the information you need before sending that parcel. 

General Prohibited Food Items 

Imports of food and animal feed between private individuals or companies are all subject to the same rules and regulations.

There are some products that are restricted or just prohibited in general as a result of the specific laws in place to protect citizens and the country’s ecology. 

Prohibited items include: 

  • Wild mushrooms, however up to 2 kg of edible mushrooms for private consumption are able to be imported without restrictions 
  • Potatoes, as there is the danger of spreading potato rot
  • Sturgeon caviar, as many species of sturgeon, are endangered  
  • Food supplements, as these can sometimes come under medical supplies 
  • Food and feed of animal origins such as milk, meat, dairy products, and eggs mainly due to animal health reasons

This information has been taken from Zoll, the website of German customs.

Sending Parcels From The UK 

As Britain is no longer part of the European Union there are new rules that apply when sending parcels to Germany and other EU countries.

Please check how these changes apply to sending and receiving items from abroad with your local postal carrier or delivery service. 

What You Can’t Send

In addition to the German restrictions, many postal carriers have their own restrictions on what they are willing to ship.

Information from the Royal Mail website indicates that there are certain food and drink items that you can’t send to Germany in the post, these are prohibited by Royal Mail and other postal carriers: 

  1. Liquids over a litre in volume 
  2. Alcohol over 24% ABV (alcohol by volume) such as rum or vodka 
  3. Homemade foods or those that aren’t in their original manufacturer packaging 
  4. Food that has been opened or tampered with 
  5. Perishable foods that have a shelf life of fewer than 6 months e.g. fruits and vegetables
  6. Vinegar
  7. Beverages

What You Can Send

  1. Store-bought food with a shelf life of longer than 6 months from the date of shipping, in the original packaging and clearly sealed
  2. Christmas hampers that don’t include alcohol or drinks and don’t contain perishable food items  

How To Package Parcel To Germany 

As your parcel will travel through a number of depots and postal offices that contain automated sorting machines, it is important that you package your items carefully.

This is especially important if you’re sending fragile items such as glass by courier. Use cushioning materials inside the parcel where possible to help protect the contents. 

A strong and sturdy box is recommended, regardless of the parcel size or weight.

Bubble Wrap or packing peanuts will help to create a cushioned inner layer between the contents and container to help avoid breakages.

Overfilling a parcel can cause damage to the contents and may even make the shipping box break. 

Can You Send Food To Germany Using The Postal Service? German Postal Guide

Using The Correct Address Format

The German rules for address formatting are very strict and you must follow them in order to get your parcel to where it needs to go.

If these instructions aren’t followed you risk the item being returned without a delivery attempt being made. 

The correct way to format an address: 

  • Put the person’s name first
  • Write the house number after the street name, on the same line
  • Put the postcode before the town name, on the same line
  • Write ‘GERMANY’ in capital letters on the last line of the address

Addresses are written on the bottom right-hand side of the envelope or parcel you are sending as other areas are needed by postal carriers. 

Customs Clearance

Sending parcels from non-EU countries such as the UK or USA means that your parcel will have to pass through customs to be cleared before being delivered to its intended destination.

Make sure you have a customs invoice to accompany your parcel. This can be done through the postal carrier you use or through the website of the German customs.

It is important to note that the EU itself can impose certain restrictions otherwise known as sanctions on what you can and cannot send to individuals or other countries.

Researching the restrictions in place helps you to avoid any unwanted surprises or frustrations later on.   

Providing the recipient contact information such as an email address or phone number is advised to facilitate customs clearance.

Recipients may need to be contacted if any information is missing or incorrect.

These details can be added to the electronic customs data or to the physical declaration. 

To make sure your parcel can clear customs easier, there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Don’t use local or slag language on your customs declaration when describing the food items 
  2. Provide the value of each food on the customs invoice
  3. Always provide a detailed description of all the food items included in the parcel
  4. Include a copy of your customs invoice within the parcel, as to speed up the process if the original should be separated from the parcel during shipment 

Final Thoughts 

It is evident that there are many rules and regulations when it comes to what food items can be sent in the post to Germany.

Although they might be frustrating to the sender, they are in place to protect everyone and keep the country safe from damage and disease.

Make sure to keep up-to-date with rules and restrictions as they can change at any time. 

All prohibited items are listed by various courier services, official government websites, and postal offices.  

We hope you found this article interesting and informative, helping you to better understand how foods can be sent to Germany. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Send Packaged Food To Germany?

In short, yes you can send packaged food to Germany. However, there are a number of restrictions on which packaged goods you can send.

For example, food items that are non-perishable with a shelf life of longer than 6 months that have been bought in a store and unopened can be sent to Germany. 

Can You Send Chocolate In The Post To Germany?

Yes, you can, as long as they are accompanied by the required health certificates mandated by EU law.

These must be store-bought and have a shelf life of longer than 6 months. 

Andy Domar
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