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german customs and valuation

german customs and valuation

Old Aug 28, 10, 3:16 pm
  #1  
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german customs and valuation

Hi, after going through the German customs site it appears I can bring in General goods up to 430 euro.

How on earth am I supposed to 'value' things like clothes and old (+12 months) personal electronics? I'm moving to Munich for a full time position, so on the way over I'll be utilizing all the suitcase weight and size provided to me. Its 90% clothes and shoes, but since I will be brining the maximum amount of stuff with me -- I can assume customs will at least want to glance through everything.
Do I need to be really picky and actually figure out how many shirts/pants/etc... and value each one and declare it over 430 euro, or can I tick the 'I have less than the limit' box and they'll be cool about it?

If I were to do the calculations I'm guessing it would, assuming I included the used value of electronics, come to around 800 euro.

There aren't any big ticket items, its just a ton of small stuff.

Thoughts?
Thanks!
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Old Aug 28, 10, 4:30 pm
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If you are moving to Germany you come under different rules - you are, essentially, exempt from paying import duty on most types of personal effects, but you need to do some form filling.

Further details:

http://www.zoll.de/english_version/g...rty/index.html
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Old Aug 29, 10, 2:33 am
  #3  
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The moving company will issue you with about 12 pages of paperwork to sign and you can import quite a bit, provided its about 6 months or older. But in general customs doesn't check too much: just make sure you don't have 10 brand new ipads or something similar that is a hot item in the market.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 4:32 am
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It's basically just the new stuff that counts, especially when you are on a regular flight. You will look like a tourist with your used stuff in the suitcase. If customs checks on you at all, they will be looking at liquor, cigarettes and of course all the brand new items. They don't care about your laundry unless it is brand new stuff.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 4:53 am
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As others have already stated, you shouldnīt worry too much about customs. What theyīre after is liquor, tobacco, new high value electronics and restricted/prohibited items (especially meat, plants, fruits)

Iīve never been questioned when arriving at FRA/DUS/MUC.

At many airports customs are pretty much non-existent, sometimes youīd even have difficulties finding an officer if you wanted to declare something.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by johnm1019 View Post
Do I need to be really picky and actually figure out how many shirts/pants/etc... and value each one and declare it over 430 euro, or can I tick the 'I have less than the limit' box and they'll be cool about it?
There aren't actually any boxes to tick - unlike the USA and Canada EU countries don't give out customs forms to arriving passengers. You declare that you are below the limit by going through the green channel when you arrive.

However, I would disagree with the advice given out by others (i.e., that you just go through the green channel hoping that you won't get picked out for a spot check). While the chances of getting picked are indeed extremely small, it could happen - and if you are found to be over the limit there could be trouble.

In your case there is no need to try and sneak things through the green channel - you can bring in your stuff legally as you are moving to Germany, all you have to do is fill in some forms. If I were you I would fill in the forms, rather than take the risk (no matter how small) of getting caught.
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Old Aug 31, 10, 6:25 am
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But any tourist can have as much as they like on them, if itīs for their personal use and clearly already in use. Say, you can have an real expensive watch and itīs perfectly legal.
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Old Aug 31, 10, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Helsinki Flyer View Post
But any tourist can have as much as they like on them, if itīs for their personal use and clearly already in use. Say, you can have an real expensive watch and itīs perfectly legal.
But the OP is not a tourist. He is a (new) resident. His personal belongings are being imported to Germany. Tourist rules don't apply. He comes under the same rules as a German who goes on a shopping spree to New York.

If he doesn't do the required paperwork, and he gets stopped at Customs (and it does happen) he has two choices:

- He can lie ("I'm a tourist and I'm staying one month") - he may get away with it, but he probably won't
- He can tell the truth - and hope he won't get fined for not having completed the correct paperwork

Much easier to complete the correct paperwork at the outset!
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Old Sep 5, 10, 11:30 am
  #9  
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Hello everyone, thanks for all the posts.

I arrived safely and on time, even if my AC wasn't using the new Delta BE config :-\

I had no idea there was no form (didn't see that post before I left), and was surprised as we were descending. Sure enough I found the green door and walked right through -- not even a glance from the 4 agents walking around the area. I met my company man and he took me to the parking structure, very very easy.

Thanks for all the tips.

There's a bit more property I'm looking to have shipped over, really a few specific things -- but online other sites are saying that if you are shipping personal property into the EU from the USA, there should be no taxes on it. This seems odd to me; and filling out the duty exemption form posted here makes more sense.
Does anyone know if this is true re: personal property? It just seems that they wouldn't have any way of knowing for sure.
None of the items will be new-in-box, as they are not new, but still.


Thanks
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Old Sep 5, 10, 3:13 pm
  #10  
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I know the german customs agents are weird... I've questioned with handluggage only coming from a domestic flight in MUC, but when we went past the agents behind the porter pushing a cart with 17(!) pieces of luggage earlier this year, all with the white (we didn't checkin inside the EU) luggage tags on them, they didn't even flinch

CBP on the other hand made sure I went thru xray each time when I moved the reverse direction in 2006.
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