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Importing from non-EU Countries

When importing goods from non-EU countries to Germany, they have to be customs cleared at the German border. 

For the customs clearing in addition a so called EORI number is required. When importing to Germany within the electronic procedure ATLAS the importing company receives a tax assessment note about the paid duty and import tax. 

With the original import tax document the company can reclaim the paid import tax. The refund can be claimed in the VAT returns or, if there are no taxable sales in Germany, within the VAT refund procedure. 

In the VAT refund procedure the original tax assessment notes have to be filed and also within the VAT returns the tax offices often requesting to receive the original document for review of the refund. It is important that the declarant on the tax assessment note is the actual company reclaiming the VAT. The invoice from the forwarder of the goods as proof of payment is not enough for a VAT refund. 

Summary of the most important details

  • When importing to Germany a tax assessment note over the import tax will be issued.
  • For the VAT refund the German authorities are often requesting the original tax assessment note.
  • Invoice of forwarder is not sufficient for VAT refund. 
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