What Cannot Be Sent Via Mail To Germany?

So you have a relative in Germany and you want to send them a present for their birthday. You might be thinking about a few ideas: maybe some food, alcohol or maybe an ornament.

What Cannot Be Sent Via Mail To Germany?

But then you suddenly think: what are you prohibited from sending to Germany via mail?

Germany, like any other country, has its own particular rules and regulations about what you can or can’t send to the country.

There are certain items that are banned and if they are intercepted going through customs, they will be destroyed.

So what exactly can you send to Germany via mail? What items are completely prohibited? What taxes do you have to pay before your item can be accepted over the border?

If you want the answers to these questions and more, we would recommend you keep reading.

How Easy Is It To Send Something To Germany?

Well, thanks to the fact that Germany is part of the EU, which maintains good trade relations with the US, it is relatively straightforward to get something to Germany (as long as it is permitted).

A lot of the major courier companies operate in Germany and you can send parcels through FedEx, USPS and UPS all ship to Germany.

However, in much the same manner as other countries around the world, these couriers will still be required to abide by the laws of Germany itself.

You will obviously have to pay certain taxes to get your item from America and across the German border. So let’s have a look at what taxes and duties you’ll have to pay to get your item to Germany.

German Taxes And Duties That You’ll Have To Pay

New tax laws that have been introduced by the EU require anything under 150 Euros to pay 19% VAT tax.

There will also be a duty charge, although this will all depend on the category of item that is being shipped.

You will also have to pay GTS tax, which is a tax that is later reimbursed to everyone except the buyer.

This is not like VAT tax in that it is a flat rate and is dependent on the entire price of the overall item and transaction.

You will also have to pay an import duty, which will all depend on what items you are shipping. Here is a list of categories of items and what their import duty is:

  • Mobile phones – 0%
  • Computers – 0%
  • Cameras – 4.2%
  • Accessories – 12%
  • Batteries – 3.7%
  • Jewelry – 0%
  • Pet accessories – 2.2%
  • Dry foods – 9%
  • Home appliances – 2.5%
  • Home decor – 0%
  • Toys – 0%
  • Sports – 2.7%
  • Luggage – 3.7%
  • Audio video – 1.1%
  • Documents – 0%
  • Gaming – 0%
  • Health and beauty – 6.5%
  • Fashion – 12%
  • Watches – 0%

Brushing up on all the taxes and duties that you have to pay for your item to be shipped will be the best way of avoiding having to pay any hidden taxes and costs, which can often affect the overall budget of sending your item.

What Items Cannot Be Sent To Germany Via Mail?

There is quite a substantial list of things that cannot be shipped to Germany. Here is a list of them:

Animal Products

These include all types of meat products including cured, dried, smoked or canned meats. It also applies to meat supplied for animal consumption, such as dog or cat food.

You also won’t be able to send across dairy, especially dairy that is sensitive to temperatures. So this includes eggs and soft cheeses.

Animals products also apply to figurines or ornaments that include skin, bone or hair fragments.

What Cannot Be Sent Via Mail To Germany?

Perishable Items

This mainly includes biological items that will degrade if you leave them untreated.

If you are wanting to transport ready-to-eat foods such as dried vegetables (mushrooms are a popular dried product that is sent across country) and pickles.

However, you can transport items that are considered non-perishable. This includes things like candies and chocolates.

Plant Produce

You won’t be allowed to transport live plants or seeds to Germany. This includes items such as untreated wood figurines or ornaments.

You can, however, transport dry and sealed culinary herbs to Germany, as they will not grow as they are being shipped.

Caffeine, Alcohol And Tobacco

Because these items are taxable, to try and mail them through the post is considered to be tax evasion.

Therefore, you will not be able to send any alcohol or tobacco products through the post.

This also includes any chocolate that contains alcohol, even if they are found in only trace amounts.

Alcohol includes wine, beer and any sort of spirit.

Kinder Surprise Eggs

These chocolate treats contain small toys that are considered choking hazards to children. This is why their importation without checks is strictly prohibited in Germany.

Nutritional Supplements

This will include any sort of protein supplements, such as whey or amino acids. It also includes any type of single or multi-vitamin.

Diet pills and vitamins are also not included in the list of items that you can mail to Germany.

There is a list of nutritional supplements that you can buy within the EU, that would probably be easier for you to order and get shipped to Germany direct.

Prescription Medication

Any prescription medication that is not produced in Germany is strictly prohibited from entering the country.

All prescription medications should be sourced through German-authorized pharmacies.

Recreational Drugs

In accordance with the German law on drugs, all recreational drugs sent through the mail will be strictly prohibited.


This includes ammunition and firearms, all of which are illegal to enter across the German border without stringent checks.

This also applies to airsoft rifles, paintball guns and replica guns.

Any shipment of privately owned firearms has to go through stringent checks from Germany’s Federal Office of Administration.

Aerosols And Flammable Liquids

This will include any perfumes and deodorant sprays, as these are all considered to be flammable.

It also applies to nail polishes and colognes, as these all contain hazardous and flammable chemicals.

Counterfeit Items

If you are shipping clothing with fake names and labels, then you are not permitted to mail them to Germany.

This includes designer items that are forged as well as illegal DVD and VHS cassettes.

Endangered Species

You cannot import any items that belong to certain endangered species. This will include items such as whale teeth, sea turtles or handbags that include rare reptile skins.

Anything that contains elephant body parts will also be prohibited from entering Germany.


You will be unable to distribute pornography through the mailing system in Germany. This is deemed illegal by the US military.

This is the list of some of the main things that are banned from coming through the mail into Germany.

You have to bear in mind the rules and regulations of the country it is being sent from to the country that is receiving it.

Make sure that you are aware of all these rules and regulations before sending your items, especially if they are valuable.

This could lead to items being destroyed or impounded by the customs services.


We hope that our guide to what you can’t send through the mail to Germany has given you a better idea of what you can send.

Andy Domar
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