Free Circulation of Goods in the Single European Market
The concept of the Single European Market essentially means that goods, services, persons and capital enjoy the ability to move freely within this market. As a result, imported goods sold in Germany are exempt from customs duties and procedures if:
- the goods originated in a member state of the European Union or
- the goods have previously been imported into another member state of the European Union before moving on to Germany.
Conversely, goods originating in or previously imported to Germany are, in essence, exempt from customs in all 27 EU member states as well as within the EU customs union (Andorra, San Marino and Turkey).
In order to quantify the trade volume within the Single European Market, European statistics offices have established the Intrastat system. Every vendor or buyer who realizes an annual trade volume of more than 400,000 Euro must report the turnover to the corresponding office for national statistics in his/her home country. In Germany, the Federal Statistical Office (StBA) collects this information and assists vendors in completing the relevant StBA forms.
Goods that are imported into Germany from outside the European Community and the EU customs union must first go through customs procedures and be liable for any applicable customs at their point of entry.