Goods coming from non-European countries into Germany are subject to an ''import turnover tax'' (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer) of 19 percent. It is equivalent to the value-added tax (Mehrwertsteuer) which is levied on all domestically sold items placing the same tax burden on imported and domestic products. The import turnover tax is charged on the customs valuation on the imported good plus a customs duty. A discounted tax of 7 percent is levied on food products, books, newspapers, pieces of art etc.
Importers can deduct this import tax as input tax (Vorsteuer) from their value-added tax bill, if the goods have been acquired for resale purposes. In order to do this, the company must be able to provide the necessary import documents (import declaration).
The German customs authorities collect both customs duty and import turnover tax. Further information on the import turnover tax is available on the website of the German Customs Office.