Can You Send Supplements To Germany?

When it comes to imports, virtually every country has its rules as to what is permitted to pass through customs.

Can You Send Supplements To Germany?

In some countries it is for perceived health; reasons, the banning of certain toys or similar items.

For others, it is environmental reasons, such as contaminating a local ecosystem with a new plant or animal you are looking to bring with you into the country.

One thing is certain though.

And that is that it gets very complicated, very quickly!

With each country having its own rules and regulations as to what items can get past customs, it can be a headache to wrap your head around.

Take Germany, for example.

Being the largest economy in Europe, you would imagine that the types of items that can be shipped to and from here were clear.

And yet, there is still plenty of confusion as to what exactly the rules are for items.

Can you send beauty product here? What about health supplements?

For a newcomer, it feels arbitrary and confusing.

However, we’re here to help clear things up!

In this article, we are going to show you what kinds of items can and can’t be sent to Germany, and why exactly health supplement are not items that can be sent.

Shipping In Germany

Generally speaking, shipping works in Germany in a very similar way to how it is carried out in the United States.

Domestic shipping is usually handled by a courier or shipping firm that is based in the country, and will ship items to and from other sorting stations that may be closer to he intended address.


There are a massive variety of shipping companies based in Germany, with over 300 operating in the country as of the beginning of 2021.

Included in these couriers are many companies that United States citizens may be familiar with.

FedEx, DHL, USPS and UPS all ship from the United States to Germany, meaning that you can still use a familiar service that you are used to for sending your items across the pond from the United States to Europe.

Trading With The EU

One of the most important things to note about trade between Germany and the US is Germany’s access to the EU’s common Market.

Thanks to Germany being a key member of the European Union (the EU), it is subject to many of the same trade and commerce laws that other countries and member states are.

The US’s own trading and commerce laws mean that trading with one country within the EU makes it viable for those rules to apply to all its member states.

However, there are also many rules and restrictions that come with being a trading partner of the EU.

Restrictions On Items

There are a number of extra rules that apply to items when they are being sent from the United States to the European Union, and by extension, Germany.

Generally speaking, while Germany has fewer import restrictions that many other countries, there are still quite an extensive list of items that are generally forbidden by law to enter the country.

These products are items that are agreed on by both the German government and its customs office, as well as the United States government, army, and customs.

While these rules are constantly changing and evolving, these generally agreed upon items don’t get changed easily, so don’t think that you can simply wait out an item not being banned anymore.

This also means that foreign couriers operating in the country, such as DHL and FedEx, will refuse to carry it into the country for you.

Can You Send Supplements To Germany From The United States?

So, finally, we have arrived at the main crux of this article: Can you send dietary supplements from the United States to Germany?

Well, the short answer is no. Under no circumstances, are you allowed to bring over-the-counter dietary supplement from the United States to Germany.

The longer answer is a little more complicated than that.

Why You Cannot Bring Supplements To Germany

Why You Cannot Bring Supplements To Germany

So, we know that supplements, from vitamins to protein powders, cannot be sent by mail from the United States to Germany.

But why is this the case?

Well, one of the main reasons is that German medicinal law work a little differently there than it does compared to the United States’ equivalent laws.

What may be a prescribed medicine from a pharmacy in the United States, can be considered an illicit or illegal substance in Germany.

This is why, if you are travelling to Germany with supplement and medicine in your luggage or on your person, you will often be asked by German customs to provide a written prescription that they are necessary medicine for you to carry.

Not providing the correct documentation for your prescription can cost you a hefty fine from the police, or in the worst cases, can completely deny you entry into the country.

Other Items Not Permitted To Be Imported Into Germany

So, we have a solid answer on supplements and prescriptions, but there are many other items that also have limitations on what can and can’t be brought into Germany

Coffee, Alcohol & Tobacco Products

These items are barred from entering Germany in accordance with international agreements made between The European Union and the United States

Items such as Coffee, liqueurs wine beers, are not allowed to the German postal service, the Military postal service, to be exact.

Generally speaking, these items are intended to be subject to duties and taxes set by the customs office, so sending these items through the postal service would be considered a form of tax evasion.

Animal & Plant Products

This may be a surprising item to some people, but it is also the find of item that is often held at customs.

Generally speaking, all forms of animal products, such as all meat products (including vacuum-packed, smoked or cured, or canned) are strictly forbidden entry into the country by German customs.

The same goes for many animal-based products, such as furs and bones from animals, eggs, and most soft cheeses.

This also applies to most plant-based products too. Plants and live sees cannot be brought into Germany through customs, as well as untreated wooden products, as well as wooden ornaments.

The principal behind this law is that many US food products do not meat the standards set by these products in many European nations.

Even Pet food is banned!

However, factory sealed and contained dry herbs are allowed through customs.

Perishable Food Items

Similar to the last point, many perishable or biological substances that can expire over time are similarly not allowed past German customs.

This includes most wild mushroom varieties, as well as any ready-to-eat meals that you may have stored on you.

As we stated in the previous section, because food standards tend to be lower in the United States, these items are explicitly forbidden.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, while the laws are complicated on the matter, it is pretty clear tha supplements and over-the-counter medicines are banned from entering Germany form the US.

Andy Domar
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