Arriving in Germany – Entry Requirements / Customs

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Germany - arrival / departure
Germany – arrival / departure

European Union or not?

Upon arrival in Germany the visitor has to pass the immigration control (passport control).
There are two types of lines: a) for European (EU) passport holders and b) for all other nationalities.

The requirement for obtaining a visa from the German consulates depends on the traveler’s nationality.

Travelers from many countries do not need a visa to visit Germany for stays up to 90 days, among these countries are for example:
travelers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, the UK, United States of America. This list is not complete but for the most recent list please check the provided Web-Link further below.

Immigration (passport control) is usually a fast process and the traveler may proceed to the baggage claim.
The ‘Deutscher Zoll’ is the customs authority in Germany and the officers might ask questions about what you’re bringing into the country and inspect the baggage.
Most German airports have a ‘red’ and a ‘green’ exit which means you may decide whether you have something to declare or not. Use the ‘red’ lane when you’re not sure or when you have something to declare.

What can you bring without customs declaration?
First the goods, gifts, presents, have to be for your personal use and may not have a commercial purpose.

The web links which we provide at the end of this article are all leading to German government websites which should answer all your questions regarding temporary visits, Visa requirements, and customs.

Tobacco Products You have to be at least 17 years old.

  • 200 Cigarettes or
  • 100 Cigarillos or
  • 50 Zigarren or
  • 250 g Tobacco or
  • a prorated selection of those

Alcohol Products You have to be at least 17 years old.

  • 1 liter liquor with an alcohol content of more than 22 % vol OR
  • 2 liters liquor, wine, Taffia, Sake, or similiar products with an alcohol content of 22 % or less OR
  • 2 liters of sparkling wine OR
  • 2 liters of wine

Coffee You have to be at least 15 years old.

  • 500 g Coffee OR
  • 200 g extracts, concentrates, essences made of coffee or basing on coffee

Perfumes / Eau de Toilette

  • 50 g perfumes OR
  • 0.25 liter Eau de Toilette

Pharmaceutical Products

  • must be for personal use and in such quantities

Other goods

  • up to a value of Euro 175

Shortly before traveling to Europe it’s advised to check the official Website of the “Deutscher Zoll”, see below.

Official Websites

Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt): Visa Regulations (who needs a visa) – www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/visabestimmungen-node

German Customs – www.zoll.de/EN/

German Missions in the U.S. – www.germany.info