Germany is a Member State of the EU. Goods can circulate
freely within the EU, but must be cleared through customs when
imported into the EU customs territory from a non-EU country.
This can be achieved either by importing the goods under special
customs procedures (in which case customs duties often do not
arise), or by clearing the goods for free circulation (as defined for
Clearance for free circulation generally triggers import duties.
These duties include in particular customs duty, import value
added tax and, where applicable, excise duties.
The level of the customs duties depends on the classifcation
of the imported goods within the customs tariff and on the
customs value that is placed on the goods. In many cases, the
European Union grants tariff preferences to goods from certain
non-EU countries in the form of preferential customs duties.