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Old 06.12.2015, 23:17
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Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

Hi everyone,

we are planning to leave Switzerland after many eventful years here and we would like to ship most of our belongings from Germany. We will have about 25 boxes to be shipped and I was wondering how to approach customs on entering Germany.

I am trying to find out how and where to register our goods as being destined for another (non-EU) country. I will send them off the same day and return back into Switzerland straight away, so if there is any "shipping receipt" required, I could easily present this.

I assume it's similar to moving to another country (let's say the Netherlands) and just crossing through Germany on the way there. If anyone has moved belongings themselves, how did you deal with the customs requirements on the Swiss border?

Thanks for your help!
Chris
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Old 07.12.2015, 10:51
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

Alright, so I called the German Customs today and was told the following:

When transporting goods through Germany that are destined for another country, you generally can use the "T1 Versandverfahren", with which you register your goods at the customs office upon entering Germany.

The point of the "T1" registration is that the goods are under "customs supervision" and are obviously not to be left inside Germany.

Technically, you are then transporting the goods to an Airport or Harbour or some Shipping company that should process the export for you and you'll get proof that you have exported them again.

However, in my situation I was considering going with DHL and they might not do this or at least its not clear how the process would work right now.

Therefore, you can also announce the export yourself through a so called "Ausfuhrverfahren" using "Form 033025", which you can find on www.zoll.de

The remaining question is in which order should this happen?

The kind lady on the phone said I should immediately when importing the goods start the "T1" and launch the "Form 033025" at the same time. It makes more sense to me, though, to first launch the "T1", then ship the goods and return to the customs officer to process the "Form 033025" for export when I can actually proof that I just shipped them.

Let me know if anyone has done this - it would be a great help!
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Old 08.12.2015, 00:42
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

You might need to do some further research. I last di some transit/export work around 1984, so the procedures below might not be relevant now.

When you enter the German customs trucking area, at the very entrance, you collect a "Passageschein" and this form should be stamped at every counter you visit. Then when you leave the customs area you hand in the "Passageschein" to the guard, and if correct he will let you leave.

Did the customs mention anything about sealing your load? If you don't seal it you might have to pay a bond against possible duties and customs, which is recoverable when you leave Germany. You could contact a Swiss Spedition company near your home, and find out what you need to do to expedite personal goods, to say NL via Germany. They will need to know which border crossings you use, your passport, and the vehicle details...
plus of course the inventory and value of the goods.....
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Old 08.12.2015, 01:09
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

So, after a lot more research, the situation is becoming more and more convoluted. Apparently, everything regarding export should now be done electronically through the ATLAS or IAA Plus systems as stated by DHL here:
https://www.dhl.de/content/dam/dhlde...oll-072009.pdf

They also explain here which documents need to be attached to your shipment under which circumstances: https://www.dhl.de/content/dam/dhlde...ket-090101.pdf

Basically, they are saying you may need to print an online generated document called the "Ausfuhrbegleitdokument" (ABD) for every package as well as a specific sticker with a barcode and the words "Achtung! Ausfuhranmeldung” on it, but only if the value is larger than 1000 EUR?

Technically, you also would have to know which customs office in Germany is processing your export, but for convinience all DHL stuff goes through: DE003305. These documents also may have to be pre-stamped, depending on the value of your goods.

There is a good general explanation available here:
http://www.zoll.de/DE/Privatpersonen...hren_node.html

The problem with all of this is that it's not as easy as it sounds to use either the ATLAS or IAA Plus systems as they appear to be designed for companies, not private people and definitely do not work for foreigners. Basically, you don't have a chance to register for this stuff without a German Tax ID number and without a German address - how crazy is that exactly?

So, technically I can not use these systems, but DHL insists that you have to do it this way - classic "Catch 22".

Result: I am currently desperately asking for quotes from moving companies within Switzerland to avoid all these issues.

Any ideas, help or insight would be very much appreciated.
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Old 08.12.2015, 01:32
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

Thanks @Sbrinz, as you can see I did some further research, but hit more roadblocks along the way. I would be ok with paying some bond, if that's what is required, but it seems my current problem is that I would like to hand over the goods inside Germany to DHL for further transport and DHL says I can only announce an export electronically, which supposedly is mandatory since 2009. I will have to call the customs hotline again tomorrow - maybe after calling a few times I will get a few more options.
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Old 17.04.2016, 20:01
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

Thanks for this informative thread. However, does anyone here knows how it works if you are just transiting (by car) goods/personal belongings bound for the UK?

Thanks.
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Old 18.04.2016, 11:18
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Re: Customs requirements when transferring goods through Germany

I think we are all making a mountain out of a small hill.

The transport of personal belongings is usually completely tax free. You might have a problem if you buy large amounts of expensive stuff and then take brand new items across borders. Customs officers are only looking for items that can be sold, and they will then charge the sales tax.

Most borders in Europe have nobody about these days, you have to drive around looking for an office to declare your stuff.
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