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Duties and Taxes

Duties and Taxes

Why do I have to pay Duty and Tax?

You may not have been expecting to receive a Duty and Tax Invoice so we’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand what these charges include.

If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service.

What is Duty and Tax? 

Customs Duty is a tax charged on all products shipped from outside of the EU. Controlled by German Customs, the purpose of Duty is to bring the cost of imported goods up to the same cost as those produced within the EU to keep competition fair.


Who has to pay? 

The person or business receiving the shipment is legally obliged to pay Duty unless the sender has agreed to accept these charges in the contract of sale.


What is the clearance administration charge? 

FedEx pays the Duty and Tax charges on your behalf to ensure we can deliver your shipment as quickly as possible. This incurs an administration fee (Advancement Fee).

I paid Tax when I purchased this item 

Goods purchased from outside of Germany may be subject to tax charges from the originating country/territory. This does not relieve the payment of import duties on importation.


I pre-paid Duty and Tax charges before delivery 

At the time of import, you may be charged an estimated figure. This is calculated prior to an assessment of your shipment. If the estimate is lower than the final charge you will be required to pay the difference, and if it is higher we will refund the difference.

If the amount of your invoice is different to the amount you pre-paid, please call Customer Service on 01806 111 800*.


I believe the shipper paid for all charges relating to this shipment

Duty and Tax charges are not assessed until the shipment enters Germany. If your shipper has advised they have paid FedEx for these charges, this usually relates to the payment they have made for transportation charges and not Duty or Tax.

I am a temporary visitor to Germany

You will need to pay the import charges but may be entitled to claim the charges back when you leave Germany. This depends on the individual circumstances of your package.


I purchased my goods online 

The prices advertised on websites outside of the EU often do not include Germany Duty. This can make products appear cheaper when compared to German or EU prices.  


The shipment is a gift 

Items up to 45.00 € in value that meet the following criteria are not liable for import charges:  

  • The sender must be a private individual and the consignee must take delivery at a private address.
  • The gift must be sent free of charge and be of an "occasional nature".
  • The word ""gift"" must be marked on the Air Waybill and commercial invoice.
  • All items must be itemised with their own full description and value.

Please note that items containing alcohol and tobacco will incur Excise Duty. Items containing food may need to have additional documentation and be subject to further checks which could result with additional charges.


The shipment contains samples 

Samples can be imported to Germany without Duty or Tax charges as long as they meet the special conditions. More information you will find on the German Customs homepage.

How do I reject the shipment? 

Please contact Customer Service.

All claims must be made before the goods are returned or destroyed.

You will need to pay any Duties and Taxes to FedEx, and process a claim directly with main customs office to reject your shipment.

More information about Duties and Taxes 

Visit the Website of the German Customs homepage


Consumer advice about products sold by companies outside of Germany

For information regarding movement of goods please visit the homepage of German Customs


I have a general invoice or account enquiry

Contact us using the contact form

Having your own deferment account ensures your high-value shipments are cleared quickly, helping you to work more efficiently while saving time and money.


How and where can I request an own deferment account

You can apply for your own deferment account online at and download the required forms as PDFs. You can then forward the completed forms to your local main customs office (Hauptzollamt).

Of course you can also request all documents directly from your local main customs office.


What are the benefits from an own deferment account?

An own deferment account means that no further credit checks, particularly those for high-value shipments, are required. With your own deferment account

  • your goods can be cleared and delivered more quickly
  • the applicable costs are always invoiced on the 16th of the following month
  • this means that you receive an interest-free payment deferment of up to 45 days
  • advancement fees are no longer charged.
  • there is only one accounting procedure per month, no matter how many import shipments you have.

More information on Deferment Account

If your query is related to EU VAT changes then please visit our dedicated page here.

How to pay

Electronic Bank Transfer (EFT)

Electronic Bank Transfer (EFT)

Transfer money from your bank to ours, exactly when you want. It’s the perfect option if you want to save time and simplify payment processing.

To make a payment by EFT please submit your payment to the following:

Account Name: FedEx Express Germany GmbH
Bank: Commerzbank AG, Deutschland
IBAN number: DE79 5054 0028 0490 0130 00

When making an EFT transfer please ensure you quote your invoice number or when paying multiple invoices include your customer number to ensure prompt and accurate allocation, alternatively send a remittance advice to:
Fax: +49 6107937455

Credit Card

With credit card

FedEx accepts all major credit and debit cards. We have the following options for online payments:

  1. Pay your duty and Tax invoice quickly and securely thanks to our online payment
  2. If you are a regular customer and would like to receive your invoices electronically use our tool FedEx Billing Online.

Call +49 1806 111 800* for more information

Direct Debit

Direct Debit

Paying by Direct Debit is an easy and convenient way to service your FedEx account. Usually invoices will be debited from the specified banking account 30 days after your invoice date of invoice.

SEPA Direct Debit Mandate

Call +49 1806 111 800* for more information

All information is correct at time publication and Federal Express Europe Inc accept no responsibility for information relating to third party contact details changing without prior notice. HM Revenue and Customs make the final decision on all imports. Terms and conditions regarding your Federal Express Europe Inc invoice are printed on the reverse of the invoice.

* 20 cents per call from a German landline. Mobile rate max. 60 cents per call.