Moving to Germany

Country Guide: Germany

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Packing list in German or English
  • Anmeldebestaetigung from appropriate German town hall confirming registration of new residency in Germany
  • Customs Registration Form 0350 stating goods will not be sold for 1 year
  • Customs Declaration
  • A letter signed by shipper certifying that the following taxable high value goods have not been included in the shipment: firearms, alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, tea, and coffee
  • Letter of Employment must state the term of employment will be for a minimum of 1 year (non-Diplomats)
  • Copy of Visa (non-Diplomats)
  • Certificate from the diplomatic organization in Germany (Diplomats)
  • Diplomatic Entry Form 0349 (Diplomats)
  • Botschaftsbescheinigung from the German Embassy or Consulate at origin. This document serves to confirm the period abroad / Letter of Employment stating that the shipper lived and worked abroad for at least 1 year (returning citizens)
  • Letter of Employment (returning citizens)

Specific Information

  • Effective processing of the Customs Declaration can only commence once the goods are in the EU and have been presented at the Customs office. Products imported into the European Customs Union are subject to duties only when and where the product first enters the EU (e.g., Germany).
  • The Customs Declaration should be provided by the local agent in Germany.
  • Proof of residency/registration may not be older than 3 months.
  • Household goods must have been owned and used for a minimum of 6 months prior to the shipping (vessel departure) to Germany.
  • All goods for duty-free importation, such as household goods and personal effects must have been in the shipper’s possession for at least 6 months in the origin country.
  • Duty-free entry for foreign Diplomats is permitted if a bilateral agreement exists with the origin country.
  • The Letter of Employment must state that the shipper lived abroad for at least 1 yea

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • German Driver’s License
  • Proof of ownership
  • Car documents
  • OBL
  • Owner’s Town Hall Registration in Germany (Anmeldebestatigung)
  • Insurance Card from country of origin
  • Third-party liability insurance initiated at Customs clearance
  • Registration and copy of Title from origin country

Specific Information

  • Cars and motorcycles must be in the shipper’s possession for at least 6 months at origin prior to shipment; adequate confirmation will be given by simple declaration as part of the Customs declaration.
  • Approval for possession and use requires title and insurance documents showing customers name and identified vehicle for import.
  • Cars must be inspected before licensing, comply with German technical and environmental regulations and may require modification


Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate in German or translated by a licensed veterinarian

Specific Information

  • The Veterinary Health Certificate is valid ten days from the date in which it was issued (20 days for pets coming from non-European countries). It must describe the animal and state that the pet is free from rabies and other contagious diseases.
  • Animals must be fitted with an identification microchip.
  • The import of cats and dogs under 3 months old requires the purchase of an Import Permit from the state authority of the future residence in the destination country as well as the authority of the port of entry (POE).

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Weapons (an applicable license is required)
  • Live plants (a special import license is required)
  • Alcohol (may be imported duty free in reasonable quantities; otherwise it is subject to duties and taxes)
  • Tobacco and cigarettes (subject to duties and taxes)

Prohibited Items

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Explosives
  • Ammunition
  • Pornographic materials
  • Certain types of meat
  • Radioactive materials
  • Any protected animal or species (ivory, snakeskin, leopard fur, etc.)
  • Dried plants
  • Items of historical significance (pre-Columbian items, etc.)

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

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