Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Germany.

For further information please visit German Customs.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers


Germany is part of the harmonised trade system of the EU and importing and exporting are covered by the EU Taxation and Customs Union

A Common External Tariff (CET) is applicable to other countries, including Australia

The European Community has created the Binding Tariff Information (BTI) system as a tool to obtain the correct tariff classification for goods for import or export. Before shipping any goods, please consult German Customs.

The Federal Ministry, Bundesministerium der Finanzen is responsible for import and customer regulations, however, specific questions concerning customs matters should be directed to 
German Customs.

For legal reasons, all information given is always non-binding and relates exclusively to the customs regulations that apply in Germany.

Non-tariff barriers

For more information on import licensing, quotas and restricted goods and so on, visit German Customs.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

Certification, labelling and packaging must meet EU requirements. For more information on current requirements, visit the European Union website.


To reduce the impact on the environment, the EU has required legislation concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste. 

CE Mark

The CE mark is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).


All labelling and information directives of the European Council must be met, as well as local and national regulations. Information on the labelling of products in the interest of consumers and compliance procedures are available at Summaries of EU Legislation.

Food information and labelling legislation must comply with EU legislation. For more information, visit EUR- Lex Food Safety.

For organic produce, EU legislation requires that imported organic food from third countries be produced to the same standards as that from the EU. For more information, visit Trade in organic products.

Special certificates

There are controls on imports into Germany on a number of products. For more information, visit German Customs.

Information on exporting and export documentation regarding animals, plants and agricultural products from Australia can also be found at the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Pro-forma invoice

This may occasionally be requested by the importer and a minimum of two copies is required.

Commercial invoice

No prescribed form and a minimum of two copies is required. The invoice must include:

  • the name and address of both buyer and seller
  • method of packing
  • marks and numbers
  • number of containers
  • description of the merchandise (including HS description)
  • net and gross weight
  • free on board (FOB) value (Incoterms 1990)
  • freight
  • insurance and other charges.

Bill of lading

No special requirements. To Order bills are acceptable.

Packing list

Not obligatory, but simplifies clearance if a variety of goods are packed in different cases.

Certificate of insurance

Normal commercial practices apply.


Normal commercial practices apply.

Weights and measures

Metric measurements (grams, kilograms, millilitres or litres) are used when selling packaged or loose goods.

Insecticides and other potentially dangerous chemical substances for general sale are restricted by law. Substances have to be approved and registered with German government agencies after testing, to determine whether the product is safe for normal trading. For information, visit German Customs.