Legislation for Importing Goods in Germany

Legislation for Importing Goods in Germany

Updated on Thursday 02nd March 2017

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The most important German Act regulating the importation of goods in Germany is the Transport and Maritime Law. This act contains provisions regarding the responsibility of the carrier and gives several amendments to the regulations contained in the German Code of Commerce regarding the carriage and storage of goods and freight forwarding. Our German lawyers can explain you the most relevant aspects of the importation legal framework in Germany.

Documents required for import in Germany

The legislation for importing goods in Germany stipulates that the importer needs to keep evidence of the agreement signed by him with the provider. The signing of a commercial invoice is mandatory also for customs clearance procedures.
The value of the goods imported in Germany must also be declared in a custom duty declaration. Along with the verification of the EORI number, a packing list containing an inventory of the cargo must usually be presented as well, describing the weight and modality of packaging that has been used for the goods. 
Another set of documents required by the legal framework for importation in Germany are the fright documents. These documents might vary depending on the mode of transportation: road, inland waterway, maritime or air transport. Such fright documents are: Rail Waybill (CIM), FIATA Bill of Lading, TIR Carnet or ATA Carnet.
Our law firm in Germany can help you elaborate import-export contracts as well as informing you on the documentation that is legally required for freight forwarding procedures.

Provisions regarding liability contained in the import legislation in Germany

An important issue which is regulated by the legislation for importing goods is Germany is the liability in case of loss or damage of the merchandise. In case of circumstances that could not have been avoided, the carrier might not be considered liable as well as for consequences that could not be predicted.
If the incident which caused the loss or damage occurred at sea, the Maritime Law becomes relevant in respect of the carrier's liability. Regarding the sea carriage of goods, Germany respects the Hague Rules, and implements it at the level of the national legislation.
Feel free to contact our attorneys in Germany for a reliable overview on the legislation for importing goods in Germany.