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How much is the customs duty on packages from Japan to Germany?

You can read this article also in : 日本語 (Japanese)

My package from Japan got tariffed!

My package was stopped by customs and never arrived….

I was looking forward to my shipment from Japan.

If customs duties are taken or the product does not arrive for a long period of time due to customs procedures.

It’s a very low tension….


In what cases are tariffs charged and how much?”

If you know in advance the rule that

“I’ve been hit with tariffs!” You can greatly reduce the number of tragedies such as

Hi, I’m Harie, an expat wife in Germany!

I’ve received packages from Japan many times while I’ve been here.

I have yet to be charged customs duty!

As a matter of fact, customs rules can be checked in advance at the customs offices or embassies of each country.

In this article.

Here is a summary of the customs rules in Germany, where I live.

This will give you an idea of the precautions you need to take when having your package sent from Japan!

Although some tax rates are different.

Other EU countries should have almost the same rules, so please refer to them.

Japan to Germany luggage: Customs rules can be divided into two patterns

How much is the baggage duty free from Japan to Germany?

According to the German Customs website, shipments from Japan can be divided into the following two cases

  1. Gifts
  2. Online Shopping Luggage

(1) is for gifts from family and friends living in Japan.

In this case, the

Tax free if less than 45 euros and certain conditions are met

The first two are the following.

The key to whether or not it’s a gift is that it’s

It must be “person-to-person.”

The “thing sent without consideration = no money exchanged.”

Gifts must be sent by an individual to an individual without compensation.Items for which the company is the sender or receiver are not considered gifts and are subject to duties and taxes.

Mail to Germany – Embassy Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany

(2) is a package from a mail order site, etc.

This is taxable unless it is a small amount.

Let’s take a closer look at each case.

There are different rules for baggage for commercial purposes. Please check the German Customs website for details.

Packages from Japan to Germany: How much is the customs duty on gifts (gifts)?

Gift duty

For gifts

The following customs duties apply to shipments from Japan.

total amounttariff rate
Less than 45 eurostax exemption
45 to less than 700 eurosFlat rate of 17.5% (or 15%)
More than 700 eurosTariff rates for each item

Gifts under 45 euros

Certain conditions are met No customs duty is charged on gifts under 45 euros.

Customs formalities are also no longer required.

The Japanese Embassy and the German Customs website also have

If certain conditions are met.

It is firmly stated that anything less than 45 euros is tax free.

Most small packages sent by individuals are treated as gifts. Items that meet the following conditions are exempt from customs duties and do not require customs procedures in accordance with the provisions of the Duty Free Decree (Articles 25-27).

Mail to Germany – Embassy Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany

In most cases, private small items are gift items. These shipments are duty-free and are not subject to any customs formalities if the following conditions are met (Art. 25 to 27 Customs Exemption Ordinance):

Gift shipments – Zoll

So if it’s less than 45 euros it’s tax free!

At least it’s a relief!

Certain conditions for tax exemption will be discussed later.

Gifts from 45 to less than 700 euros

For gifts over 45 euros that meet certain conditions

A flat 17.5% or 15.0% tariff is applied.

The tariff rate for each item above 700 euros will be charged.

For more details, please refer to the chapter “Online Shopping Tariffs”.

What are certain conditions for the gift tariff rules to apply?

Examples of cases where luggage from Japan to Germany is subject to customs duties

So far, gifts have been

Tax free if less than 45 euros

A flat 17.5% or 15.0% tariff if less than €45-700

I explained.

But for this rule to apply

The following conditions must be met

  1. Not to exceed the established limits for specific items.
  2. Must be an irregular package addressed from one individual to another
  3. The package must be gratuitous (barter, etc., is taxable because the tax exemption condition is that the recipient does not make any payment, counterparty benefit, or other benefit).
  4. Shipped from outside the EU customs territory and Helgoland
  5. The form and quantity must be intended solely for personal use or consumption at the recipient’s home and must be of such form and quantity as not to give rise to suspicion of commercial purposes.

(Citation: Mail to Germany – Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany)

*2) Specific items are coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, perfumes, etc.

When your package is stopped by customs or you get charged customs duty even though it’s less than 45 euros.

It is possible that one of these conditions is not met (or suspected to be met).

Indeed, when I think back on all the packages I’ve had stopped by customs.

I might have been stuck on one of these.

For example…

Here are the contents of the baggage stopped by customs.

  • 3 bottles of soy sauce (1 liter)
  • Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)-style seasoning 1ℓ 3
  • 5 jars of soy bean sauce

The large quantity of the same type of product was suspected to be for commercial purposes.

You had doubts about the tax exemption condition (5) mentioned earlier.

I was living in Poland at the time.

Polish customs was rather appropriate because

I went to customs and told them that it was for personal use and was easily granted tax exemption.

I am not sure if it would be so readily OK in Germany….

Packages from Japan to Germany: What I do to avoid being stopped by customs

To avoid unnecessary suspicion from customs, you should

When you get money sent to Germany from your family in Japan

We have asked them to devise the following

  • Total amount to be less than 45 euros
  • Don’t put in large quantities of the same kind of food.
  • Take all price tags, packaging, and outer boxes (to avoid suspicion of commercial (resale) purposes).
  • Do not include documents that could be mistaken for a delivery note or invoice (so that no one suspects it is a paid package).
  • The name of the person to whom the package is addressed and the name of the person to whom the package is sent should be his/her personal name (since the package is addressed to me from my parents’ home, it will not be in the name of the company, but just in case…).

Other than that, I’d like to make sure you don’t suspect it’s a package from an online shopping spree.

Boxes with the logos of Amazon, Rakuten, and other online shopping sites.

Some people try not to use them for packing.

I have trouble telling my friends about these detailed mileage rules.

Don’t send me packages!” (laughs).

Multiple packages, watch your shipping dates!

The total value of a package is the sum of packages “shipped on the same day”, not per box.

A “package” is a unit of goods that is shipped by an individual to an individual on the same day and processed by a single customs office, regardless of the number of boxes.

Mail to Germany – Embassy Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany

If you are having multiple packages sent from Japan

It would be safer to have them do one box a day.

Packages from Japan to Germany: How much is the customs duty for online shopping?

When sending packages purchased from Japanese online shopping sites to Germany

The following customs duties and import sales taxes will be paid

Total amount (including shipping )tariff (import tax)Import Sales Tax (VAT)
Less than 22 eurostax exemptiontax exemption
Less than 22 to 150 eurostax exemption7% or 19
150 EUR or moreTariff rates for each item7% or 19


That the total price will “include shipping!”

The value of the consignment is decisive for calculating the import duties. What matters is what amount was actually paid to receive the goods. If the final invoice amount includes postage costs, these will not be deducted.

Internet orders – Zoll

The German Customs website also states that shipping costs are included in the total amount.

Even though shipping from Japan to Germany is expensive…. This hurts!

In addition, online shopping packages mainly include

  • tariff (import tax)
  • Import sales tax (=VAT)

or both.

one word “tariff” means customs duties

There are several types of them!

Cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, etc. are subject to a separate consumption tax in addition to customs duties and import sales tax.

possibly consumption taxes, including energy tax, tobacco tax, alcohol tax, alcohol tax, beer tax, sparkling wine and intermediate product tax and coffee tax, for all goods subject to excise duty

Internet orders – Zoll

Luggage less than 22 euros

Online shopping baggage under 22 euros is duty free.(excluding cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, etc.)

Shipments of goods with a total value of no more than 22 euros can be imported without the collection of import duties.

Internet orders – Zoll

However, since it’s less than 22 euros ‘including shipping’.

Realistically, there may not be many cases where this applies.

Luggage less than 22-150 EUR

Online shopping packages over 22 euros are subject to an “Import Sales Tax”.

Import sales tax is a tax on

VAT (value-added tax), the Japanese equivalent of consumption tax.

Even within the EU, tax rates vary from country to country.

VAT is imposed on imported goods as import sales tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer).

German Customs System – JETRO

In Germany.

Daily necessities such as groceries and books account for 7%, and the rest 19%.

In addition, there is an additional customs fee of 6 euros to be paid to the carrier.

Since March 2018, Deutsche Post and DHL charge a customs fee of 6 euros for items costing more than 22 euros, and they will clear customs and deliver directly to your home.

About Customs (International Mail and Online Shopping) – Germany News Digest

Luggage over 150 euros

For online shopping parcels over 150 euros, you can

Both “customs duty” and “import sales tax” will be paid.

Customs duty rates vary depending on the product.

(For more information, please refer to the German Customs website.)

It was on the German Customs website.

I found the “Example of tariff calculation for a blouse bought from Japan” easy to understand.

Here’s a translation for you!

  • Blouse: 200 euros
  • Shipping cost: 35 euros
  • Tariff rate for blouses: 12%.
  • Import sales tax rate for blouses (Germany): 19%.


(blouse cost 200€ + shipping cost 35€) x tariff rate 12% = 28.2€.

Import Sales Tax

(cost of blouse and shipping 235€ + customs duty 28.2€) x import sales tax rate 19% = 50.01€.

[Total = amount paid to customs

28.2€ + 50.01€ = 1 78.21€ + 50.01€ = 28.2€ + 50.01€ = 50.01€

Oh my god, if you buy a 200 euro blouse online in Japan…

78 euros in taxes will be taken…!

Too expensive…! Fearful…

AmazonGlobal’s international shipping includes customs duty.

The tariff rules are too complicated…

I was afraid of unexpected tariffs.

I can’t order from Japanese online shopping…

If you are worried about customs duties, we recommend using AmazonGlobal’s international shipping.

They will calculate in advance the estimated amount of import taxes, duties, and other fees that will be charged at customs clearance.

You can then pay that estimated tariff together when you buy the goods.

(Eligible countries only. Click here for eligible countries )

If actual import duties are lower than estimated, the difference will be refunded and

If actual import duties are higher than estimated

They will not charge you anything new!

Amazon is so generous…!

There are no unexpected tariffs to pay.

If you are worried about customs duty, I think it is easiest and safest to buy Japanese goods from AmazonGlobal.

For more information, please refer to the Advance Payment of Import Taxes and Other Tax es within Amazon.

It’s also important that you don’t pack anything in your luggage that’s not allowed to be sent overseas!

If you know the above tariff rules in advance, you can

They could be hit with unexpected tariffs or

This can greatly reduce the possibility of being stopped by customs for an extended period of time.

Besides the tariff rules, there’s one more thing to watch out for!

It is.

Don’t carelessly include in your luggage items that are forbidden to be sent overseas or prohibited to be imported!

Prohibited items are listed on the websites of embassies, customs offices, and shipping companies in each country.

Check once before sending your package.

I often check the Japan Post website.

Easy to see and convenient♪

Know the rules of customs and send your goods wisely from Japan.

Long story short, that’s all the tariff rules I could find out!

If your luggage gets stopped at customs.

It can take more than twice as long as usual for a package to arrive…

I had to go all the way to customs to pick it up…

They charge customs duty and…

If you don’t pick it up by the deadline, it will be sent back to Japan…

And there is not one good thing (laughs).


If it’s a gift, keep it under 45 euros.

If you’re shopping online, you can use AmazonGlobal to pre-pay your customs duties, for example.

We recommend that you take steps in advance to ensure that you are less likely to be stopped by customs!

Also, if the gift is a

Ask a family member to save the price tag and packaging.

Such as not sending the same thing in large quantities.

Better yet, make sure customs doesn’t suspect you!

If you are still unlucky enough to be stopped by customs, you are already lucky (laughs).

Responses vary considerably depending on the staff member in charge.

Some people are amazingly Texan, some are pretty strict, and some are just…

This is really just luck.

Let’s do everything we can to make sure it gets there, and then pray it gets there safe and sound!