Customs Procedures

Depending on the reason goods are imported, different customs clearance procedures apply. Goods may be imported to be sold, repaired, temporarily stored or used in the production of other products for re-exportation.

Customs Procedures include: release for free circulation, inward processing, outward processing, customs warehousing, transit, temporary importation, processing under customs surveillance and end-use.

Procedure Description (German name)
Release for Free Circulation  The most commonly used customs clearance procedure: the imported goods, which are meant to be used/sold in Germany, are subject to the applicable customs duties and taxes. The importer pays the duties and is free to dispose of the goods. (Überführung in den freien Verkehr)
Customs Warehousing  Imported goods are exempted from customs duties within the EU, whenever they are temporarily stored in bonded warehouses in the EU customs area waiting to be re-exported. (Zolllagerverfahren)
Inward Processing  This procedure applies when imported goods are intended to be used in the production of other products within the EU which are then exported outside the EU. Any customs duties paid on the pre-product(s) are then reimbursed. (Aktive Veredelung)
Outward Processing  If community goods are exported temporarily for processing, repairing, or working abroad, the newly created and re-imported goods are subject to import duties. These duties are based on the value added outside the EU customs territory. (Passive Veredelung)
Processing under Customs Surveillance  This procedure applies when imported goods are intended to be used in the production of other products within the EU which are then released for free circulation. In this case, only the final products are liable for customs duties. (Umwandlungsverfahren)
Transit  A transit procedure, with the appropriate supporting documentation, facilitates the customs-free transfer of imported goods to an interior customs post for customs processing. (Versandverfahren)
Temporary Importation Items that are only temporarily brought into the European Union and are intended to be re-exported without modification, e.g. exhibits for trade fairs, can be partially or even fully exempted from customs duties. (vorübergehende Verwendung)
Generally, a deposit equal to the import duties is required for customs processing. Deposits are then refunded upon re-exporting. In place of this deposit, however, various internationally recognized Carnets (ATA, CPD or TIR) can be presented for both transit and temporary importation purposes.


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