Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts


Zollabzeichen auf einer grünen Jacke

Deutsches Zollabzeichen, © Bundeszollverwaltung


Declaration of cash

Please note that all travelers entering or leaving the European Union with 10,000 EUR or more in cash must declare the sum to Customs since 15 June 2007. This initiative has been taken to assist the efforts being made at EU level to tackle crime and improve security by cracking down on money laundering, terrorism and criminality.

Travelling with pets

Do you plan to travel with your pet(s) from the Philippines to Germany and need specific information about regulations and procedures? Click on the link to find all relevant information:


Food products of animal origin

Can I bring food products of animal origin into Germany? Products of animal origin may carry pathogens that cause infectious diseases in animals. There are strict procedures and veterinary controls on the introduction of products of animal origin into the European Union.

All personal consignments of meat, meat products, milk and milk products are prohibited to enter the EU. Exceptions are infant food or special foods required for medical reasons.

For more information please contact the German Customs Information Desk (see below).

Can I bring pharmaceuticals to Germany?

The legal maximum limit for pharmaceutical products is the quantity required to meet the traveler's personal needs during the trip.

Travelers are advised to carry a doctor's prescription or statement concerning the medication in question.
Due to strict and varying regulations regarding pharmaceuticals (some vitamins are considered drugs, for example), we advise travelers not to mail medications into Germany.

Most pharmaceuticals are available in international pharmacies in Germany with a doctor's prescription.
Please also read the information provided on the website of the German Customs :
Information of the German Customs on import of medicine

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Alongside the destruction of habitats, the economic exploitation of animals and plants is one of the greatest dangers facing the animal and plant worlds. As a result of international trade, many species of plants and animals have depleted populations or are even threatened with extinction.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, in short the Washington Convention, is a legally binding international agreement dating from 1973 to protect endangered species of animals and plants. It is also known internationally as CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The Convention which has a Secretariat in Geneva currently has 175 member countries. Germany acceded in 1976.

At the Conferences of the Parties to the Convention held every two to three years, the list of endangered animal and plant species in the Appendices to the Convention are updated and measures adopted to improve the protection of endangered species.

Website of CITES

Mailing packages to Germany

Packages to Germany may be mailed free of duty if their value does not exceed 45 EUR.

Alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, and perfumes are excluded from this provision. For these items, certain limits on quantity apply.

In these cases, the package will be delivered to the addressee by Postal Service.

If the quantity or value of goods exceeds custom exemption limits, the goods become dutiable goods and customs clearance is required. The Post Office is entitled to carry out customs clearance itself, provided that the package is accompanied by a customs declaration and the bill of mailed goods.

The package will not be delivered to the addressee!

The addressee will receive a note from the Postal Service on how and where he can pick up the package. When he collects the package, the addressee must pay the customs duties (ad valorem - amount depends on the items) plus an Import Turnover Tax (19% of the value of the items) and, for some goods, certain excise duties.

Please note that any problems or complaints can only be addressed directly by the competent Post Office or competent Customs Office in Germany. In the event of a problem, we suggest that the addressee contact these offices directly.

VAT return

All goods purchased in Germany are subject to a value-added tax (“Mehrwertsteuer/MWST” or “Umsatzsteuer”). Tourists can apply for a VAT refund for goods purchased in and exported to a country outside of the European Union within three months after the date of the purchase.

Many shops in Germany and the EU offer VAT refunds; facilitated by the company Global Refunds. These shops display the sign “TAX FREE for tourists”. On a minimum purchase of 25,-€ clients who are not residents in the EU may receive a “TAX FREE Shopping Cheque”. This shopping cheque must get validated by the customs office upon departure from the European Union. To receive your VAT refund, follow the instructions given on the tax free shopping cheque. Please note that Global Refund retains a service fee from your refund.

Claim a VAT refund:

  • Tax refund forms (“Ausfuhrkassenzettel”) can be purchased in stationery shops.
  • When you buy goods, inform the vendor that you are not an EU resident and that you intend to export the goods. Ask whether the company is ready to refund the VAT.
  • Fill in the tax refund form and have the form signed and stamped by the vendor. Attach the original invoice to the form.
  • Upon departure from Germany, show the tax refund form, the original invoice, your passport, and the purchased goods to the German customs office. The customs officer will confirm the export of the goods by stamping the tax refund form.
  • Now, to get your tax refund, you can send the form and the original invoice to the company from which you obtained the goods.

Certification by the German Embassy in exceptional cases only

The German Embassy can only certify the export of goods in justified exceptional cases. You need to provide a plausible explanation as to why the certification could not be obtained at the customs office prior to departure. In addition, you must present the following:

  • the exported goods (with price tags)
  • your passport indicating place of residence and travel dates to and from Germany
  • export invoices and original receipts
  • the forms below filled in and signed
  • your flight ticket
  • proof of your permanent residency in the Philippines

The German Embassy can only stamp the Tax Refund Form if:

  • the goods were purchased in Germany
  • the goods are intended for private, non-commercial use
  • the goods have been exported in the personal luggage of the buyer
  • you reside in the Philippines and you are not a permanent resident of Germany
  • you left Germany less than 3 months after purchasing the relevant goods
  • you provide a plausible explanation as to why the certification could not be obtained at the customs office prior to departure

A fee equivalent to € 25.00 will be charged for each Tax Refund Form processed. The fees have to be paid when submitting the application. The fees will be converted into PHP according to the current exchange rate of the Embassy. You may pay in cash or with credit card (Visa, Mastercard). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

German Customs Information Desk

Because of the complexity of custom matters, the German Embassy cannot provide any binding information on German Customs regulations or duties.

For specific inquiries please directly contact the German Customs Information Desk

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