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Free Trade Zones in Germany

Free Trade Zones in Germany

Updated on Tuesday 06th June 2017

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Free-Trade-Zones-in-GermanyFree trade zones in Germany are special areas within the customs territory of the country. Goods placed inside these areas are free of import duties, VAT and other import charges. When the goods are stored in a free trade zone, no import declaration has to be lodged.  Free trade zones in Germany are established and operated under the provisions of the commercial law in Germany and EU laws. They are located in areas with geographic advantages for trade like major seaports, international airports and national frontiers. Detailed presentations about the trading procedures in a free trade zone can be delivered to you by our attorneys in Germany.

Free trade zones available in Germany

There are four free trade zones operating in Germany:

•    Bremerhaven;
•    Cuxhaven;
•    Deggendorf;
•    Duisburg.

These free trade zones are opened to both domestic and foreign activities. The duty-free zones placed in maritime areas also permit value-added processing and manufacturing for EU external markets. The enlargement of the European Union and the falling tariffs has diminished the effectiveness and utility of the free trade zones in Germany. As a result, Kiel and Emden lost the free trade zone status in 2010 and were joined by Hamburg in 2013.

Our law firm in Germany can guide you through the legal process of setting your business in a free trade zone.

Types of free trade zones

The Community Customs Code includes the definition, rationale and the main policies around the free trade zones. Irrespective of their definition, these areas are credited for attracting foreign investment. These special designated zones are categorized in four groups:
•    Free trade zones – with pure re-export of traded goods;
•    Export processing zones – where goods with value-added are exported;
•    Special economic zones – the economic activity of the zone is approached from a multi-sectoral point of view;
•    Industrial zones – specific economic activities are hosted within this zone.

If you want to establish your economic activity within a free trade zone and need more information on the matter, don`t hesitate to contact our German law firm.


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