Germany is the UK’s second-largest export market for goods and services so with the rules changing to the EU from the UK, post-Brexit exports will incur customs paperwork, tariffs, and duties. Below is a list of considerations to get you started when exporting to Germany. To make this process easy and stress-free, we recommend using a freight company to handle your shipment. With our years of experience, we help you avoid pitfalls that get goods stuck at borders, costing time, money, and business.
You need to know if your product is made of any restricted materials that may see your goods being stopped or held up in customs. A detailed declaration for your goods to clear customs will be required. Use the handy government tool here for more details if your goods are listed.
A UK EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) plus an EU EORI are needed for importing to Germany. Not having these will mean delays and increased costs plus they will be held at customs. Visit the government advisory page for more information on compliance.
The standard rate of VAT in Germany is 19%, but some convenience goods and services incur a 7% instead. Services including banking, healthcare, and non-profit work are usually VAT exempt. Goods exported from the UK to Germany are zero-rated if the client receiving goods in Germany is VAT registered and can provide their VAT number.
Either hiring an agent for your import declarations or doing it yourself is ok, but you must know what you need if you plan to handle it yourself. Your agent has to be established in the UK if you choose to take that route, and must understand the rules in the destination country. We have agents for your customs documents to complete the paperwork and assist in getting your items cleared alongside your freight consignment.
There may be special licenses or certificates on the goods you want to export. Failure to have these in place will result in non-compliance and mean delays or at worst complete rejection of your goods to cross the German border. Check the government site here for your goods.
German exports after Brexit may seem intimidating but with preparedness and expertise on your side, for example using a reputable agent or freight forwarder like Barrington Freight, the process can be quick and easy to ensure there are no hitches.