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flag Germany Germany: Buying

In this page: Customs Procedures | Industrial and Manufacturing Profile | Identifying a Supplier | Controlling the Quality of the Products | Organizing Goods Transport To and From Germany


Customs Procedures

Export Clearance
The export procedure foresees, in principle, two stages:

First the exporter/declarant presents the goods, his export declaration and, when necessary, his export authorization or license at the customs office responsible for the place where he is established or where the goods are packed or loaded for export (Article 161 (5) CC). The export declaration must be submitted by electronic means, through the Export Control System (ECS).

Subsequently, the goods are presented at the customs office of exit which examines the goods presented based on the information received from the customs office of export and makes sure that they correspond to those declared and supervises their physical departure (Article 332 UCC IA).

In the case of goods exported by rail, post, air or sea, the customs office of exit may be the office competent for the place where the goods are taken over under a single transport contract for transport to a third country (e.g. port, airport, railway station).

Necessary Declaration
The Customs declaration must contain the commercial invoice, which is a record or evidence of the transaction between the exporter and the importer. The commercial invoice contains the basic information on the transaction:
- code, number, name, quantity and price of the product;
- destination of the goods and the address of the person or place of reception;
- name and registration number of the transport company;
- place of warehousing.
It is only prohibited to export cultural artefacts, specimens of flora and fauna which are threatened with extinction and war material, arms, munitions and such like.
Export Taxes

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Industrial and Manufacturing Profile

Type of Production

For the resources for businesses on managing the manufacturing and the supply chain risk due to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, please consult the report COVID-19: Managing supply chain risk and disruption (Deloitte Canada, 2020), as well as the insights on COVID-19: How to fortify your supply chain (Kearney, 2020).
The World Economic Forum's COVID Action Platform provides useful information on the latest strategic trends regarding COVID-19 implications for businesses, including manufacturing and supply systems. The report Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact (World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Harvard Global Health Institute) offers insights on handling coronavirus by businesses and strategies for effective response and resilience.

The industrial sector constitutes 26.8% of Germany's GDP in 2019 (World Bank).
Main industries in Germany: Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical, Communications Technology, Contact Centre, Electronics, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Logistics, Machinery and Equipment, Nanotechnology, Renewable Energies and Resources, Tourism.

Professional Associations by Sector
118 professional associations listed for Germany.

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Type of Manufacturers

Original Equipment Manufacturers
The car manufacturing industry can be cited with Volkswagen, AudiBMW or even Bosch for supplying of technology and services in the areas of automotive, industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. However, German legislation is very strict with regard to software as Germany legislated that software cannot be granted an OEM license so as to allow it to be sold as computer equipment.
Original Design Manufacturers
Comprises of a company that manufactures a product which in actual fact is sold under the brand of another company.
The cost of labor in Germany is too high to enable it to be competitive in this type of business relationship.  Nevertheless, in some particular cases inside the country, big companies use smaller companies which are in the same sector and who are chosen as sub-contractors on the same projects.
Useful Resources
Federation of German Industries - BDI

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Identifying a Supplier

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
ABC der deutschen Wirtschaft - Directory of German companies
All.biz - Germany - Directory of companies in Germany
Export Import Deutschland - German business directories
Flix.de - Business directory in Germany
Gelbe Seiten - YellowPages in Germany.
MacRAE'S Blue Book - Business directory with detailed information of companies in Europe
Register of German companies - Unternehmenregister
Register of German companies - Gemeinsames Registerportal der Länder
Wer liefert was? - Manufacturers, service providers and distributors in Germany.

To search directories by industry in Germany, check out our service Business directories.


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Other Useful Resources

Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
American Chamber of Commerce in Germany
The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce
Investment promotion agency in Shanghai and Beijing
Investment promotion agency in Chicago, New York, San Franscisco and Washington.
Investment promotion agency in Chicago, New York, San Franscisco and Washington.
Contact the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the United Kingdom.
Contact Your Commercial Representations in Germany
Contact the UK Trade and Investment in Germany.
Contact the British Embassy in Germany.
Fairs and Trade Shows

To go further, check out our service Trade shows.

Learn more about Service Providers in Germany on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Controlling the Quality of the Products

Quality Control Organizations
German Bureau of Standards

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Organizing Goods Transport To and From Germany

Main Useful Means of Transport
With a turnover of approximately EUR 260 billion, logistics is the third largest sector of our economy: every year, 4.3 billion tonnes of goods are transported on German roads, railways and waterways.
According to the latest data by Eurostat, rail transport represented 19.8% of the total freight transport in Germany, whereas inland waterways was 7.4% and road transport accounted for nearly 73%.
Due to the size of the country and its location in the middle of Europe, German roads continue to top the list for European-wide international road freight transport: 27.0 % of all tonne-kilometres performed in international road freight transport (corresponding to around 163 billion tonne-kilometres) took place in Germany, with a decrease of 4.5% compared to 2017.

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By Air

Berlin Airport
Transport Professionals
List of German airline companies
Government Transport Organisations
German Civil Aviation

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By Road

Transport Professionals
TNT (German only)
Government Transport Organisations
DEGES (German only)

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By Rail

Transport Professionals
Government Transport Organisations
Federal Railway Authority

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Learn more about Sourcing in Germany on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: May 2022