What you should know about customs and import duties

What you should know about customs and import duties
Euro Transport Media

Customs and import duties must be paid for commercial vehicles imported into Germany from outside the EC. As soon as the commercial vehicle arrives in Germany – usually by ship from non-EU countries – the importer or another person appointed and authorised by him can complete the customs application form and the customs declaration of value. This information is provided by TÜV Süd on its website.

The basis for assessment is usually the purchase contract provided plus the costs required for transport to Germany and customs declaration. The customs tariff for lorries is usually used for commercial vehicles, since the priority is the transport of loads and not the transport of people. The distinction is more difficult, however, when it comes to pick-up trucks, for example.

According to TÜV Süd, the customs rate for cars is normally 10 percent of the total value of the vehicle (vehicle value + transport costs). In the case of motorbikes, it is only eight percent.

Many assessment criteria for customs and import duties

In the case of lorries, on the other hand there is a large number of criteria that affect classification under the customs tariff, such as the permitted total weight, the cubic capacity or the combustion system of the engine; to be on the safe side, traders should check with the customs office in connection to this.

In addition, there are import duties to pay: the tax rate is 19 percent and therefore corresponds to the rate of VAT. It is calculated on the basis of the total vehicle value (customs costs + transport costs + vehicle value).

Compliance documents important for registration

Once customs and import duties have been paid, traders are given a document of compliance. With this document, they can prove to the registration office that the customs and import duties have been paid properly, so that they can register their vehicle.