Understanding customs is an important element of sending parcels and packages abroad, but getting your head around the rules and regulations can be easier said than done.
To help ensure that you don’t run into any mistakes, and to make your delivery as painless as possible, we have put together all you need to know about getting a package through German customs safely and effectively.
What Is Customs?
The term “customs” refers to the process of inspecting and taxing goods entering or leaving Germany. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent smuggling and protect the country’s economy from illegal imports.
In order for a parcel to enter or leave Germany, it must first pass through a customs office. This is where the official will inspect the contents of the package and decide whether it should be allowed to enter or not.
If it does get past customs, then it will be subject to taxes and duties before being released to its final destination.
How Does Customs Work?
When you send a package overseas, you are required by law to declare what items are inside. You also need to pay import duty on each item in the package.
When you send a package to Germany, you will be asked to fill out a form called a “Declaration of Import.” On this form, you will list every single item in the package, including its value. You will also state how much tax you want to pay on each one.
When you arrive at the airport, you will hand over the Declaration of Import to the customs officer.
He will take a look at everything listed on the form and check if there are any discrepancies between what was declared and what is found in the package. If there are any differences, you will be asked to explain why they were missed.
If everything checks out, the customs officer will stamp your Declaration of Import with their signature and return it to you. At this point, they will release the package to its final destination.
If there are any problems, however, you may face charges and fees.
What Happens To The Goods After Customs?
Once the customs officer has checked your declaration and stamped it, he will give you a receipt. Your package will then be handed over to the recipient.
They will receive an invoice from the post office detailing all the details of the shipment.
The recipient will then contact you to arrange payment. Once the payment has been made, the goods will be released to them.
Import duty is a fee paid when importing certain products into Germany. It is charged based on the type of product and the amount imported.
For example, if you import a car worth more than €10,000, you will be charged a special rate of 25 percent. However, if you only bring in a small amount of something like a pair of shoes, you won’t be charged anything.
You will be given a receipt after paying the import duty, which you can use to claim back any money you owe.
Will My Package Be Inspected At German Customs?
It is important to note that customs officers do have the right to open and inspect any package that arrives at customs, so you should pack and prepare to expect this to happen.
In truth, however, checks tend to be random, though it is worth noting that a check and inspection are more likely if the declared value of your item exceeds 100 USD.
To avoid delays and potential fines, it is best to keep your declarations accurate and up-to-date. If you’re unsure about what you’ve declared, you can always ask the customs officer to clarify.
Can I Send A Parcel Without Declaring Anything?
Yes, you can send a package without declaring anything. However, you will still be liable for any import duty that applies to the goods.
How Much Will I Pay For Shipping?
The cost of shipping depends on where you live and whether or not you choose to use a courier service. Most people opt for a postal service because it’s cheaper and easier.
Postal services usually charge around 1.50 EUR per kilo (2.20 pounds) for international shipments. This means that a 10 kg parcel would cost around 15 EUR.
Couriers typically charge around 2.00 EUR per kilo (3.30 pounds). So a 10 kg parcel would be around 20 EUR.
However, some couriers offer free delivery within Europe. You’ll need to shop around to find one that offers this service.
Is There Any Way To Avoid Payment Of Import Duty?
There are several ways to reduce the amount of import duty you pay. One way is to declare less than 100 euros’ worth of items. Another option is to declare it under the EU’s “zero tariff” scheme.
Under this system, you don’t have to pay any import duties on most goods. Instead, you must register online before sending your goods to Germany.
If you decide to take advantage of this scheme, you will need to make sure that you meet the requirements set out by the European Commission. These include registering with the correct authorities and providing proof of residency.
If you fail to comply with these rules, you could face penalties. The maximum penalty is 5% of the total value of the goods.
How Can I Ensure That My Goods Are Delivered Successfully?
There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your items and packages are successfully delivered to Germany. These include:
Choosing The Right Courier
When choosing a courier company, look for one that has good reviews from other customers. Also, consider how long they have been operating as well as their reputation.
Check Their Delivery Guarantee
Some companies offer a guarantee that your shipment will arrive safely. Make sure that you read all terms and conditions carefully before signing up.
Choose An Established Company
Look for a reputable courier company that has been in business for a while.
This increases the trustworthiness and reputation of the brand, and means that they are likely to provide insurance against damage or loss – this is important for your extra peace of mind.
Use Tracking Information
You can track your shipment using an app like TrackMyPacket, or the app that your courier has provided. This allows you to see exactly when your package was picked up and dropped off – and will alert you to any potential issues at customs.
Keep Your Package Safe
Packaging materials such as bubble wrap and tape can help protect your items during transit. It’s also advisable to keep your items away from liquids so that they do not get damaged.
Make Sure That All Items Have A Proper Bill Of Lading
This document provides details about what is included in your shipment. It should include the name of the sender, recipient, consignor, consignee, and the date and time of arrival.
It should also contain information about the type of goods being shipped, the quantity, the weight, and the value.
Finally, it should list any special instructions regarding the packaging and shipping process.
The above tips will help you avoid problems when importing into Germany. However, if you still run into difficulties, you may be able to seek assistance from local customs officials.
They can advise you on whether there are any additional documents that you need to submit.