Importing a Car Into Germany:


   WEEE Compliance requirements in Germany:


   Hazmat in Germany:


Importing a Car Into Germany: 
Importing a Car Into Germany:
Updated May 2015
If you intend to become a resident of Germany, you can probably bring your personal vehicle in without paying import turnover tax and import duties – provided certain conditions are met.Importing a car from outside the EU:
A car or other motor vehicle imported to Germany from outside the EU is normally subject to a 10% import duty and a 19% import value added tax. (The value-added tax on imports is called import turnover tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).However, if you are moving to Germany with the intent to become a full time resident you can, if you meet certain requirements, bring in your personal car (and household goods) free of duty and import turnover tax.To escape the duty and tax you are be required to prove:

  • that you have actually given up your residence in the non-EU foreign country you are coming from
  • that you are establishing a new residence in Germany
  • that you have been residing outside Germany for at least 12 consecutive months (this can be waived if the reasons for your earlier return are beyond your control)

You can prove that you have given up your residence outside Germany with documents showing the termination of your lease/employment; sale of your residential home, or a statement by your employer that you have been transferred to Germany. You can also prove that you are establishing a new residence in Germany with a lease agreement; with correspondence with your employer in Germany; a registration receipt from the local Registry Office (Einwohnermeldeamt); a residence permit issued by the local authorities.

The duty and import tax free import of a motor vehicle is permitted only if it has been registered in your name as its sole owner and personally used by yourself at your previous residence for at least six months before moving to Germany. For proof you can show the registration certificate issued by your home country department of motor vehicles. The vehicle should arrive in Germany at around the same time you do, and you must usually keep the vehicle for personal use for at least year after arriving in Germany. Both of these requirements can be waived in extraordinary circumstances.

Registration, Inspection and Insurance:
If your stay in Germany is only temporary you can drive your imported motor vehicle for a period of up to 12 months with your home license plates and registration. A registration document with a German translation is required. And you’ll have to show proof of insurance. Also, the vehicle may have to undergo a technical inspection to prove its roadworthiness. You should ask the shipping company about this.

If your stay is going to be longer, whether the car is imported duty free or not, it must be registered at your local motor vehicle registration office (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle) and pass a technical inspection for roadworthiness and safety, as well as an emissions control test. This may mean that some cars (especially North American cars) may need to be modified to meet German standards regarding such things as headlights, emissions, brakes, rust and tires.

In order to register the imported car/vehicle you need the following:

  • passport or other identification
  • proof of official address registration in Germany
  • customs clearance papers
  • export permit
  • proof of ownership
  • original vehicle registration papers
  • certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry indicating the vehicle has not been registered in Germany before
  • proof of insurance
  • proof the vehicle has successfully completed the safety and roadworthiness inspection and emissions control test

Details and the necessary customs forms may be obtained through your shipping company. It is recommended that you choose a shipping company experienced in shipping to Germany, and also that you take out risk insurance for the shipment. For an export permit customs may ask for the original title with two notarized copies.

If you must pay duty and taxes on the vehicle, the actual amount of the 10% import duty and 19% import turnover tax depends on the value of the vehicle. This is usually based on a dealer’s invoice, but there is also a “blue book” giving the current value of each car/vehicle by make, model and model year. The vehicle can also be appraised. Vintage cars and collector’s cars require only a 7% duty.

Motor Vehicle Tax:
A motor vehicle tax is assessed on cars in Germany. According to the website of the German Customs Office (Zollamt):

“Vehicles that are registered in a third country and that are entered for free circulation at German customs offices as, for example, property moved in connection with a transfer of residence are subject to German vehicle tax. The Vehicle Tax Act does not provide for a tax exemption for the journey to the vehicle’s place of registration in Germany. The driver submits a tax declaration to the border customs office; the tax is immediately payable there. After payment of the tax, the border customs office issues a tax card and receipt as a record of tax paid.”

Importing a car or vehicle within the EU:
Moving a car/vehicle from one country to another within the EU is, as would be expected, somewhat easier than importing a non-EU vehicle. But there are some regulations that you need to know about.

If you are bringing a new car/vehicle into Germany you’ll probably to pay the 19% German VAT within days of buying the car. (If you paid VAT in the country of purchase already, you should be able to get a reimbursement once you have registered the car in Germany.) A vehicle is considered “new” if it is less than 6 months old or has been driven less than 6,000 kilometers.

Used vehicles can be also be brought into Germany free of any customs duty. However, proof of having paid the VAT in the country of origin is required. Other things you might need include:

  • proof of ownership
  • original registration papers
  • proof of insurance
  • Emissions test certificate if the car is over 3 years old
  • certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry indicating the vehicle has not been registered in Germany before

Registration procedures for EU cars is essentially the same as German vehicles and those imported from non-EU countries with one big exception.

An EU regulation from 1996 requires manufacturers to provide cars bought within the EU with a certificate that allows those cars to be imported to other EU countries without having to undergo a technical inspection. You should try to get this for your new or used vehicle to allow it to be brought into Germany. If a vehicle doesn’t have a certificate of conformity, it will probably have to undergo an official inspection in Germany to determine whether or not it meets the German safety and emissions requirements.

Also, the motor vehicle tax will have to be paid after your car has been registered in Germany.

Taking a Vehicle Out Of The UK To Germany:
If you were previously a resident of the UK and have made the move to Germany, you may find yourself wanting to take your vehicle out of the United Kingdom and use it over in Germany. There are various rules and regulations you need to know about before doing this and these vary depending on how long you want to take the vehicle out for.

If you want to take your vehicle out of the UK for 12 months or longer:
In the instance that you have a UK-registered vehicle that you want to take out of the country for 12 months or longer (sometimes referred to as a permanent export) you will need to complete these 3 stages:
1. Inform the DVLA by completing the V5C/4 section of your V5C registration certificate. This section will have the heading “Notification of permanent export” and the V5C is sometimes called the logbook
2. Then you will need to send the V5C to:DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD
3. Keep hold of the rest of your V5C in case you need it to register your vehicle abroad.
If you don’t have your V5C you will need to get one by completing a V62 form. When you have filled in the form, the address you need to send it to can be found on the form.

You’ll need to obtain a V561 certificate of permanent export if you have already left the UK. You can get one of these by getting and completing a V756 form.

If you have a vehicle with a personalised registration plate, you will need to either transfer or retain it before you begin the process of exporting your vehicle or you will lose your right to the registration number.

If you want to take your vehicle out of the UK for less than 12 months:
This process is sometimes called a temporary export and there is no need for any special documents. However, any vehicle that is registered in the UK is subjected to UK laws, which means you will need to make sure your vehicle is taxed in the UK whilst it is abroad. You will also need to make sure you are aware of and follow any rules and regulations for international licensing and taxes.

If you bring your vehicle back to the UK without tax, you cannot drive it into the country. It will have to be transported and you will need to make a SORN immediately.

You will need a VE310 (vehicle on hire) certificate if you plan on taking a hired vehicle out of the country to show you are allowed to use the hired vehicle abroad. You can get a VE103 for a fee from:

  • The AA (Automobile Association)
  • The RAC (Royal Automobile Association)
  • The RHA (Road Haulage Association)
  • The BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association)
  • The FTA (Freight Transport Association)


WEEE Compliance requirements in Germany:
 WEEE Regulations
Battery Regulations
Packaging Regulations
WEEE requirements:
Registration timescale
1 June to 24 November 2005
Registration agency
The Elektro-Altgeräte Register (EAR) Foundation is the National Clearing House and received governmental responsibilities from the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) as the Competent Authority upon authority decision on July 6, 2005
Collection and recycling obligations for B2B WEEE
The EC Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was implemented in Germany as the ElektroG Act. All producers of electrical and electronic equipment in Germany were required to register with the Elektro-Altgeräte Register (EAR) by 24 November 2005. Producers who are not registered with the EAR are prohibited from putting EEE on the market in Germany. In February, the federal authorities revealed 4,225 producers had registered.
The next deadline that producers of business products must meet is to provide collection and recycling of WEEE arising from new product sales from 23 March 2006. The EAR will contact business producers to ask what collection and recycling arrangements they have put in place in Germany.
WEEE collection and recycling for business products (known as business-to-business or B2B) is fundamentally different from collection and recycling of household products (known as business-to-consumer or B2C). Producers of B2C products are required to finance collection and recycling of household WEEE deposited at local collection facilities (e.g. civic amenity centres and high street retailers). In Germany and most other Member States, the quantity of WEEE that each B2C producer is required to collect and recycle from these local collection facilities is calculated based on their market share of new product sales. In practical terms, B2C producers do not have any option but to join a compliance scheme in each Member State. The compliance scheme will organize collections of WEEE from civic amenity sites on behalf of all its member companies.
For producers of B2B products, the situation is quite different. In Germany and almost all other Member States, business WEEE can not be deposited at civic amenity sites or other collection facilities for household WEEE. Instead, the B2B producer must provide arrangements for the WEEE to be collected from the business end-user’s premises by a licensed waste carrier and taken to a licensed WEEE recycler.
Article 10 (2) of ElektroG requires producers of B2B products ‘to provide a reasonable option for the return and recycling of WEEE’. Most B2B WEEE compliance schemes and recyclers are keen to quote for collection of B2B WEEE from the business end-user’s premises because it is an opportunity for them to generate additional revenue. However, in most Member States conventional logistics companies have the necessary waste carrier licenses and are very well suited to collect WEEE from business end-users. In this case, involving a third party such as a B2B WEEE compliance scheme or a recycler to arrange collections from business end-users can simply increase administrative costs.
Batteries requirements:
Registration timescale
Registration Agency
Ministry of Environment (UBA)
Registration, collection and recycling obligations for batteries producers
Producers of portable batteries:
Draft final Regulations published on 21/01/09 encourage portable batteries producers to join single collective system (operated by GRS) Individual compliance permitted (approximately 100 of the 850 registered producers comply through individual arrangements), although the final draft Regulations now require individual systems to offer take back of waste portable batteries free of charge from any collection point nationwide. Individual systems for portable batteries must now also be approved by and report to the Umweltbundesamt (UBA).
Producers of industrial batteries:
Presently, the take-back and recycling of industrial batteries is regulated by agreements between producers and end-users. Sales data to end-user / battery recovery data reported to ZVEI (German Association of Battery Manufacturers).Packaging requirements
Obligated parties must register and submit data based on the amount of packaging handled to the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Packaging producers, packers, importers, and distributors may contract with third parties to meet their take back obligations and recovery and recycling targets.
The Novelle stipulates that for sales packaging arising from business end-users, alternative agreements may be made regarding the place where used packaging is given back and other cost arrangements.Thresholds:
Applies to all manufacturers and distributors obligated by VerpackVO.
Distributors with sales areas of less than 200 m2 are only obliged to accept returned sales packaging that they have put on the market.
The requirement to submit an annual audited data return applies only to companies (unless requested) that place more than the following tonnages of each material used in sales packaging on the German market each year:
over 50 tonnes of glass, or;
over 50 tonnes of paper/board, or;
over 30 tonnes of plastics/tinplate/aluminium/composites
These companies are still obligated to participate in a dual system.


Hazmat in Germany:
Hazmat in Germany:

Hazmat in Germany
Source: Lucaz80 /

Asbestos is a hazardous waste

The term “hazardous waste” refers to various types of waste with defined hazardous properties that are harmful for the environment and/or human health. Hazardous waste must be handled using special techniques and processes that ensure safe and environmentally sound disposal by elimination of the hazardous substances contained in the waste.

Definition, quantities and destination:
In Germany certain types of waste with hazardous properties are sometimes reffered to as “Sondermüll” (meaning ‘special waste’), a term for which no clear legal definition exists in German law.

Hazardous waste classification:
Classifying waste according to its hazardousness is an essential element of waste management, as such classifications determine the waste treatment methods and the supporting waste documentation. In the EU, waste designations and classifications are governed by Commission Decision 2000/532/EC (European Waste List, EWL) where all wastes that are classified as hazardous have an asterisk next to their waste identification code. Apart from hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, the EWL also contains so called mirror entries for waste streams where the hazard criterion is decisive from a legal point of view depending on hazardous substance concentration or hazard properties.
Annex III  to the Directive 2008/98/EC (Waste Framework Directive) defines 15 hazard criteria (H-criteria) that specify the hazardousness of mirror entries.  The EWL lays down concentration limits for certain hazard criteria.
The EWL concentration limits are based on chemicals regulation: Directives 67/548/EEC (Dangerous Substances Directive) and 1999/45/EC (Dangerous Preparations Directive), both of which were superseded in 2008 by Regulation No 1272/2008/EC (CLP – Classification, Labeling and Packaging Regulation). The EWL is currently being revised and updated, in light of changes in chemical regulations. The UBA is closely involved in this process and has submitted recommended changes in the EWL to the EU.

Handling of hazardous substances:
Pursuant to Paragraph 47(1) of the Waste Management Act (KrWG), waste prevention and management fall under the jurisdiction of the competent Federal State authorities. In Federal States that impose delivery and handover obligations for hazardous waste, the waste-generating entity is required to notify to local authorities (a) the type, quantity and composition of the waste in question; and (b) the envisaged disposal facility. The authorities then assign the waste to a suitable facility. Disposal techniques can vary greatly from one type of waste to another, as can the applicable regulations. This applies to the disposal of waste containing hazardous substances such as asbestos, or persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as PCBs and mercury.

Ordinance on Waste Recovery and Disposal Records (Nachweisverordnung)
The Ordinance on Waste Recovery and Disposal Records (of 2002, as amended) governs monitoring and supervision of hazardous-waste recovery and disposal. The supervision is carried out via documents known as Waste Recovery and Disposal Record (Entsorgungsnachweis), Transport Form (Begleitschein) and Transfer Receipt (Übernahmeschein). A Waste Recovery and Disposal Record allows for prior permission – by the waste producing entity, the waste disposal entity and the competent authority – that a given disposal technique is environmentally sound. The Transport Forms and Transfer Receipts (Übernahmescheine)  allow for documentation, via acknowledgement , that a previously validated disposal technique has been adhered to for each individual instance of waste transport. Consent by the competent authotioty can be foregone for waste that is disposed of by a disposal company that is certified in accordance with the Ordinance on Specialised Waste Management Companies. The Transport Form proof procedure is carried out electronically in the Federal States. The Ordinance on on Waste Recovery and Disposal Records lays down simplified rules for supporting documentation for small quantities of waste, whereby household wastes are not subject to such documentation rules.

Hazardous-waste quantities and destination
Transport Forms used in the proof procedure are evaluated for statistics gathering purposes, whereby the competent authorities are legally required to submit information in this regard to government statistics offices. In this process, no statistics are gathered concerning waste disposal within a given enterprise or for transfrontier waste shipments, as these statistics are gathered separately. For hazardous waste statistics see under “Waste statistics”.