Customs duty is a charge for goods that have been transported across a customs border. Within the EU there are no customs boundaries. When you move to Hamburg from abroad, you can import your personal items duty-free, though you may still have to declare them at the customs office. Personal items include household effects, private vehicles, household provisions, household pets and saddle animals.
Moving from another EU country
If you move to Hamburg from another EU member state, you don’t need to declare your goods at the German customs office. However, certain goods including a number of pharmaceuticals, narcotics and fireworks are subject to authorisation or may even be banned in Germany.
There are a handful of areas that are not part of the European customs territory, even though they belong to the national territory of individual EU member states. Here, the provisions for import from non-EU countries apply: overview of areas with special arrangements.
For more information about moving from an EU member state please visit the website of the German Customs Authority.
Moving from outside the EU
If you move to Hamburg from a country outside of the European Union, you must declare your personal belongings at the German customs office. In order to be able to import your goods duty-free, some conditions must be met.
Goods such as weapons and ammunition, protected animal species and items made from them are subject to approval requirements or may be banned in Germany.
Note: Goods that you have imported into Germany without customs duties are subject to customs supervision for twelve months. You may not lend, pledge, rent, sell or give away these items in this time. If you breach this provision, the exemption from customs duties will be cancelled and you'll have to pay the taxes subsequently.
For more information about moving from a Non-EU member state please visit the website of the German Customs Authority.
Anybody entering Germany from a non-EU country carrying cash (cash money and securities) with a total value of 10,000 EUR or more must declare this to the relevant German customs office in writing.
Anybody entering Germany from an EU member state carrying cash (cash money and equivalent means of payment) with a total amount of 10,000 EUR or more must declare this amount of money verbally to a customs control unit when asked.