Country Facts
82.4 Million (2018)
Western Europe
Euro (€)

*Source: The CIA World Factbook

Trade Indicators
5th Largest Economy in the World
U.S.’s largest EU trading partner
Largest consumer market in EU

Top Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunities
Young woman online shopping

Germany has one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe. The number of e-commerce consumers, internet penetration and average spent per year is above the European average. The most popular products purchased online include clothing, electronics, tickets and books. 87% of the German population uses social media with Facebook, Youtube and Instagram being the most popular tools, thereby rending social media a valuable marketing tool. By law, consumers have the right to return online purchases within 14 days without explanation, and there is indeed a high product return rate. Websites and online stores are expected to be in German language.

Trade Regulations & Customs Information

Import Tariff: Germany Import Turnover Tax: Goods imported from non-EU states are subject to an import turnover tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer). The import turnover tax rate equals the VAT (value-added tax) rates of 19 percent levied on domestic products (or 7 percent for some product categories), and has to be paid to the customs authority. The assessment base for the import turnover tax is the so-called customs value.

EU Regulations: U.S. exports to the European Union enjoy an average tariff of just three percent.  All the same, U.S. exporters should consult “The Integrated Tariff of the Community”, referred to as TARIC (Tarif Intégré de la Communauté), to identify the various rules which apply to specific products being imported into the customs territory of the EU. To determine if a license is required for a particular product, check the TARIC.

Import Documentation: The official model for written declarations to customs is the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD describes goods and their movement around the world and is essential for trade outside the EU, or of non-EU goods. Goods brought into the EU customs territory are, from the time of their entry, subject to customs supervision until customs formalities are completed.  Goods are covered by a Summary Declaration which is filed once the items have been presented to customs officials.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI): Since July 1, 2009, all companies established outside of the EU are required to have an EORI number if they wish to lodge a customs declaration or an Entry/Exit Summary declaration.  All U.S. companies should use this number for their customs clearances. An EORI number must be formally requested from the customs of the specific member state to which the company exports.

Source: The International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce

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