Logistic and forwarding services in Germany


Capital City

80,6 Mio.

National languages

Euro (EUR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 3’730 Mrd

GNP per person
USD 41’866

Financial exports to Switzerland
USD 58’800 Mrd

Financial imports from Switzerland
USD 50’000 Mrd

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Germany

Switzerland and Germany maintain close relations in all areas, providing a broad and solid foundation on which to build cooperation.

Economic cooperation

Germany is Switzerland’s most important trading partner and the market leader in Swiss imports, with one third of all imports coming from Germany – more than those from Italy, the United States and China combined. The volume of trade has picked up since the crisis of 2009 and in 2015 amounted to approximately CHF 83 billion.

With a total amount of CHF 51.4 billion at the end of 2013, Switzerland is the sixth largest foreign investor in Germany (5.7% of the total). Swiss companies employ approximately 379,500 people in Germany. Geographically, the focus of Swiss direct investment is in southern Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria) and in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Germany is the sixth largest source of direct investment in Switzerland, with a total of CHF 32 billion at the end of 2014. German companies employ over 118’000 people in Switzerland.


Business language

German, English (commercial).

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency: EUR
ISO code: EUR

Customs tariff (for non-EU goods)

Harmonised system. Customs clearance based on the transaction value.

Import control

EU goods are freely available. For non-EU goods it is necessary to note that the countries of import are divided into three main zones, A, B and C; the division is by economic area. Goods, the import of which is subject to authorisation and certain formalities are listed in two special lists, “Attachments” I and II. Two copies of invoices containing all standard information and an indication of the country of origin are required.
VAT: 19% (reduced rate: 7%). Reimbursement of VAT paid is possible.

Terms of payment and tenders

In principle all of the terms applicable to international payment transactions.
Depending on the creditworthiness of the person placing the order: letter of credit, cash on delivery, open payment term of up to three months.

Designations of origin

Goods, the packaging, trade name, name, symbols etc. of which or the goods themselves could give the impression of being a German product must include the clear addition: “Imported by …”, “Made in …”. Information should be obtained from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the importer. When importing goods of a certain tariff chapter or tariff number, original certificates products must be presented. Special regulations must be complied with when importing certain machines and devices (ask professional associations or the CIC).


All shipments of goods which are transported to Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo via Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, must also be clearly marked with a blue cross on the package on the standard marking side, the bars of which are at least 30 cm long, otherwise a special sorting fee will be charged. The amount of this fee is not yet known. The colours vary depending on the country of destination: Burundi – black, Rwanda – yellow, Zambia – green, Tanzania – red, Democratic Republic of the Congo – blue. (Where applicable ask the importer.) Clear, permanent and clearly visible note indicating the weight of shipments with a gross weight of 1.000 kg or more.


There are some general regulations on labelling and special regulations on the requirements of the packaging of certains products: more information on this can be obtained from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the importer. The EU Directive sets out that packaging materials made of wood must be manufactured from round logs. This EU regulation goes beyond the necessary treatment set out in the ISPM 15 standard.

Product samples

Products with no retail value are duty free; products from a certain maximum value are subject to duties.
There is a ban on the sending of samples which are subject to a duty as “product samples”.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Customary documents, as well as:

a) Commercial Invoice (3 copies), with all the usual statements, including FOB, CIF expenses, CIF price, weight, country of origin, 3 copies. Down the exporter’s invoice, indicate the following signed declaration: “We hereby certify that the goods described herein are manufacturing and … origin, and that the prices quoted are accurate and consistent with the current prices on the export market”. Authentication of the Chamber of Commerce only at your request. If the authentication request, one additional commercial invoice for the Chamber of Commerce; often authentication is not required by the customs authorities;

b) The certificates of origin indicate as a country of origin for goods coming from Switzerland “Switzerland” or “EU” for European goods;

c) Proof of preferential origin:

– EUR. 1 (released by the customs office);

Declaration of origin on the invoice: for all exports up to a maximum value of 6.000 €; for “approved exporters” no value limit.

Text of the origin declaration: “The exporter of the goods covered by this document (customs authorization n …) (1) declares that, unless otherwise indicated, these products are of … preferential origin (2)”.

If the invoice declaration is issued by an approved exporter, the number of authorized exporter authorization must be recorded in paragraph (1). If the invoice declaration is not issued by an approved exporter, the words in brackets shall be omitted or the space can be left blank. (2) Origin of products to be indicated;

d) Postal invoice: boxes up to 20 kg, 1 sheet of foreign shipping, 1 customs declaration;

e) Carnet A.T.A. available.