Change to the rules in Germany affecting shippers of goods from Germany

6 September 2013

From 1 October 2013, any business making intra EU dispatches of goods from Germany to another EU country must obtain and retain a certificate from the recipient that confirms that the recipient has received the goods. The German name for this type of certificate is the "Gelangensbestätigung".

Our advice to clients is to prepare for this additional requirement as soon as possible to ensure that you are ready for the official start date. Failure to obtain such certification will lead to the shipper being responsible for 19% VAT, as well as penalties and interest.

The current requirement for such shippers is to retain proof of dispatch by way of transportation documentation. This requirement will remain.

The German Finance Ministry has provided details of what must be on each certificate. The formal certificate must contain the following:

  • Name and address of the customer;
  • Amount and tariff classification of the goods supplied;
  • Date;
  • If goods are transported by the supplier /or on behalf of the supplier/ or on behalf of the customer, it must show the place and date of the receipt of the delivered goods in another EU member state;
  • If goods are transported by the customer, the date and place of the end of the transport in another EU member state, is required.

Most importantly, the signature of the recipient as confirmation of the receipt/transportation of the goods.


Find out more about VAT in Germany
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