Customs regulations

Important information about customs control when entering the country:

If you are arriving from a country that is a member state of the EU (with the exception of special excise tax areas), you generally do not need to complete any customs formalities.

Please note that in order to comply with national prohibitions and restrictions (e.g. narcotics, weapons) and to monitor cross-border traffic in cash and equivalent means of payment, your luggage may nevertheless be checked.

  • Use the green exit for goods exempt from declaration:  If you are entering from a European Union (EU) member state or are not carrying more than the permitted allowances, use the green exit at customs inspection.
  • For goods subject to declaration, use the red exit: If you are carrying more than the permitted free quantities or goods intended for trade or commercial use (regardless of their value), you must always declare them. This also applies to goods that are prohibited and subject to restrictions.  

These include, for example, narcotics, weapons, ammunition, animals and plants protected by law, as well as parts thereof or goods made from them. More information on importing goods.

If you are traveling with any of the following goods, please note the special Carnet ATA procedure of the German customs:

  • Trade fair and exhibition goods
  • Professional equipment
  • Sample goods
  • Goods for scientific and cultural purposes
  • Goods for sporting events

More information can be found on the homepage of the German customs.


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

Cash controls are carried out at borders with EU member states and at the external borders of the European Union to ensure that money from dishonest transactions or criminal acts cannot be imported unhindered.

More Information on the obligation to declare cash and equivalent means of payment when traveling within the European Union can be found  here.

Information about the obligation to declare cash when traveling to non-EU member states you can find  here.

The protection of species and plants regulates which endangered animals and plants may not be carried.

Species protection

Ensuring the survival of many animals threatened with extinction requires strict, worldwide regulations. The Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora therefore stipulates exactly which endangered and therefore species-protected animals may not be brought into the country. As a rule, importation is completely prohibited or only possible under certain conditions. Violations are strictly prosecuted, usually with severe penalties. For more information, click here.

Plant protection

It is also prohibited to import certain plants, plant products from non-EU countries into the EU. The reason for the restrictions is that a wide variety of harmful organisms or diseases can be introduced with this material. Certain organisms can cause enormous damage to the flora in the country to which they have been introduced. For more information, click here  or watch this video.

If your souvenir is an imitation or counterfeit product that you are importing into Germany in your personal luggage and purely for your own use, the customs authorities will not intervene in accordance with the provisions of industrial property law.

However, if the goods are used for the company's own or another's business purpose, the customs authority intervenes with the provisions of industrial property law, irrespective of the import duty exemption (quantity and value limits).    

The only exception is luggage sent by mail or courier service, which is subject to the regulations for postal consignments.    

For more information, please visit the Customs homepage.