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International trade compliance

flag Germany International trade compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Germany is a member of the following international economic organisations:  ICC, European Union, WTO, European Economic Area, G-6, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IMF, OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Germany click here. International organisation membership of Germany is also outlined here.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Party of the TIR Convention

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Goods coming into a country of the European Union from another country in the Community are exempt from Customs duties and Customs formalities. The documents which must accompany goods moving between EU countries are the following:
- the commercial invoice (at least in duplicate, it must contain the intracommunity VAT number of the operator who is carrying out the delivery, that of the buyer by which he is identified in the country of delivery, it must mention "VAT exemption, art. 262 b-1 of the CGI")
- the delivery note (not compulsory)
- the sanitary and phytosanitary certificate (for live animals).
- the single administrative document (SAD) for trade with overseas Departments as well as with the Channel Islands and the Canaries.

In the case of temporary export within the EU, the ATA carnet and the Community carnet are no longer necessary. It is enough to keep a register listing the temporary shipments.

Concerning transport, no transport documents are required for intracommunity trade.
However, in the case of goods transiting or destined for one of the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), form T2 should be produced or a copy A (computerized transit). In the same way, goods transiting or destined for the Channel Islands or the Canaries must be accompanied by form T2F.

For a transaction outside the Community, you must add:
- Import licenses
- Certifications
- Single Customs Document (SAD)
- Health certificate

To go further, check out our service Shipping Documents.

Free-trade zones
There are currently two free ports in Germany operating under EU law: Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven. The Bremerhaven area was subject to a number of expansions and it now totals an approximate area of 4,000,000 square meters; whereas the Freeport of Cuxhaven covers an area of about 147,800 square meters.
Kiel and Emden lost the free-trade zone status in 2010, same as for Hamburg in 2013.
For Further Information
German Customs
Bundesministerium der Finanzen (Federal Ministry of Finance)
Non Tariff Barriers
As a member of the European Union, Germany abides by the regulations and polices agreed to by all Community members.

There are several limitations to the EU’s (generally) liberal foreign trade policy, especially related to agricultural products. While the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) exists to favour the development of agriculture within the EU, the intervention mechanisms, subsidies, and quotas have been criticised for their cost to the EU and consumers. Moreover, agricultural products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) must be labelled as such on its packaging and the importation of beef that contains artificial beef hormones is prohibited. Other goods- medicines for human use, waste, plants, or live animals- may be prohibited or subject to specific regulation.
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Agricultural products: cereals, bananas, poultry, geographical designation of origin, garlic, salmon, sardines, sugar, wine, corn, coffee, melted cheese, rice.
IT materials, films and television programs, merchant vessels, civil aircraft, steel and cotton.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
German commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

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Latest Update: December 2023