How does customs handling work?


There are various requirements and regulations by the customs authorities for shipping orders to countries outside the EU. For detailed questions, please refer to the websites of the respective authorities (e.g. the Federal Ministry of Finance Austria or German Customs). You are responsible for compliance with the legal requirements. 


However, we have collected a few pointers and information here to make things a little easier for you. If you add a shipment in the byrd system whose recipient is located outside the EU, the input field for each product is automatically expanded so that we can generate the required customs documents. The following shipment information is required:

  • Product description and quantity 
  • Value of goods / price per item in EUR (corresponds to sales price in EUR; e.g. 99.90) 
  • Weight per item (in kg; e.g. 0.5) 
  • Customs tariff number (you can find help here
  • Country of origin


Customs must also be provided with the following information:

  • Invoice number 
  • Type of goods (documents, gift, sample, return of goods, other - If it is a sale, please select "other")


Please enter this data truthfully and carefully, otherwise there may be problems and delays in customs clearance. We would like to note that we can only offer help with the export of shipments valued up to 1000 EUR. These fall under the oral export procedure and are therefore easier to process. Higher shipment values must be registered separately with the responsible authorities. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any support in this area. We recommend splitting orders into multiple shipments if the value exceeds this amount.



Websites


- Reguvis (in cooperation with the Federal Statistical Office of Germany):

 http://www.awrportal.de/wv 

contains the EU databank of the Taxation and Customs Union


 - http://auskunft.ezt-online.de/ezto/Welcome.do 

contains all information published by the General Customs Directorate



How does customs clearance work for import into EU?


Generally, you must pay customs duties when importing from a third country to the EU. How much customs duty you must pay depends on the code that is defined for your product in the Integrated Tariff of the European Community (TARIC code). You can only freely use your goods after customs clearance. 


When importing goods, forwarding agents or service providers usually handle the customs declaration. A direct representation is the most common form, your company is responsible for the information provided, but representation is not as expensive as indirect representation. The responsibility for the contents of the declaration is yours - therefore the required data must be correct. An indirect representation sometimes is necessary, especially if your company does not have a legal entity in the EU. But those are costly and only few offer it due to the high risk for the forwarding agent or service provider. 


For the customs declaration you need the following information: 


- Customs tariff number 

- Description of goods: must be understandable for customs 

- Type of business: Is it a sale, a return, ...? 

- Customs procedure: normal import or inward/outward processing 

- Customs value: approximately the value of the goods at the border. How exactly the customs value is determined also depends on the Incoterm 

- Commercial invoice or pro forma, e.g. for sample shipments or warranty


In the „Merkblatt zu Zollanmeldungen, summarischen Anmeldungen und Wiederausfuhrmitteilungen“ (…) you will find a field-by-field guide with instructions. It is only available in German. 


Costs and benefits can be weighed up particularly well here: How much would you save by using other customs procedures? And would these savings justify the organizational effort? 


After customs clearance you will receive a tax assessment. If you are represented, e.g. by a forwarding agent, this must sometimes be requested. You should check the information on the tax assessment: Did the service provider declare everything as you specified? If you notice mistakes or discrepancies, the tax assessment must be corrected. 

You are probably wondering what the problem is with a randomly selected customs tariff number. It's simple: wrong information (not only the customs tariff number) may lead to: 


- Too much customs duties paid 

- Fines due to administrative offences 

- Excessive duties due to a wrong customs value 

- Increased costs due to incorrectly declared customs procedures 

- Underpaid customs duties: on examination, additional payments of the last years may become due 


You can find more information on the website of the german customs: 

https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-goods/Import/Duties-and-taxes/Normal-customsclearance/normal-customs-clearance_node.html


If you have additional questions you can also contact Grenzlotsen: info@grenzlotsen.de



How does customs clearance work for export from EU?


A customs declaration is not necessary for every export: Shipments of goods to other EU countries, of non-EU goods (= goods not yet cleared through customs) that are only transported through the EU and of goods that are transported from the EU via a non-EU country to the EU (e.g.: DE - CH - IT) are exempt. 


If this is not the case for you, the registration can be done verbally under 1.000€ e.g. by getbyrd directly at the customs office of exit. 


From 1.000 € on, you must submit an electronic export declaration in time before. This is possible in Germany as an “Internetzollanmeldung” (IZA, internet customs declaration), via an atlas interface (software). You can declare it yourself or be represented by forwarding agents or service providers. 


As soon as a customs declaration is made, you are responsible for the data - the following are required: 


- Customs tariff number 

- Description of goods: must be understandable for customs 

- Type of business: Is it a sale, a return, ...? 

- Customs procedure: normal export or inward/outward processing 

- Customs value: approximately the value of the goods at the border. How exactly the customs value is determined also depends on the Incoterm 

- Commercial invoice or pro forma, e.g. for sample shipments or warranty 


In the „Merkblatt zu Zollanmeldungen, summarischen Anmeldungen und Wiederausfuhrmitteilungen“ (…) you will find a field-by-field guide with instructions. It is only available in German. 


And this is how the export of shipments over 1.000€ works: 


    1) Opening of the export procedure: 

        a. Customs declaration at the export customs office: Usually the declaration is accepted automatically. You receive an MRN, with which you can track the status of the customs declaration 4 

        b. Within a maximum of 48 hours the goods will be presented and inspected by customs. 

        c. The goods are then released by the export customs office and the export accompanying document (“Ausfuhrbegleitdokument”, ABD) is issued. As soon as the goods have been released, they can be shipped. 


    2) Termination of the export procedure: 

        a. Together with the ABD, the goods are transported via the customs office of exit (at the border or airport) to the recipient. 

        b. The customs office of exit confirms the exit of the goods to the export customs office. This in turn issues the exit note (“Ausgangsvermerk”, AGV). It is essential that you keep this note, as it is required for VAT purposes 


Important note: Some transactions and goods are subject to export control and for various reasons may not be exported or may only be exported with a license. More information can be found on the BAFA website: https://www.bafa.de/EN/Foreign_Trade/Export_Control/export_control_node.html 



Information with regards to EORI


The Economic Operators' Registration and Identification Number is a prerequisite for customs

clearance in the EU. To obtain an EORI number, you must be based in the European Union.


The EORI number can be applied for free and easily via the Citizen and Business Customer Portal. The

service account required for this can be set up at www.zoll-portal.de. Alternatively, you can use the

german customs form 0870.


The EORI number - unlike the VAT ID - should not be sent to everyone. Only those who need it and are

authorized by you to e.g. do a customs declaration should know it.


For questions regarding the EORI number, the General Customs Directorate - Place of Business

Dresden - Master Data Management has set up separate contact details (not for application

purposes):


Phone: + 49 351 44834 540


e-mail: info.eori@zoll.de


If you need help with your application or have further questions, please contact info@grenzlotsen.de



What happens at the customs with shipments with a value of over 1000 euros?


If the value of the goods is over 1,000 euros, it is important not to simply send the shipment, but to make a customs declaration before shipment. The export then proceeds as follows:


    1) Opening of the export procedure:

        a. Customs declaration at the export customs office: Usually the declaration is accepted automatically. You receive an MRN, with which you can track the status of the customs declaration

        b. Within a maximum of 48 hours the goods will be presented and inspected by customs. 

        c. The goods are then released by the export customs office and the export accompanying document (“Ausfuhrbegleitdokument”, ABD) is issued. As soon as the goods have been released, they can be shipped. 


    2) Termination of the export procedure: 

        a. Together with the ABD, the goods are transported via the customs office of exit (at the border or airport) to the recipient. 

        b. The customs office of exit confirms the exit of the goods to the export customs office. This in turn issues the exit note (“Ausgangsvermerk”, AGV). It is essential that you keep this note, as it is required for VAT purposes 


This is possible in Germany as an “Internetzollanmeldung” (IZA, internet customs declaration), via an atlas interface (software). You can declare it yourself or be represented by forwarding agents or service providers. It is important that you provide them with the necessary information: 


    - Customs tariff number - Description of goods: must be understandable for customs 

    - Type of business: Is it a sale, a return, ...? 

    - Customs procedure: normal export or inward/outward processing 

    - Customs value: approximately the value of the goods at the border. How exactly the customs value is determined also depends on the Incoterm 

    - Commercial invoice or pro forma, e.g. for sample shipments or warranty 


You should pay attention to correct information here. The forwarding agent or service provider usually makes a registration in your name, i.e. on your EORI number. You are responsible for the correctness of the information you provide.