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Generic Tax Name VAT - Import
Tax name in the national language Einfuhrumsatzsteuer
Tax name in English Import turnover tax
Member State DE-Germany
Tax in force since 1968/01/01
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2015/01/01
Version date 2015/02/17
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco

Social security contribution Employers
Legal base

The legal basis for the imposition of value-added tax comprises the Turnover (value-added) Tax Act as published on 21 February 2005 (Federal Law Gazette 2005 I p. 386) last amended by Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Act of 22 December 2014 (Federal Law Gazette 2014 I p. 2417).

Who sets
The tax rate is set by

The tax base is set by

The reliefs are set by



Geographical Scope
Territories excluded (article 6 2006/112/EC)

The fiscal territory (the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany except the territory of Büsingen, the island of Heligoland, the free zones of control type I under section 1 subsection 1, first sentence, of the Customs Administration Act (free ports), the waters and foreshores between the border and the respective shoreline, as well as German ships and German aircraft in areas not belonging to a customs territory) and the Austrian districts Jungholz and Mittelberg.

Included taxable persons doing occasional transactions (article 12 2006/112/EC)


Special scheme for SMEs (article 281 2006/112/EC and following) None
Graduated relief
Turnover threshold:

Common Flat-rate scheme for farmers (article 295 2006/112/EC and following) None
All categories
Some categories
Flat rate compensation percentage (general):
Flat rate compensation percentage for forestry:
Flat rate compensation percentage for fisheries:

There is a special scheme on the following


The special scheme does not apply to second-hand goods.

Special derogations to continue to tax (annex X)


Special derogations to continue to exempt (annex X)



Goods imported from third countries are invariably exempted from turnover tax by the exporting countries and the object of charging turnover tax on imports is to impose on them a turnover tax burden equal to that on similar domestic goods, thus creating equal competitive conditions for goods produced in the Federal Republic and goods imported from abroad. Unlike customs duties, which are intended to contribute towards the achievement of economic objectives, import turnover tax serves only to effect the equalisation of turnover tax burdens at the frontier. With the value-added tax system, under which both turnover tax and import turnover tax are levied, it would suffice to limit the equalisation of turnover tax burdens at the frontier to non-business imports: it is, after all, the end user who is intended to bear the full burden of turnover tax; whereas if goods are imported by or on behalf of an entrepreneur, he can invariably deduct the import turnover tax he pays on such goods as input tax from his turnover tax liability, so that the import turnover tax will have no more effect than a transitory item. But since turnover tax is payable on every sale made or service rendered, all imports are subject to import turnover tax as well, regardless of whether the goods are imported by an entrepreneur or a private individual.

Tax object and basis of assessment
The following items are regarded as supply of goods and hence taxed under VAT (article 14 - 15 2006/112/EC)


The following items are regarded as supply of goods and hence taxed under VAT (article 18 2006/112/EC)


By derogation to article 26 paragraph 1, the following item(s) are not regarded as supply of services and hence not subject to VAT (article 26(2) 2006/112/EC)


By application of article 27 of 2006/112/EC, the following item is treated as supply of services The supply by a taxable person of a service for the purposes of his business, where the VAT on such a service, were it applied by another taxable person, would not be wholly deductible


Import turnover tax is an excise duty within the meaning of the Fiscal Code and an import duty under customs law. The tax is imposed on the importation of articles from third countries into the fiscal territory or the Austrian territories of Jungholz and Mittelberg. "Fiscal territory" as defined in the Turnover Tax Act (UStG) is the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany excepting the territory of Büsingen, the Island of Heligoland and the free zones of control type I (UStG section 1 subsection (2)). Liability for import turnover tax attaches to the actual frontier crossing of each article, regardless of whether it is being imported against payment or free of charge. Importation for tax purposes is established by fulfilment of the following requirements: the goods must have been brought into the territory in which the tax is imposed; and that process must be subject to tax in that territory, in other words, import turnover tax must be chargeable as a rule. The term "article" may be taken to mean primarily goods as defined under customs law, i.e. all movable goods and electrical current.

As a rule, the basis of assessment for the imposition of import turnover tax is the value for customs purposes of the imported article (UStG section 11 subsection (1)).

Any other import duties and taxes that are levied on imported goods in conjunction with import turnover tax (customs duty, agricultural levies, other excise duties), and the cost of transport to the first inland destination, i.e. the place at which the transport of such goods across the frontier is completed, are the principal elements that must be added to the value for customs purposes.

Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions
Exempted sectors*

No input available

Special Measures derogating from the normal VAT rules in accordance with Article 395 of Directive 2006/112/EC*

No input available


In connection with the importation of goods, numerous relief facilities have been allowed for entrepreneurs who are entitled to deduct input tax.

Rate(s) Structure
Standard VAT rate Rate: 19.00 %

Reduced rate 1

(article 98 of Directive - Annex III of Directive)
Rate: 7.00 % on full or part of the following items

Article 98(2) 2006/112/EC

Foodstuffs (including beverages but excluding alcoholic beverages) for human and animal consumption; live animals, seeds, plants and ingredients normally intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs; products normally used to supplement foodstuffs or as a substitute for foodstuffs
Supply of water
Pharmaceutical products of a kind normally used for health care, prevention of illness and as treatment for medical and veterinary purposes, including products used for contraception and sanitary protection
Medical equipment, aids and other appliances normally intended to alleviate or treat disability, for the exclusive personal use of the disabled, including the repair of such goods, and supply of children's car seats
Transport of passengers and their accompanying luggage
Supply, including on loan by libraries, of books on all physical means of support (including brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, children's picture, drawing or colouring books, music printed or in manuscript form, maps and hydrographic or similar charts), newspapers and periodicals, other than material wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising
Admission to shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar cultural events and facilities
Reception of radio and television broadcasting services
Supply of services by writers, composers and performing artists, or of the royalties due to them
Provision, construction, renovation and alteration of housing, as part of a social policy
The renovation and repair of private dwellings, excluding materials which account for a significant part of the value of the service supplied
Window cleaning and cleaning in private households
Supply of goods and services of a kind normally intended for use in agricultural production but excluding capital goods such as machinery or buildings
Accommodation provided in hotels and similar establishments, including the provision of holiday accommodation and the letting of places on camping or caravan sites
Restaurant and catering services, it being possible to exclude the supply of (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic) beverages
Admission to sporting events
Use of sporting facilities
Supply of goods and services by organisations recognised as being devoted to social wellbeing by Member States and engaged in welfare or social security work, in so far as those transactions are not exempt pursuant to Articles 132, 135 and 136
Supply of services by undertakers and cremation services, and the supply of goods related thereto
Provision of medical and dental care and thermal treatment in so far as those services are not exempt pursuant to points (b) to (e) of Article 132(1)
Supply of services provided in connection with street cleaning, refuse collection and waste treatment, other than the supply of such services by bodies referred to in Article 13
Minor repairs of bicycles
Minor repairs of shoes and leather goods
Minor repairs of clothing and household linen (including mending and alteration)
Domestic care services such as home help and care of the young, elderly, sick or disabled

Article 102 2006/112/EC

Supply of natural gas
Supply of electricity
Supply of district heating

Article 103(1) 2006/112/EC

Pictures, collages and similar decorative plaques, paintings and drawings, executed entirely by hand by the artist, other than plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, hand-decorated manufactured articles, theatrical scenery, studio back cloths or the like of painted canvas (CN code 9701)
Original engravings, prints and lithographs, being impressions produced in the limited numbers directly in black and white or in colour of one or of several plates executed entirely by hand by the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed, but not including any mechanical or photomechanical process (CN code 9702 00 00)
Original sculptures and statuary, in any material, provided that they are executed entirely by the artists.
Sculpture casts the production of which is limited to eight copies and supervised by the artist or his successors in title (CN code 9703 00 00); on an exceptional basis, in cases determined by the Member States, the limit of eight copies may be exceeded for statuary casts produced before 1 January 1989
Tapestries (CN code 5805 00 00) and wall textiles (CN code 6304 00 00) made by hand from original designs provided by artists, provided that there are not more than eight copies of each
Individual pieces of ceramics executed entirely by the artist and signed by him
Enamels on copper, executed entirely by hand, limited to eight numbered copies bearing the signature of the artist or the studio, excluding articles of jewellery and goldsmith's and silversmith's wares
Photographs taken by the artist, printed by him or under his supervision, signed and numbered and limited to 30 copies, all sizes and mounts included
Postage or revenue stamps, postmarks, first-day covers, pre-stamped stationery and the like, used, or if unused not current and not intended to be current (CN code 9704 00 00)
Collections and collector's pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, ethnographic or numismatic interest (CN code 9705 00 00)
Goods, other than works of art or collector's items, which are more than 100 years old (CN code 9706 00 00)

Special reduced VAT rate for specific regions (including articles 104 and 105 2006/112/EC) Rate:

Special provisions under article 110 2006/112/EC (existing provisions prior to 1991):No

Special provisions under articles 111 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 112 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 113 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 114 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 115 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 116 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 117 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 118 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 119 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 120 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 121 2006/112/EC:No

Special provisions under articles 122 2006/112/EC:Yes

No input available


Standard VAT-rate: 19.00 %

Reduced VAT-rate: 7.00 %

The tax rate for the importation of goods is the same as that for turnover within the collection area (UStG section 12 subsection (1) and subsection (2) no. 1. It amounts to 19 % of the basis of assessment, but is reduced to 7 % for goods listed in Annex 2 to the UStG.

Tax due date

With a few exceptions, the regulations on customs duties apply to import turnover tax with the necessary changes (UStG section 21 subsection (2)). This particularly applies to the clearance procedure, to the tax becoming chargeable, to calculation and to payment.

Tax collector

The tax is collected by federal customs.

Special features

Economic function

Environmental taxes

Tax revenue
ESA95 code d211b

Annual tax revenue (millions)
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2012 51,734.00 EUR 1.88
2011 51,271.00 EUR 1.90
2010 44,494.00 EUR 1.73
2009 34,958.00 EUR 1.42
2008 44,919.00 EUR 1.75
2007 42,682.00 EUR 1.70
2006 35,410.00 EUR 1.48
2005 31,633.00 EUR 1.38
2004 32,338.00 EUR 1.42
2003 33,968.00 EUR 1.53
2002 32,832.00 EUR 1.49
2001 34,102.00 EUR 1.56
2000 34,170.00 EUR 1.61