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ATLAS - The Electronic Import Procedure

Customs Declaration for the Import of Goods

UPS has vast experience and the latest technology enhancements to support your customs declaration needs. With ATLAS, the electronic customs procedure of the German Federal Customs Administration, UPS can process all formalities while your shipments are en route to their destination. This reduces time in transit and improves your ability to coordinate your international shipments. Read further to learn more about the procedure, the terminology, and some frequently asked questions.

Requirements

Customs registration number

A seven-digit customs registration number is issued by the federal customs administration to one of the following:

  1. Participants in IT-supported procedures
  2. In licensing procedures of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. Select BAFA (Federal Office of Economics and Export Control/Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle) and BLE (Federal Agency for Agriculture and Nutrition/Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung) links below for more information.
  3. Persons who regularly submit customs declarations. Select the link below to go directly to the customs declaration website.

Customs DeclarationOpen the link in a new window

Learn More About BAFAOpen the link in a new window

Learn More About BLEOpen the link in a new window

There is no obligation to state the customs registration number for:

  • Customs declarations submitted by post or express and courier services for their customers, unless the participant is entitled to deduction of input tax
  • Written customs declarations under passenger traffic, unless the participant is entitled to deduction of input tax.


The customs registration number is issued free of charge on request, by Informations- und Wissensmanagement Zoll (customs information management). Select the link below to go directly to this website.

Informations- und Wissensmanagement Zoll (Customs Information Management)Open the link in a new window

You can find additional information by selecting the links below:

Customs Authority WebsiteOpen the link in a new window

UPS Charges for Brokerage Services

Terminology

The Declarant

The declarant is the person:

  • making the customs declaration in his own name, or
  • in whose name a customs declaration is made


The declarant is therefore responsible:

  • for the correctness of the details in a customs declaration
  • for the authenticity of the documents submitted
  • for any customs debt incurred

The Representative

Any person may appoint a representative in his dealings with the customs authorities to perform the acts and formalities laid down by customs rules. A representative must be empowered to act on this person's behalf.

Such representation may be:

  • A direct representation: the representative acts in the name of and on behalf of another person
  • An indirect representation: the representative acts in his own name but on behalf of another person

To process your shipments, UPS needs you to complete a request allowing us to make the customs clearance as your representative. Please fill out the following form and send it to UPS.

View the Power of Attorney FormOpen the link in a new window

Preferential Measures and Preferential Agreements

Documents of proof of preferential status:

  • Proof of preferential origin (EUR1/UE,  Form A/UE)
  • Proof of goods in free circulation (ATR, T2, T2L)


These documents allow you to benefit from duty exemption or reduced duty rates for your imported goods based on the preferential agreements of the EU with other countries. These must be original documents. Select the link below for additional information.

Learn More About Preferential MeasuresOpen the link in a new window

Customs Number

A seven-digit customs number (e.g. 1234567) is issued by the Federal Customs Administration for operators taking part in IT-assisted processes, e.g. Atlas, or who regularly submit customs declarations.

There is no obligation to state the customs number for:

  • Customs declarations entered by the post or express and courier services for their clients, unless the operator is entitled to deduction of input tax
  • Written customs declarations in passenger traffic, unless the participant is entitled to deduction of input tax.


The customs number is issued on application free of charge by Informations- und Wissensmanagement Zoll (German Customs Administration). Select the link below (under EORI) to access the application form for the customs number (form 0870) on the current customs authority Internet page.

Economic operators' registration and identification system (EORI)

The EORI Procedure

The EORI number is the only identifier for economic operators in the EU and should be stated when performing all customs formalities. In Germany, EORI numbers consist of the Zollnummer (customs number), together with a two-digit country prefix ("DE", e.g. DE1234567) Select the link below for detailed information.

Learn More About EORIOpen the link in a new window

Customs Value

  • The customs value of imported goods is based on the transaction value (the price actually paid or payable)
  • The customs value includes all costs up to the place of actual entry into the EU (first border)

To calculate customs duties, any freight costs incurred outside of the EU are added to the value of the goods in accordance with the commercial invoice or customs official's inspection of the goods. In this way, freight costs are subject to proportionate customs duties.

The calculation method is: (value of the goods + proportional freight)* tariff rate = customs duties.

Freight costs must be taxed in full. This results in the following basis of calculation for EUSt (import value added tax): (value of the goods + freight + customs duties) * EUSt rate = EUSt (import value added tax).

Incoterms (International Commercial Terms)

  • Regulate in particular the transfer of costs and risks of delivery between purchasers and sellers
  • Express whether or not transport costs are included in the invoiced amount.
  • Are important for determining the customs value
  • Incoterms:
    • E and F clauses on an invoice exclude transport costs
    • C and D clauses on an invoice include transport costs

Select the link below to learn more about delivery clauses.

Learn More About Delivery ClausesOpen the link in a new window

Electronic Customs Tariff (EZT)

The electronic customs tariff (EZT) is an IT-assisted information system that summarises the community and national legal provisions governing customs declaration. The exclusive legal bases for the measures listed remain the appropriate authoritative regulations (e.g. The External Trade Act). Select the links below to learn more about EZT.

Learn About EZT OnlineOpen the link in a new window

Learn More About TARIC OnlineOpen the link in a new window

Frequently Asked Questions


As a private individual, do I have to apply for a customs number?

No, regardless of the number of imports/exports, private individuals do not have to have a customs number if the customs declaration is submitted by courier services.

We (a company entitled to deduction of input tax) have only one or two imports per year. We mainly export. Do we also need a customs number?

Yes, issuing of a customs number is obligatory for all companies entitled to deduction of input tax, regardless of whether this is for import or export.

Why must I pay customs duties and EUST (import value added tax), even though the consignments were just gifts?

Even for the import of a gift shipment from third-party countries (i.e. countries that are not part of the European Union) into Germany import duties, i.e. duty and import value added tax and if appropriate other excise taxes, have to be paid. Goods sent by private individuals outside the European Union to another private person within the European Union are exempt from import duties only if these are occasional/non-commercial/unpaid-for consignments and the total value does not exceed 45 EUR. In the case of tobacco products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages as well as perfume and Eau de Toilette, certain quantity limits must not be exceeded.

The amounts for duty and import value added tax should be lower. You have imposed customs duties on the transport costs. Was that an error on your part?

No. The value of imported goods is determined on the value of the goods when entering the EU at the first border of the EU. This value is not only determined by the invoiced price paid for the goods, but is increased by transport, packaging, loading costs and other costs incurred outside of the EU. If such costs are not included in the invoiced price (e.g. in the case of the incoterm "ex works"), they must be added to determine the customs value and are therefore also subject to duty. Import value-added tax is computed on the invoiced price, the duty amount and the complete freight charges and other costs.

To what goods or articles do prohibitions or restrictions apply to at import or export?

When importing into or exporting out of the European Union, many goods are subject to prohibition and restriction laws. The number of goods protected / restricted for import, export or transit is large. Select the link below for more information on this subject.

VuBOpen the link in a new window