Until very recently, Germany was the UK’s greatest trading partner. With the upheaval surrounding Brexit, America now holds that position. But trade with Germany remains extremely important to the UK. Partly because Germany has the largest economy in Europe.  And partly because it is one of the busiest trading hubs within the EU. That makes it a very receptive market.

So, that’s why you might want to send freight to or from Germany. But what do you need to know about the process?

3 Things You Need to Know About Transporting Freight to or From Germany

1. Transportation

There are a number of different ways that you can transport goods between the UK and Germany. They include rail, air, sea and road freight. For smaller goods, a courier might do. If you’re dealing with pallets, then a road haulier will be the most economic option. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to compromise with a slow delivery speed. Express freight can see your goods move between the UK and Germany in less than 24 hours. Depending on the part of the country your destination lies in, you may even make it from A to B in 16 hours.

2. Restricted Goods

When transporting goods to or from Germany you need to use your common sense when it comes to restricted goods. If you’re working within the EU, most customs restrictions are the same. But every country has its own requirements. So, it’s best to check the German customs portal before you arrange the purchase/sale and movement of goods. This applies whether you’re organising a straight movement of freight or cross-trade shipping.

3. VAT and Taxes

Wherever you send goods between countries you will encounter VAT and taxes. At the moment, pre-Brexit, freedom of movement means that you should not have to pay any taxes or duties on exports between the UK and Germany. However, that may well change come October 31st, 2019 – so watch this space.

And regardless of Brexit, there is still the matter of VAT to be negotiated. If you are sending goods to Germany, it is the recipient who needs to pay the VAT – as long as they are VAT registered. BUT, you – the sender – do need to be VAT registered too, and record the export details on your VAT return in order to avoid any later penalties. If the recipient is not VAT registered, then you will generally have to cover the fees.

And that’s really all you need to know. Sending freight can seem fraught with difficulties when you’re first starting out. But once you’ve worked out how to pack and store your goods, and found a reliable freight forwarder, like Plexus, it becomes the easiest part of the process.

If you would like more information on how Plexus Freight can take care of sending your freight to Germany, please just get in touch.