Determining the tariffs, duties and fees for goods imported into Germany

Import tariffs

After determining the HS code of a product according to the Combination Nomenclature – CN of the EU (8 digits), the importer can identify the import tariff rate applicable to that product.

For Vietnamese goods imported into Germany, there are 03 tariff options, each corresponding to a specific tariff rate and condition, specifically:

  • MFN tariff: This is the tariff rate that Germany applies to goods from WTO member countries. This tariff rate is decided by the EU in compliance with its commitments in the WTO. Vietnam is a WTO member, so its goods can be applied MFN tariff when importing into Germany without having to meet any conditions (such as Certificate of Origin);

  • GSP tariff: This is the preferential tariff rate that the EU (including Germany) unilaterally grants to some developing and less developed countries (including Vietnam). Not all Vietnamese goods are eligible for the EU's GSP preferential tariff. At the same time, goods that want to enjoy GSP tariff must meet the GSP ROO prescribed by the EU. However, it should be noted that the GSP tariff mechanism will only be applied within 2 years from the effective date of the EVFTA, that is, from August 1, 2022 onwards, Vietnamese goods will not be subject to the GSP tariff of the EU;

  • EVFTA preferential tariff: This is the preferential tariff rate of EU member countries for goods originating from Vietnam (since the EVFTA took effect from August 1, 2020). The preferential tariff rate is determined by the EU, but in no case should be higher than the level committed in the EVFTA. To enjoy the preferential tariff rate under the EVFTA Agreement, Vietnamese goods must meet the EVFTA’s rules of origin and origin procedures.

Businesses can look up the tariffs applicable to their goods on the website of the European Commission's Access2Markets Portal at: markets/en/home

Other taxes and duties

Goods imported into Germany are also subject to other taxes such as:

  • Excise tax: Certain types of goods are subject to excise tax when imported into the German market, for example cigarettes, alcoholic beverages (spirits, beer, sparkling wine), mineral oil, energy products... This is the tax that applies only to goods imported into Germany, not a general EU tax;

  • Value Added Tax (VAT): Goods imported into Germany are subject to VAT, standard VAT is 19%, some goods are subject to a reduced VAT of 7%, for example agricultural products, food, pharmaceuticals, etc. This is the tax that applies exclusively to goods imported into Germany, not a general EU tax;

  • Anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard duties: Some imported goods are investigated by the EU and imposed anti-dumping, anti-subsidy or safeguard duties. This is an unified tax of the EU, goods that are subject to such measures whether imported into Germany or any EU market will be applied these taxes.

Source: "Business Handbook: Exploiting the EVFTA  to import and export goods between Vietnam and Germany" - Center for WTO and International Trade