Alcohol and alcoholic beverages may be imported to Germany by passengers who are at least 17 years old. You can also bring back souvenirs etc. duty-free provided that they are for your personal use or for giving to others as gifts. Certain quantities and values may not be exceeded, and there are also other rules that travelers must follow. Here are some of the allowances for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and other goods brought from outside the European Union etc. at a glance:
- One liter of hard liquor (with an alcohol content greater than 22% by volume or undenatured ethyl alcohol with an alcoholic strenght by volume of 80% or more) or two liters of alcohol and/or alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content not exceeding 22% by volume or a combination of the preceding products with an equivalent alcohol content.
- In addition, four liters of non-sparkling wine or 16 liters of beer or a combination of these with an equivalent total alcohol content.
|Pharmaceuticals||Tobacco products||Other merchandise|
|The quantity that you need to meet your personal needs.||
Keep in mind:
Prohibitions or restrictions on imported products may take precedence over these rules.
What happens if you exceed an allowance:
If, for example, you want to import a piece of jewelry or a dress (these are examples of so-called indivisible merchandise) and their purchase value exceeds the allowance, duty is charged on its full value.
Imports for business purposes:
If the customs officer concludes, on the basis of the nature or imported quantity of merchandise, that it is intended for business use, duty will usually be charged on it.
Three exceptions to the EU tax rules:
- Canary Islands
- French overseas departments
- British Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey)
Special rules apply to goods imported to Germany from these territories, which belong to the EU customs union but are exempted from excise and value-added taxes. (Jersey and Guernsey have separate agreements with the EU and their status has not been affected by Brexit.) This also applies to untaxed and tax-exempt merchandise purchased in duty-free shops elsewhere in the EU or on board an aircraft traveling within the EU. You may therefore only bring in goods from them duty-free within the scope of the same import allowances as for merchandise purchased outside the European Union.
Tip on Device Ownership:
If you take an expensive device of your own on a trip, you can and should take steps before boarding to avoid having to pay duty on it when you return to Germany. Go to the customs office at the airport and ask for a free document confirming that the device was not purchased in another country and is therefore exempt from duties.
For more information, please visit the website of the German customs service.
Information on Germany:
The website of the German Federal Foreign Office contains useful information on entry to and residence in Germany and many other topics of interest to foreigners coming to visit or stay in this country.