What goods am I allowed to import into Germany? When do I have to pay customs charges? How much are these fees?

Almost all goods – excluding the obviously illegal – can be imported into Germany. Non-EU citizens arriving by sea or air may bring in a total of €430 worth of goods, excluding specific restrictions on alcohol and tobacco.

However, once you have exceeded the duty-free limit, you will be required to pay sales tax (VAT) of 19 percent in addition to varying customs fee on the value of the item.

For a more comprehensive list of customs charges, go to the English-language FAQs (frequently asked questions) of the (Zollamt) German customs office’s web page: www.zoll.de/EN/Home/home_node.html.

If you are moving to Germany, you are allowed to bring your household goods and one used vehicle with you, duty free. You must document that you have given up your residence in your home country, are establishing a residence in Germany, that the household goods have been used by you for at least six months before moving and will continue to be used by you for 12 months after relocating. You must also prove you have been the sole owner of the vehicle for at least six months before moving.