No particular restrictions for normal consumer goods and foodstuffs. Alcohol, tobacco products, perfumes and coffee are dutiable. Live animals and animal products protected by the Washington agreement on the protection of species may not be imported.

Medications and medicines, prescription or otherwise, are subject to customs inspection and must be shown to an expert for confirmation that it is legal to be imported into Germany. Inclusion of medicines or medications in the HHGs shipments can cause a customs examination, and it is therefore suggested that the shippers do not include any in their HHGs shipments.

Firearms must be entered on the inventory as last items, indicating the model, calibre and serial number, and must be loaded close to the door of container, lift van or truck. Firearms must be registered with the German authorities before a release will be granted by customs.


Used household goods may be imported into Germany duty-free, provided they have been in owner’s possession for at least one year abroad and are for continued use* by the owner. (If the shipper has not lived outside of the EC for at least one year, then there is still the possibility to import the HHGs without paying duty or taxes, provided the employer will issue a written confirmation stating it was intended for the employee to remain abroad for at least one year, but that due to an internal company change it became necessary to repatriate the employee sooner).

*From a customs standpoint, the shipper is not allowed to sell, loan out, or give away any of his imported HHGs for a period of at least one year. If it should come to German customs attention that this has been done, the shipper will be charged duty and import tax.

If the owner cannot import the household goods immediately at the time of taking up residence, then proof must be furnished as to the reasons of the delay, but goods must be imported within 1 years.

Required Documents For Customs Clearance:

Household goods

  • Household goods inventory.
  • Original registration at local city hall (AnmeldebescheinigungvomEinwohnermeldeamt) or a certified copy.
  • Original passport or a certified copy may be requested by customs, but as a rule photocopies are sufficient. A definite exception is the Hamburg POE, where one can expect customs to require the original passport.
  • Attestation of employer stating employment in Germany, or if an EC citizen, then an attestation of employer stating that the shipper resided outside of the EC for at least 1 year. Exception – see “Customs Regulations”.
  • Foreign diplomats: certificate issued by their embassy or consulate. Goods will then be cleared without inspection.
  • The customs declaration form will as a rule be provided by the German moving company, and will also be completed by the German moving company.

Marriage dowries

In addition to the documents specified under I ) above, a copy of the marriage certificate is required.

Inherited goods

In addition to the documents specified under I ) above, a copy of the will is required.


In addition to the documents specified under I ) above, proof of ownership (registration certificate, title, log-book) is required. Car must be used by owner more than 6 months by owner outside the EC.

Diplomatic Goods

Customs clearance of Diplomatic Household goods require only the original form 0349, stamped and consigned from the consulate, copy of diplomatic passport and the inventory. If you do not have a diplomatic form you will need the normal paperwork for customs clearance: certified passport, police registration etc.


All pets must have a valid health certificate issued no more than 10 days before entry and must have had a rabies vaccination no more than one year before entry. Please ask our agent in Germany for full details.

Important:This information is intended for general guidance. Forward Van Lines International cannot take responsibility for any errors or oversights or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. It is advisable to contact theGermanOffice at information prior to your shipping.

Enter your keyword