Business - The Hamburg Container Port

Hamburg and Brexit Customs

Brexit will change international trade. See this article for information on customs regulations and ways to handle the extra load.

Customs / Brexit

Brexit: Customs Regulations for import and export between Hamburg and the UK

In the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit, businesses will face customs dispatch that will be significantly longer, more time-consuming and more expensive than procedures within the EU customs union.  

Additional loads for customs offices are to be expected, especially in important foreign trade locations like Hamburg. However, mechanisms regarding goods import from third (non-EU) countries are well-established, so adjustments for customs offices will be minimal.


The Bundeszollverwaltung (the German 'Federal Customs Administration') indicated that intensive Brexit preparations are underway. It has been estimated that around 900 additional employees will be needed. The customs office of the Hamburg port (Zollamt Waltershof) has been identified as a hotspot that will be allotted at least 11 additional employees.

IT and organisational adjustments are meant to further absorb the repercussions of a ‘hard’ Brexit. The ATLAS goods dispatch programme will allow other customs offices to assist their Hamburg counterpart.

The European Commission is preparing for a no-deal Brexit through several emergency measures. The United Kingdom’s maritime area would thereby be subjected to customs application terms. The UK would then be included on a list of states with a general export permit for dual use goods (goods that can also be used militarily). If reciprocal treatment is granted, British-based businesses would be allowed to traffic goods between the UK and the EU for another nine months.    

The Chamber of Commerce ('Handelskammer') offers regular information events regarding Brexit.


Coordination Office

A Brexit coordination office has been established in Hamburg in July, 2018. All necessary legislative, executive and administrative preparations are made to ready Hamburg for the imminent changes. The coordination office is supported by representatives of all state agencies.
Samir Baum-El Falaky
+ 49 40 42831-2503