Importing a Vehicle From a Non-EU Country

Taxes and registration requirements for vehicles imported from outside of the European Union countries...

Motor vehicles from outside the EU that are imported into Germany are subject to import duties and VAT. However, bringing a vehicle into Germany from outside the EU as part of personal and household effects may mean that it is exempt from customs duties and VAT. The owner must have lived outside the EU for at least the previous twelve months, have bought the car outside the EU and have driven it for at least six months prior to arrival, must be registered as a resident in Germany and must subsequently keep the vehicle for personal use for a minimum of twelve months following import.

Information in English is available from the Information Office of the German Customs (Zoll).

Once the relevant taxes have been paid, the owner will receive a customs clearance receipt (Zollrechtliche Bescheinigung) or a customs exemption certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung). The vehicle must also undergo a roadworthiness and emissions test to ensure that it complies with German technical, environmental and safety standards.


To register a vehicle from a non-EU country, the following documents will be required in addition to those for EU countries:

  • A TÜV/DEKRA certificate of roadworthiness and emissions testing
  • Confirmation from the Central Vehicle Register (Zentraler Fahrzeugregister) to confirm that the vehicle has neither been registered previously in Germany nor stolen
  • Customs clearance certificate (Zollrechtliche Bescheinigung)