Bansar would like to share our good contract ocean freight with carriers, and we provide timeliness inland truck service in China.
Bansar provides good ocean freight and lower destination charge for LCL shipment goods. And we will not charge more local fees from shipper under FOB incoterms to avoid complaints from suppliers.
Port of Loading
|Port of Arrive|
Are you looking for a one-stop guide for your shipping from China to Germany?
Look no further.
This guide covers everything you should know when importing from China to Germany.
From prohibited imports, customs regulations, shipping methods to documentation.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert in sourcing and shipping from China to Germany.
Let’s dive right in:
Germany Import Regulations
Modes of Shipping from China to Germany
How to Ship from China to Germany
Cost of Shipping from China to Germany
FAQs on Shipping from China to Germany
China to Germany
Understanding the rules that govern the importation of goods to Germany is the first step when you want to import.
Not only will you avoid getting into trouble with the customs authorities but they will clear your faster.
These regulations are what I am going to take you through here.
So let’s get started.
Understanding the trending market is important when you are in the importation business.
You can go for goods that will sell quickly.
Germany imports from China – Photo courtesy: Trading Economics
To assist you in your decision making, this is what constitute Germany top imports from China.
Motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers.
Computer and accessories.
Machinery and equipment.
Chemicals and chemical products.
Crude petroleum and natural gas.
Basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations.
Quality Standards and Regulations in Germany
When it comes to quality standards and regulations, Germany has employed strict rules to safeguard consumers.
This includes monitoring the imports into the country
For starters, if you are importing plants or their products, you will be required to register with the relevant authorities.
This helps in the monitoring to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.
When you are importing nonfood items such as jewelry and toys, you will have to obtain a specific license.
The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety will issue you with this license.
If you are considering importing food items, then it is best that you obtain laboratory report for the imports, Germany authorities carry random checks on these imports.
And by the way, you need to be registered by the Elektro-Algeräte Register (EAR) foundation.
This is if you are importing any electrical or electrical equipment.
You need to understand the duties and taxes that apply to your goods when importing to Germany. Different goods attract different taxes as follows.
For starters, the taxes that you will pay are calculated based on the CIF value of your imports.
Importing industrial goods will be subjected to an import sales tax of 19%.
This is on top of a general tax of 4.2% that the customs charges these goods.
Also when you import food products, newspapers, and pieces of art, you will pay a 7% tax.
The government protects its local industries by charging 17.3% tax on fabric and clothing items that you import.
This is in addition to other quotas that the customs levies on these products.
Car manufacturing plant in Germany
Before you start importing to Germany from China, it is best that you get to know what you cannot import.
This will minimize the chances of you getting into trouble with the customs authorities.
And by the way, importing prohibited cargo will result in the customs authorities’ confiscating them.
Now that is something you would want to avoid.
Let me assist you with a list of items that Germany prohibits from importing into the country.
Any product that contains biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)
Certain carcinogenic substances
Certain Chemicals subject to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
Certain Pesticides subject to the Rotterdam Convention
Certain Products subject to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Counterfeit coins and banknotes
Counterfeit or pirated goods
Flick and Gravity Knives
Fully Automatic weapons; any electronic night scopes, laser guides, or guides for weapons; pump-guns with pistol grip; any concealed weapons, and any weapons containing any modifications beyond the manufacturer
Goods bearing false origin statements
Goods infringing a copyright
Goods infringing a trademark
Green and Black Tea of P.R. China origin
Offensive Weapon: belt buckle knives, death stars, throwing stars, martial arts equipment, and pepper and similar sprays
Ozone-depleting substances except for fire extinguishers for aircraft you need import license and permit)
Rabies susceptible animals
Stamps (fictitious) including dies and plates for the manufacture
Prohibited items are not the only items you need to consider.
There are goods which you can import into Germany but after going through further approval.
These are the restricted goods which include the following:
Certain Products subject to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Cordless telephones (operating on frequencies greater than 853 MHz)
Any drugs including samples and medical supplies and equipment
Animal carcasses or products and animal feed
Animal including birds and eggs, insects and livestock. Also pathogens and rabies virus
Bees and honey
Hops and Hop products
Indecent or obscene materials, regardless of media
Explosives in the range of 1.3 and 1.4
Fabrics & fabric samples
Fish and Fish products
Flours and meal of animal origin
Hair and Wool
Hay and Straw
Wood, still having bark.
Plants and plant pests.
Used Agricultural Machinery
You need to have the necessary documents so that the clearing of your cargo by the customs become easy.
But which documents do you need?
Let’s have a look at this documents that will make your shipping easier.
This is a document that shows that you have transacted with your supplier over the importation of your cargo.
It includes the following information:
Information on the exporter and the importer (name and address)
Date of issue
Description of the goods (name, quality, etc.)
Unit of measure
Quantity of goods
No specific form is required.
Your supplier prepares this documents and hands it over to you or your forwarder.
Your supplier will prepare this document in any language as long as the can translate it into English.
You will be required to present the original document together with at least one copy.
In case the value of your goods exceed EUR 200, then you will have to present this document to the customs.
This document assesses the value of your cargo to consider the customs value that will apply to your cargo.
Depending on the means of transport you use, you will have to fill out the following documents and present them to the customs for your goods to be cleared.
When you are importing goods that do not attract any tax, the customs will issue you with an ATA Carnet certificate. These goods include commercial samples, professional equipment, and goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, and exhibitions.
TIR Carnet used when the shipment of your cargo has involved the use of road transport. This document allows the shipment of your cargo in secure vehicles or containers.
Bill of Lading
FIATA Bill of Lading in case of multimodal means of shipment.
Road Waybill (CMR) when you are shipping via road.
Air Waybill (AWB) is required when you are shipping using air means.
Rail Waybill (CIM) when you are shipping using rail.
You will be required to present this document for customs clearance only when the commercial invoice lacks some data. This missing information relates to the premium paid to insure your cargo.
This document provides information concerning the cargo you are importing. This includes the weight, dimension and the packaging detail of each unit that you are importing.
The customs uses the document as an inventory to clear your cargo
The single administrative document is a document that describes the goods imported and the movements.
The main information that you will be required to fill in this form include:
The name of the importer
Custom approved treatment, i.e. are the customs clearing your goods for consumption or temporary importation
Information concerning your goods, i.e. codes for the goods, weight, the units that you have imported and the packaging
Information about the means of transportation of your cargo
Information about the country of origin of your cargo and the destination of your cargo.
Declaration concerning the methods of paying for import taxes on your cargo. This includes tariff duty, VAT, and excise duty.
Now, in case you want to learn more about this subject, here are useful links for you:
Import Customs Procedures in Germany
Germany Customs and Import Duty Tax Calculation
Safety is important when it comes to you shipping your cargo.
Much of this lies in the mode of shipment that you choose.
Of course, choosing a mode depends on the type of your cargo, the nature of it and where you want it delivered.
So what are these modes of shipment?
Reefer shipping is a mode that is convenient if you are importing temperature sensitive items.
This includes farm produce like flowers and fruits and fish.
The design of a reefer container is in such a way that it helps to either heat or cool your cargo.
This prevents your cargo from going bad before it reaches its destination.
Reefer container – Photo courtesy: APL
Of important to note here is that the reefer process does not cool or heat your cargo but maintains it at a given temperature.
So you should make sure that you have heated or cooled your cargo to the desired temperature first.
Why plan a trip to China to check the goods you are importing to Germany?
With door to door shipping, you don’t have to travel to China.
All that you have to do is to contact your supplier to order your goods and arrange with your forwarder for delivery.
Your forwarder will handle your goods from the supplier’s premise to your doorstep.
This includes clearing with the customs and loading and unloading of your cargo.
Door to door shipping FedEx
Door to door shipping will involve a multi-modal means of shipment since the goods have to arrive at your place safely.
Again, your forwarder should be able to handle this.
An ideal shipping mode if you are a small or medium importer whose imports cannot fill a container.
This mode involves your cargo being loaded together with others to fill a container.
Of course, the other importers need to be heading your direction for this to be possible.
The limitation here is that you will have to wait longer for you to receive your cargo.
The reason is that the ship will have to unload for the other importers before arriving at your port.
Also, the likelihood of your cargo being damaged or left at another port is high when you are using this mode.
LCL is cheaper compared to FCL when you are shipping small quantities of goods.
If you are importing a large consignment, then you may want to consider a full load container for your shipping.
This is where you ship your cargo exclusively in one container.
Using this mode of shipping allows for the shipment of your cargo without damages arising from sharing a container.
As such you can ship fragile and valuable items.
The good news is that you don’t have to fill the whole container with cargo.
You can leave space if your cargo is all in, but you will still pay the price of the whole container.
Options available for a container that you can choose from include, a 20ft container or a 40ftcontainer.
Importation of vehicles or machines from China is an area you can be interested in.
This is because there has been an increase in these imports.
If you are considering shipping these goods, the Ro-Ro shipping mode needs to be a safe mode for your shipment.
Ro Ro Shipping
Ro-Ro shipping is where the design of a ship has been modifications to include ramps fitted at the sides or back.
This allows your cargo to be loaded safely into and off the ship.
Using this mode prevents the hustle of shipping using a container including securing the container.
Importing samples for your cargo does not need to take long for it to arrive.
By utilizing express shipping, you can conveniently ship your samples faster.
And that is not all.
You can decide to break your cargo since most express services provide the ship with a maximum of 1000kg and import.
This allows you to have enough stock even if you are waiting for your containers to arrive via ocean.
This is important if your clients are in demand for your cargo.
Remember that utilizing this mode is expensive but faster compared to other modes of shipment.
There are various options that you can choose from when it comes to shipping your cargo from China to Germany.
This, however, depends on your financial strength, the urgency of your cargo and the location.
Let me explain each mode so that you can have a better consideration of each method of shipping.
Ocean freight is convenient when you are importing a large consignment, and you are not in a hurry.
With many industries in China based close to seaports, it is convenient for you to ship via ocean.
However, you need to know the details of using this mode like the shipping companies and the shipping routes.
That is what we are going to look at here. Let’s start off.
Whenever you are importing from China to Germany, you can consider the following ports:
The advantage you have with this port is that it can handle any cargo vessel.
The port boosts of 320 berthing capacity.
Ports of Bremen
This port consists of the commercial ports in Bremen and Bremerhaven.
Bremen ports GmbH & Co. KG manages this port.
The cargo statistics in 2011 was 60 million tons of goods.
This included 2.1 million cars and 6 million containers.
You can use this port mostly if you are shipping vehicles
Some of the most popular sea routes when importing from China to Germany include:
Sea route from China to Germany – Refer to PORTS.COM
a) Jinan Port to Port of Bremen
This route passes through the following seas Bo Hai Sea, China Sea and Andaman Sea before arriving in the Indian Ocean.
From there it heads to the Laccadive Sea, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and into the Suez Canal.
The route arrives at the strait of Gibraltar after passing through the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea.
At the Port of Bremen, the route arrives after covering a distance of 13074nm passing through the English Channel and the North Sea.
This route takes 55 days.
b) Jinan Port to Port of Hamburg
This route starts at Jinan port heading to the Indian Ocean through the Andaman Sea and into the Gulf of Aden.
From there it proceeds to the Strait of Gibraltar through the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Your shipment will arrive in Hamburg port after passing through the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.
This takes a total of 55 days covering a distance of 13108nm.
c) Port of Zhenjiang to Hamburg Port
This route covers a distance of 12391nm taking 52 days to arrive in Hamburg port from China.
The voyage starts at port Zhenjiang heading to the Indian Ocean via the Strait of Malacca and into the Gulf of Aden.
From there it proceeds to the Nile River through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea.
The voyage continues to the North Sea passing through the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. It arrives at Hamburg port via the Elbe River.
Now, this is yet another critical stage when importing from China.
From experience, I can recommend the following shipping companies from China to Germany.
MSC Shipping company
Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC)
This is the largest privately owned shipping company with its headquarters in Geneva. They boast of having a total of 480 container vessels which includes 4 of the largest container ships globally.
China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO)
With its headquarters in Beijing China, this shipping company has a total capacity of 1, 539,618 the company started operations in 1961. It boasts of 6 of the top 10 largest container ships in its fleet. Each of these ships can handle 19000 20 foot containers.
This shipping company owns a total of A total of 1114 ships with 285 of them being container ships.
This is the fifth largest container shipping company in the world with its headquarters in Taoyuan city. This company operates a total of 190 including the 8500 TEU L type container ships.
Founded in 1848, Harang-Lloyd owns175 modern container ships in its fleet. Each year the company ships 7.5 million TEU’s worth of containers.
Among its fleet are some of the biggest ships that are capable of shipping 13000 TEU worth of containers.
Hamburg Süd Group
You can locate the headquarters of this airport that started operating in 1871 in Hamburg.
With a shipping capacity of 646,918 TEU’s, it is one of the largest private shipping companies with 133 ships.
In this modern era, quick supply is a prerequisite for the success if your business.
And that is exactly what shipping via air does.
You can receive your cargo in a matter of hours.
This helps in the continuous growth of your business.
What comes to your mind then is what kind of goods you can ship via air.
As a general rule, if you can use air freight if you are importing cargo that is large in weight but small in volume.
Examples include items like electronic equipment, clothing and medical product.
Alternatively, you can ship perishable items like flowers and precious items like gold.
This area focuses on international airports in Germany that you can use to ship your cargo.
Not forgetting the carriers that you will use when you want to import to Germany from China.
Let me explain in detail.
By choosing to ship via air to Germany, the handling of your cargo will be at one of the busiest airports in the world. Germany is home to some of the busiest airports that include:
You can find this airport in Frankfurt city and can conveniently use it if you are shipping to Frankfurt, and its environs.
This includes Rhine-Main metropolitan area.
However, in case you are shipping to other places, this airport is still an ideal port for you. Y
ou can access the airport through its well-integrated transport system.
This includes a road that connects the airport to the Autobahn intersection.
Not forgetting that you can connect using rail from Hanoi central station to the East or Wiesbaden station to the West.
By choosing to import through this airport, an area known as CargoCIty will handle your cargo.
This consists of CargoCity (South) the location for your freight forwarding and dispatching service.
Before I forget, CargoCity (North) will handle your perishable goods as well as live animal imports.
Cargo statistics favour the importation of your cargo through this airport.
For instance, in 2017, the airport was able to handle a total of 2.176 metric tons.
And don’t forget that it is the 2nd busiest airport in Europe.
This airport can serve you well if you are in Munich or its surrounding areas like Freising town. But if you are far from this area, a well-integrated system of transport is in place to connect to you.
This includes a road that connects the airport to the motorway A9 which leads to Nutermnberg.
Also, you can access the airport using the Munich ring road. If you use the Bavarian state road, you will have access to the airport.
A railway network is in place that connects the airport to Munich airport station and Besucherpark station.
The cargo statistics of the port includes 378, 803 metric tons of cargo that it handled in 2017.
The advantage you have with this airport is that it is capable of handling wide-body aircrafts such as Airbus A380.
This ensures safe handling of your cargo
The North-Rhine- Westphalia State is home to this 3rd largest airport in Germany. Equipped to handle wide-body aircrafts such as A380, ensures safe handling of your cargo.
An important statistics that you should note is that in 2017, it handled 103,107 metric tons of cargo.
You can access this airport by road through motorway A44 that connects to motorways A52, A57 and A3
Berlin Tegel Airport
This is the main airport of the capital city of Germany with its location in the Tegel area north of Berlin. You can use this airport if you are shipping to Tegel, Berlin and its surroundings.
If you want to access this airport, it is possible through motorway 11.
Some of the main cargo planes to Germany from China include:
China cargo airline
China Cargo Airlines
This is a cargo-only airline with its headquarters in Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai
It was founded in 1998 and has a total fleet of 20 airlines that serve 20 destinations.
The China Eastern airline and China Shipping Company owns this airline.
The airline normally calls at Tan Son Nhat international airport.
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Being the flag carrier for Hong Kong, It has its head office and main hub in Hong Kong international airport.
It has two models of the Boeing 747 for its cargo operations.
At the end of 2010, it had carried a total of 1.8 million tons of cargo.
This made it the largest international airline.
Air Hong Kong
With its base in Chek Lap Kok. Hong Kong airline has its main hub in Hong Kong International airport.
The airline started operating in 1988.
It specializes in cargo shipping with its fleets including Airbus A300-600F, Boeing 747-400BCF and A300-600RF.
It calls at Tan Son Nhat International airport
With its headquarters in Indonesia, cardigan Air operates scheduled cargo flights across Asia.
This company started operating in 2004; It owns Boeing 737-300 aircraft that function as cargo planes.
The airline started operating in Vietnam in 2016 and calls at Tan Son Nhat international airport.
FedEx Express is a cargo airline that has its base in the United States.
However, it has regional offices around the globe with one in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
It is the largest airline in the world when it comes to the volume of cargo transported.
It is also considered as the fourth largest airline when it comes to the fleet size.
Rail shipping is considered a middle ground between the ocean and air freight.
This is because you can ship a large consignment of cargo at a relatively lower price compared to ocean freight.
And by the way, using rail shipping cuts the shipping time you would have spent on ocean freight.
So, what are some of these goods that you can ship via rail?
With rail freight, you can ship virtually anything including:
Let’s look at the route you cargo will follow before reaching you.
Yu’Xin’Ou Railway Route
This is a rail route that links the town of Duisburg in Germany to the south-west side of the Chinese city of Chongqing.
The route passes Alataw, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland before arriving in Germany.
This route covers a total distance of 11,179 taking between 13 to 16 days to arrive in Duisburg from Chongqing.
China Germany Railway Line
The train operates on a daily basis.
Cargo statistics from January to November 2012 had a total of 40 cargo trains using this route.
This translates to a total of 1747 containers.
One factor that you will have to bear in mind when shipping is the cost.
You will have to incur additional charges apart from the price of the products that you are importing.
Ultimately if you are importing to sale, these costs will have to be added to the selling value of the products.
But what are these cost and what is their value?
The answer to these question lies in this section.
There are three standard types of containers that you will encounter in the course of your shipping, though different companies have variations, the measurement is almost the same.
The cost of shipping these containers is different too.
Different types of shipping containers
a) FCL 20’’ (Volume: 33.2cbm)
The dimensions of this type of container are 5.89m x 2.35m x 2.39m, and the maximum weight it can handle is 24 tons.
If you are shipping using this type of container, you will pay around $3000.
b) FCL 40’’ (Volume: 67.7cbm)
This container has a space measuring 12.03m x 2.35m x 2.39m and a maximum weight of 30.48 tons. It will cost you around $ 5000 shipping via this container.
c) FCL 40’’ HQ (Volume: 76.3cbm)
This container has the same space as the FCL 40 though its volume is 76.3cbm and a weight of 26 tons.
If you choose this container, it will cost you around $5000.
This excludes the cartage cost to your warehouse which will be around $50 per container.
Now, let me take you through the cost of shipping from China to Germany using different modes of transport.
a) Air freight to Germany from China
Several factors determine the shipping cost when you are using air freight.
Airway bill, any extra service offered by your airline
These extra services apply when you are importing perishable or fragile cargo.
The measurement unit for chargeable weight is 0.1kg, and it refers to the one that is heavier between gross and dimensional weight.
If your cargo weighs less than 21kgs, then the minimum weight unit charged is 0.5kgs.
In case it is more than 21kgs, then it will be 1kg.
The air goods volume for your cargo is as a result of the product of the length, weight and height in inches. Then you divide this with 366.
Ocean Freight to Germany from China
Several factors determine the ocean shipment cost that you will pay.
As an importer, you need to understand these factors as they will appear on your charge sheet.
Nature of your cargo determines your shipping cost differently.
Hazardous cargo or high valued cargo like minerals are likely to be charged high compared to a normal cargo.
This is due to the extra handling given to your goods.
Fuel cost often changes in the shipping industry including when your cargo is in transit.
These changes appear in the bunker adjustment sheet.
A good forwarder should be able to advise you on these changes when they occur so that you can plan.
Shipping companies charge differently in a bid to attract customers.
While you are looking around for a shipping company, search for one that is pocket-friendly.
This will reduce your shipping cost.
The distance between the port of origin and port of destination affect your shipping cost.
This is because different ports have different distances apart.
This implies that a port that is considered near to your port of destination will be cheap compared to a far port.
Also, different ports have got their docking charges.
This charges will appear on your shipping cost.
I know you could be having some questions about shipping from China to Germany.
Well, I am going to respond to some of the most frequently asked questions.
And, in case I don’t respond to your specific concerns, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.
For, now, let’s get straight to some of the common questions about shipping from China to Germany:
First, they will go through customs clearance.
Once the train arrives at the railway station, your goods will be unloaded and loaded in a truck for inward deliveries.
But remember, this will depend on the contract you have with your forwarder.
Shipping time depends on the method of shipping that you will choose.
If you choose air freight, you will have your cargo in Germany within a few hours.
If you choose rail freight, on average you should be able to have your goods in Germany within 13 days.
However, if you choose ocean freight, you will wait up to a month for you to have your cargo.
It is possible for you to ship both LCL and FCL using rail.
Important to note is that the same Incoterms you will use on ocean freight apply in rail freight.
You will not pay tax on replaced imports.
You will have to notify your forwarder immediately, and they will be able to assist you.
In the case of taxation, you can always claim for a refund or tax credit.
Of importance is that you maintain proper documentation to prove that you have already paid for tax on these goods.
A good forwarder will assist you in tracking your cargo.
You can achieve this through either the container number or the bill of landing code.
You can track your shipment from the port of origin to your port of destination in Germany.
Your carrier will issue you or your forwarding agent with the bill of landing.
As you have seen, shipping to Germany from China is easy.
You can simplify this process his process by hiring a freight forwarder.
You can hire LEAGUE Freight Forwarder is your trusted partner when importing from China to Germany.
We guarantee you world class services as we walk with you through your shipping journey.
Get in touch with us today and let us handle your shipping needs for you.