Moving to Germany

Overseas Moving Specialists

We Have Your Relocation Needs Covered

Custom Regulations for Germany:

Note: entry requirement depend on the country of origin.

  • Copy of Passport (the page showing photo)
  • Copy of Visa and/or Work Permit (for foreign citizens only)
    • Foreign citizens must obtain a Work Permit (Arberterlaubnis) issued by the local employment office
    • Residence Visa (not needed for German nationals) or Residence Permit (granted only after a Work Permit has been issued)
  • Inventory (original) in German or English, valued, dated and signed by the customer
  • Signed declaration, stating the imported goods are the owner’s personal effects
  • Signed declaration, stating the imported goods are not subject to any Customs restrictions (e.g. drugs, weapons, etc.)
  • Signed declaration that no taxable high value goods (such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, guns, etc.) are in shipment. Such goods must be listed separately and will be taxed.
  • Statement of Transfer from employer (in German if possible)- should state the shipper was an employee for the company abroad, how long he/she has lived in this country, and how long he/she will remain an employee of the company in Germany
  • Certificate of Registration with the German police (“Polizeiliche Anmeldung”)
  • Certificate of Registration (Anmeldebestaetigung) from the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt)
  • German nationals need a declaration from German Embassy or Consulate confirming their length of stay abroad and exact destination address in Germany. Without this document, shipment will not clear Customs.
  • German Customs Form 0350 (Zollantrag) in triplicate, stating goods will not be sold for one year
  • Health Certificate may be required
  • Copy of Insurance Certificate
  • Customs clearance Power of Attorney Form authorizing Destination Agent to act on behalf of the customer in liaison with Customs
  • Foreign diplomats need a Certificate from the Embassy or Consulate
  • Used household goods are duty-free if customer has resided at least one year abroad, if the goods were owned by the customer over six months and will not be sold for a minimum of one year
  • Goods should be imported within one year of customer taking up residence; if not, reasons are needed for delay – maximum three years
  • Inheritance items:
    • Death Certificate
    • “Erbschein” or an official document which certifies the customer has inherited the items from the deceased and states the relationship between them
  • Wedding Trousseaux
    • Marriage Certificate
    • If household goods are imported before the marriage, proof the marriage will take place within two months is required
  • Explosives
  • Ammunition
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Any protected animal or species, dried plant or items of historical significance (ivory, snakeskin, leopard fur, pre-Columbian items, etc.)
  • Pornographic material
  • Certain types of meat
  • Absinthe, methyl alcohol and pure alcohol
  • Radioactive material
  • Wine, grape juice and other various foodstuffs and consumer goods in large quantity
  • New items, less than six months old (invoice required)
  • Alcohol
    • Inventory must detail exact number and size of bottles, exact alcoholic strength in percent, and value of each bottle
  • Tobacco, tea, coffee
  • Toilet waters, perfumes
  • Foodstuffs in large quantities (do not recommend shipping with household goods)
  • Electronic items such as computers, videos, stereos, etc. (must show serial number and have purchase invoice)
    • Duplicate appliances or electrical equipment may be assessed high duties
  • Guns require a Certificate of Registration, valid passport of owner, proof of ownership, and a gun license for importation
    • Duty-free if firearm has been owned for at least six months prior to importing
    • Guns must be easily accessible
    • Must apply for a German Ownership Permit
    • List as last items on inventory, indicate model, caliber and serial number
  • Live plants (need special Import Permit)
  • Admitted duty-free if customer has lived abroad for over one year, has owned and used the auto for a minimum of six months, if brought in for personal use with household goods and will not be sold for one year
  • Cars must be inspected before licensing, comply with German technical and environmental regulations and require modifications
  • It is highly recommended that the customer informs the Destination Agent of all auto details prior to importing.
  • Documents required:
    • Proof of ownership
    • Car documents
    • German driver’s license
    • Owner’s passport
    • Owner’s police registration in Germany (polizieliche Anmeldebestatigung)
    • Insurance record from country of origin
    • Third-party liability insurance that begins with customs clearance
    • Declaration of customer that no high value goods are in car
    • Origin Registration and copy of title
    • Commercial invoice if vehicle is new
  • Dogs, cats and canaries are permitted with a Health Certificate (in German or with a translation) issued by a licensed veterinarian describing the animal and stating that the pet is free from rabies and contagious diseases
  • Health Certificate is valid ten days from the date in which it was issued (20 days for pets coming from non-European countries)
  • All endangered species and exotic animals are prohibited

Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to Germany

At International Sea & Air Shipping, we specialize in household shipping, including shipping personal effects and household goods, packing services and export crating, and internationally shipping cars and boats. Whether you’re leaving the United States for Germany or from Germany to the United State, you can count on us to handle everything smoothly and professionally, from beginning to end.

When planning your move to Germany, you’re likely to encounter an over whelming number of options. In such a competitive industry, it’s hard to differentiate one relocation company from another. When making your shortlist, check that the company is registered with an industry body, such as the FMC Federal Maritime Commission or IAM International Association of Movers. You should also consider any personal recommendations and online testimonials. Once you’re down to a few options, speak personally to each company on the phone and ask the key questions about your move, such as what happens if something goes wrong, if an itemized quote can be provided and who your point of contact will be. If you’re not happy with the answers, choose another company.

Another important question is whether you should hire an international relocation company. This question largely depends on how much time you have and costs, as international moving companies typically take care of any potential issue that may arise which is ideal for time-strapped expats – but maybe not for tight budgets. How, then, do you decide which is the best international moving company and relocation option for you?

At International Sea & Air Shipping, we use our knowledge and experience to help you relocate across the globe with ease. As a international moving company, we staff our team with licensed, bonded, insured and trained moving professionals and can ensure your move to Germany is as smooth as can be, from door-to-door. With our 24/7 customer service and shipment tracking capabilities, you can rest easy your belongings are in good hands.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Household Goods?

Cost is an important determining factor when planning an overseas move. Schedule an in-home survey with us to receive the most accurate estimate to ship your goods to Germany. One of our trained moving specialists will visit your home to assess your belongings and determine the cubic footage of your shipment. You will then receive a free quote to ship your goods and be provided with the services you require.

The cost of moving to Germany will vary based on the cubic footage of your shipment, the method of shipping services we offer (air vs. sea freight) the services you require (packing and custom crating), and many other factors.

About Germany

A country long associated with valor and rich history, Germany has charm that encompasses nature, arts, culture and cuisine.

The Western European nation is teeming with numerous internationally acclaimed orchestras, theaters, concert halls, museums and exhibitions. Germany also boasts many beautiful natural attractions, especially in the Alpine region, including lakes, mountains, parks, and waterfalls. It has its own distinctive and delicious cuisine, the finest beers and wines, and is known for its robust leads in the world of soccer and other games.

Germany is the seventh largest country by area in Europe and the 62nd largest in the world. It shares land borders with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. The country boasts world’s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. Germany is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods.


“We were going to use a different company (Mohawk Moving) but then, a few weeks before the move, they suddenly increased the price by over 14%, so I called Hillary and she jumped on our situation and offered a reasonable estimate with all detailed charges, so I knew what to expect. ACE Moving in the Twin Cities was awesome, they used every bit of space in our 20 ft. container and wrapped our furniture to protect it. We had two pick up locations and they managed that perfectly. COSCO put the sea-can on a vessel between NYC and Bremerhaven. Also Carl Hartmann GmbH in Bremerhaven was efficient when we had a few hick ups with German customs and the container arrived on time 48 days later in the Frankfurt area. Christ Movers were awesome unloading everything. Very happy with the service from all involved.”

– Joerg Happel

Moving From The USA to Germany And Back

Moving to Germany is not only exciting-it’s stressful. International relocation requires plenty research and thorough planning-not to mention professional and skilled overseas shippers to ensure your goods arrive safely in your new country. If you are planning a move to Germany, let International Sea & Air Shipping assist you with every aspect of your relocation to ensure it is seamless and hassle-free.