Will German Customs Check My Shipment? [German Postal Guide]

Whether you’ve recently started up your very own small business and you’ve got your first international purchase, or you’ve got family in Germany that you would like to send a parcel to – it’s normal to worry about whether or not your parcel may encounter a few problems before reaching its destination.

Will German Customs Check My Shipment? [German Postal Guide]

One of the biggest questions that many people find themselves asking is whether or not their parcel is going to be checked by German customs as it passes through the border.

Whatever your reason for sending a parcel, it’s normal to worry about potential delivery delays, failures or general problems occurring due to German customs procedures.

Don’t panic, though, because we are here to help. In this article, we are going to be taking a closer look at what the Germans Customs procedures are, so that you can have a better understanding of whether or not your parcel is likely to be searched or not. 

Along the way, we are also going to be sharing some additional information to help make the delivery process as smooth as possible.

So, whenever you’re ready, just keep reading to discover more about the potential issues your parcel might encounter when entering Germany.

Important Key Points

Before we get any further into this guide, we first think that it would be helpful to provide you with some key points that you should take into account when sending a shipment to Germany:

  1. All major domestic US couriers (including well known courier companies such as DHL and FedEx) all ship to Germany.
  2. As the sender, you will be required to complete certain documation to prevent your shipment from being stuck at customs indefinitely.
  3. There are certain items that are prohibited in Germany. Make sure that your item does not break any rules in order to prevent it being seized at customs.

Further into this article, we are going to be taking a closer look at some of the German taxes and laws surrounding international shipments. This will help you to understand whether or not your shipment is likely to be checked at customs or not. Let’s continue:

Will German Customs Check My Shipment?

Will German Customs Check My Shipment?

Generally speaking, we can’t give you a clear cut answer to this question as the likelihood of your parcel shipment being checked at customs will be dependent on several different factors. Let’s take a closer look below:

Generally speaking, for the majority of countries across the world – if there is a shipment that contains a gift/item that is over a certain amount of money – then this will mean that the item/gift is taxable.

Germany is no exception to this rule. If German customs deems your shipment to be taxable, then there is a high chance that the shipment will be checked to confirm what is inside, as well as to be able to calculate the taxable amount owed. 

Unfortunately, in the instance that this does happen – it can pose quite an inconvenience for the gift recipient as they will often not be able to receive the shipment unless they go down the lengthy process of paying the taxable amount of the item(s) inside.

If they do not pay the taxable amount, then German customs will have the power, at their discretion, to decide whether or not to send the package to the intended recipient or whether to simply send it back to the sender due to the taxable amount not being paid within the allocated time frame.

Along with this, there is also a high chance that the recipient will need to take the time to file a variety of comprehensive paperwork along with paying the tax fee.

We’re sure that the last thing that you want is to have to hear the disappointment of your shipment/gift receiver having to deal with such issues.

So, in order to help get around this problem, we recommend that you consider using a gift delivery service situated in Germany if you are going to be sending a gift to a friend or family member.

It is also important to remember that many custom points across the world often carry out something that is known as “spot checks” which are where random shipments are selected by chance and then stopped to be checked by the customs team.

Germany is no exception to this practice, so it is important to keep in mind that – even if you follow all of the rules, send appropriate items and prepare all of the shipping documentation, there is still a chance that the shipment may be held at customs.

This brings us to our next point.

What Shipping Documents Are Required in Germany?

Now that you have a better understanding of some of the possible reasons why your parcel may be checked or delayed at German customs, we are now going to be talking you through the mandatory shipping documents you will need to fill out if you are going to be sending items to Germany. 

Unfortunately, as the sender you are going to be required to fill out and complete a variety of additional forms than you would need to while shipping domestically.

If you do not ensure that all of these documents have been completed, then you might find that your shipment gets checked or even held indefinitely at German customs.

Luckily enough, though, the good news is that filling out these forms is a lot easier to do than you might think.

After you have selected the courier service company that you would like to go with and printed the label, you will then be sent all of the necessary paperwork that you will need to complete for your shipment to be sent off to Germany. 

By making sure that you are completing all of this necessary paperwork for international shipping, you will be able to lower the chances of your shipment being able to clear customs in Germany without any problems.

If you do not fill out this paperwork correctly or at all, then there is a high chance that your shipment is not only going to be checked at German customs, but held there indefinitely.

However, please keep in mind that the procedure for obtaining and filling out these important documents can be a little different if you are planning on sending your shipment via freight.

If this is going to be the case for you, then you will need to make sure that you are reaching out to the customer service helpline of the service you are using to make sure that you are able to obtain and complete all of the necessary paperwork.

The Bottom Line

There we have it. To sum up everything that we have talked you through above – there is no clear cut answer when it comes to shipment checking at German customs, as it is dependent on a variety of different factors.

However, by following these tips that we have shared with you above, you should be able to ensure that your shipment will be able to breeze through customs without any issues. Thank you for reading.

Andy Domar
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