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Import on your own: games without borders

Import on your own
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D he person needs the challenge. That is why he walks to the South Pole on foot. Or he tries to operate nuclear power plants in an earthquake area. If you want to bake smaller rolls, you might decide to import a classic on your own. At least: the chances of success here are reasonably realistic.

Few problems in the EU

Of course, this only applies if as long as the matter is viewed from a purely sporting point of view. As soon as the cost aspect comes into play, there is not necessarily much left of the irrefutability of the statements that every successful import including subsequent road approval is of course successful. Taking into account all expenses, such leisure activities often belong in the 'expensive hobby' drawer. The only exception: the search for the object of dreams takes place within Europe.

When crossing borders within EU countries, neither customs nor import taxes have to be paid when importing. If the car is still ready to drive, it can be transferred directly to its new home. If it is deregistered, a national export registration number must be obtained abroad. For the subsequent approval in Germany, only proof of ownership and proof of a passed full appraisal according to § 21 StVZO are required.

As a rule, there are no insurmountable problems here. If there are no vehicle documents or only incomplete data, the inspectors can often help on the basis of their own databases. In any case, it makes sense to get detailed advice from a TÜV, DEKRA or an employee of another testing organization before buying. Vehicles that were registered for road traffic for the first time after July 1, 1969 (for diesel, January 1, 1977 is the deadline), an AU certificate is also required.

Switzerland levies different taxes depending on origin

Disasters are also hardly to be expected if a car comes from one of the so-called EFTA states - i.e. Switzerland, Norway or Iceland - is introduced. The market in nearby Switzerland is particularly attractive; the import modalities are manageable thanks to agreements to facilitate trade between the EU and EFTA countries. But there is a difference in coststo be considered between vehicles that were produced in one of the respective member countries and those that come, for example, from Japan or the USA. The exemption must be applied for at German customs on the movement certificate 'EUR. 1'; the forms are available from the Swiss Chambers of Commerce and Industry. They have to be stamped by the customs authorities of the exporting country. For vehicles that come from another country, 10 percent duty is due. Both groups also have to pay 19 percent import sales tax.

The costs to be expected for imports from other countries, such as the USA, are even higher. Basically, the same rules apply here as for imports from Switzerland. However, 10 percent duty is generally to be paid, if you want to import a pick-up or SUV, you can even be asked to pay 22 percent duty, the rate for trucks. Anyone who has not bindingly clarified the classification in advance will have bad experiences here.

As with imports from EFTA countries, there is one exception, albeit rarely one. Classics that are more than 30 years old and are considered collectors' items in accordance with Item 9705 of the Customs Tariff are subject to a tax reduced to 7 percent, the customs duties are not applicable 100 pieces exist. In case of doubt, the importer must provide the relevant proof.

Always assume the worst case

Until recently, was it is possible to benefit from the much simpler classification as a historical cultural asset when importing via Holland. But the relevant rules were officially abolished at the beginning of 2011. Opportunities to save when importing via other EU countries are being discussed within the scene, but it can be assumed that other loopholes will gradually be plugged in the course of EU standardization.

Those willing to import must therefore urgently You are advised to heed an iron rule: Anyone wanting to import a vehicle should generally assume the costs to be expected in the worst case. In the case of a US import, transport costs and insurance would have to be added to the negotiated purchase price, 10 percent duty on the resulting sum and 19 percent import sales tax. In addition, your own time and travel expenses must be taken into account.

Only if there is now a significant difference to a vehicle that is offered, duty-paid, taxed and ready for registration in Germany, the effort of importing yourself could also be financially worthwhile. And if stillunexpected problems arise? It is best to keep your composure and see things in a sporty way.

Classic import: purchase plus ancillary costs

  • purchase price : advantages can arise if a Vehicle has been sold frequently in the exporting country and is difficult or impossible to find in Germany. However, the price must always be considered depending on the condition. Southern countries often score points under this aspect.
  • Transport costs : For shorter transfers within Europe, only a few hundred euros can be budgeted, transports from Spain to northern Germany for example cost up to around 1,000 euros. Transporting the goods from the USA in a container can easily add up to 1,500 euros - plus transport costs within the USA and collection from the destination port.
  • Customs : There are no customs fees within the EU. When importing from one of the EFTA countries or the USA, 10 percent, but possibly 22 percent of the total of the purchase price and transport or shipping costs are calculated.
  • Import sales tax : The tax does not apply to the import of a vehicle from an EU country. For imports from EFTA countries or from overseas, 19 percent is usually calculated on the sum of all costs including customs duties; the rate only drops to 7 percent in the case of classification as 'historical cultural property'.
  • Registration : Often times less problematic for vehicles from EU and EFTA countries than for US vehicles. However, modifications may be necessary, for example to the lighting system. An AU certificate is required for newer vehicles. It is essential to clarify the conversion costs and testing effort with the responsible test center beforehand.


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