Conditions of tax and duty free importation of personal effects and furniture to Germany

Moving to a new country like Germany involves more than just packing your bags. Understanding the documentation needed for tax-free importation of personal effects, furniture, and household goods is crucial. The EU, including Germany, allows for tax-free importation under certain conditions, which can significantly ease your relocation process.

Eligibility Timeframe

You must initiate the importation process within twelve months after transferring your residence to Germany to be eligible for tax-free importation. This timeframe is crucial for qualifying for duty-free importation of your belongings.

Possession and Usage Criteria

To qualify for tax-free importation in Germany, your goods must be in your possession and used for at least six months before the move. This rule ensures that the items are genuinely for personal use and not for commercial purposes.

Residency Requirements

Before moving, you should have maintained a residence outside the EU for at least twelve months. This condition verifies your non-EU residency status, a key factor for tax relief eligibility.

Establishing Residence in Germany

You must establish a new primary residence in Germany to avail of the tax benefits. Evidence of your intent and actual move to Germany is necessary for customs clearance.

Exempted Goods

Some items are not eligible for tax-free importation, such as alcoholic products, tobacco, commercial vehicles, and professional equipment. It's important to be aware of these exclusions to avoid unexpected charges.

Role of Customs Authorities

The final decision on tax relief for imported goods rests with the German Customs Authorities. They assess compliance with the conditions and determine eligibility for tax relief.


For a smooth transition of your personal effects to Germany, meeting these criteria is essential. For expert guidance on customs documentation and the relocation process, the best point of contact is Bright Removals Ltd or Bright Customs. These professionals offer specialized knowledge and experience in EU relocations, ensuring your move is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

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