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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

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.

Sector-specific professional associations

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

German multisector Business directories

ABC der deutschen Wirtschaft - Directory of German companies

All.biz - Germany - Directory of companies in Germany

Biz Pages Germany - Business directory for Germany

BizIn Europe Germany - Business directory for Germany

City By App Germany - Business directory for Germany

Enroll Business Germany - Business directory for Germany

Expatica Germany - Business directory for Germany

Export Import Deutschland - German business directories

Flix.de - Business directory in Germany

Gelbe Seiten - YellowPages in Germany.


To see 7 more, check out our Business Directories database.

German Marketplaces

Sample of marketplaces incorporated in Germany (A to Z)


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Upcoming Trade shows in Germany

March 31st, 2023
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy - Aesthetics, hairdressing
April 1st, 2023
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Pharmaceutical industry: products, laboratories - Aesthetics, hairdressing
April 1st, 2023
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Health, medicine - Medical professions - Paramedic - Hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy - Aesthetics, hairdressing - Casinos, gaming, games of chance - Amusement parks, fairgrounds - Monuments, tourist attractions
April 1st, 2023
Insurance, mutual funds, pension funds - Banks - Investment funds, other financial institutions - Stock Exchange, investments - Financing, aid - Wholesale, B2B intermediaries - Management - Franchise
April 1st, 2023
Dance - Music, opera - Theatre - Audio-visual, Multimedia - Audio-visual, sound, video - Cinema - Multimedia - Radio, television - Masonry, carpentry, pipework - Electrical installations - Communication - Advertising - Sponsorship - Electric energy - Electrical equipment - Press, journalism - Specialised information, business alerts - Exhibitions, conferences - Digital solutions, Mobile applications - Travel, exhibitions, incentives
April 1st, 2023
Communication, marketing, advertising - Communication - Marketing - Advertising - Sponsorship - Incentive - Commercial property, patents, trademarks - Exhibitions, conferences - Amusement parks, fairgrounds - Tourism, travel, hotels, restaurants: non-specialist - Hotels, accommodation - Restaurants, home deliveries - Cafes, bars, nightclubs - Travel, exhibitions, incentives - Monuments, tourist attractions - Camping, resorts
April 1st, 2023
Mechanical, precision - Robotics - Software
April 1st, 2023
Agriculture - Viticulture - Food industry - Food industry: unspecified - Alcoholic drinks - Non-alcoholic drinks - Bakery, pastry, confectionery - Cereals, spices, tobacco - Fruits and vegetables - Dry groceries, packaged goods - Dairy products - Fish and seafood - Meat and poultry - Machine tools, agricultural machinery
April 1st, 2023
Health, medicine - Medical professions - Paramedic - Hospital - Medical Equipment - Products and services for children - Products and services for seniors
April 1st, 2023
Hygiene, perfumes, cosmetics - Commercial property, patents, trademarks - Health, medicine - Medical professions - Hospital - Pharmacies, analysis laboratories - Dental - Medical Equipment - Research, innovation - Technique and technology

To see 1.555 more, check out our Trade shows database

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 Sea

Port of Hamburg
Port of Bremen
Port of Rostock
Port of Wilhelmshaven
Transport Professionals
Government Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport

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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
Government Transport Organisations
DEGES (German only)

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By Rail

Transport Professionals
Government Transport Organisations
Federal Railway Authority

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Latest Update: March 2023