Maximum value to get exempt from Zollamt

5 posts in this topic

  My sister is sending me a package outside of Germany.

  Last time, she sent me too much, and I had to go to Zollamt to pick up the parcel, and had to pay to the custom.

  So this time, I would like her to send a parcel whose value will be under the limit.


  What is the maximum value for an international parcel that can be delivered to me without any charge from custom?


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Dear Fellow TTers,


I just saw this on a shopping forum. Orders from China (and other non-EU countries) no longer have a 22 euro exemption!





Pay attention in the future when ordering from China!

Changes in eCommerce as of July 1, 2021
Tax-free limit of 22 euros on online orders from non-EU countries falls !

07.06.2021 - 07:03

In the middle of the year, extensive changes for cross-border online trade will come into force as part of the so-called VAT digital package.

From this point on, all shipments from countries outside the EU will be subject to VAT.
The current regulation, under which small consignments up to a value of 22 euros can be imported tax-free, will thus cease to apply.

Only import duties of less than one euro will not be levied. In addition, all commercial mail and courier shipments from non-EU countries must be declared electronically to customs in the future.

The abolition of the value limit will eliminate competitive disadvantages for domestic companies. While domestic traders have to charge VAT regardless of the value of the goods sold, companies from outside the EU have so far been able to benefit from the exemption limit and thus sell mail-order products more cheaply in the EU. At the same time, this legal change structurally counteracts VAT fraud in online trade. This is because shipments are often deliberately under-invoiced and the value limit is thus abused.

However, the new provisions do not mean any additional expense for most online buyers. As has been the case in the past, the contracted carrier (postal, courier and express service provider) usually handles customs clearance and pays the import duties due in advance. The consignee then pays the import duties back to the carrier upon delivery.

Online customers should note that the carriers generally charge a separate service fee for declaring the shipment to customs and paying the import duties. Information on this should be included in the general terms and conditions of the carrier or seller. The service fee is not an import duty levied by customs.

At the same time, from July 1, 2021, for shipments up to a value of 150 euros, there will be an option for the online retailer to pay VAT directly to the relevant tax authorities in the EU. The condition for this is that the trader has registered in the EU VAT system and uses the so-called Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) for tax processing. In these cases, the import duties are usually already included in the final invoice amount of the online retailer, just like the VAT for domestic purchases. The consignee then does not have to pay any import duties to the postal or courier service provider upon delivery.

The value limit for the levying of goods-related customs duties on online orders from non-EU countries is not affected by the changes effective July 1, 2021. Here, the allowance of 150 euros will continue to apply.

Detailed information on the legal changes is available at and via the chatbot "TinA" provided there. In addition, the Central Information Office of the Customs Administration answers general inquiries on the subject of eCommerce in the usual manner by telephone or e-mail.

Comprehensive information has also been made available on the Customs website for online traders, carriers and other economic operators to prepare for the upcoming changes and on the future modalities for the declaration and payment of VAT (including IOSS and special arrangement).

Osnabrück Main Customs Office



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