Intra-Community Trade Declaration System / Help with online declaration

9.1 Principles of the obligation to provide information

Do I have to provide information?

As a general rule, each and every business is responsible for providing information about its movements of goods to or from other countries. The way in which information is to be provided depends both on the partner country (trade with non-EU member countries = extra-Community trade declaration of goods in the context of the customs clearance procedure, or trade with EU Member States = intra-Community trade declaration to be submitted to the Federal Statistical Office) and on the exemption thresholds specified.

As regards intra-Community trade, businesses liable to pay VAT in Germany whose scope of dispatches to other Member states of the European Union or scope of arrivals from those countries did not exceed the exemption threshold in the previous year are exempted from the obligation to submit declarations for the direction of trade concerned (dispatches from or arrivals in Germany). If the specified amount is exceeded in the current calendar year, the obligation to provide information will begin in the month when the threshold is exceeded, that is, the first statistical declaration for the direction of trade concerned will have to be submitted for that month.

Submitting the relevant declarations is not a matter of voluntariness, it is rather prescribed by law. Any proprietor or manager of a business who has to submit declarations for the purposes of foreign trade statistics is obliged by law to provide the required information.

 

 

Submitting export and import declarations often is a burden on my business. How do I as an entrepreneur profit from submitting the relevant data?

The data you submit allow depicting and comparing the foreign trade trends across various economic branches. In your capacity as a business proprietor, you can use the results to monitor the given markets.

 

 

Why the data I supply are considered important?

Foreign trade statistics are regarded as a key indicator of economic development. Hence they are an important instrument which is used by many public and private decision-makers. The statistics support, for instance, national and international authorities in preparing bilateral and multilateral negotiations and businesses in conducting market studies and defining their trade strategies. And they are an indispensable source of information used in the compilation of balance of payments statistics and national accounts and in short-term economic analyses.

In addition to the information supplied by the Federal Statistical Office, the iXPOS German Business Portal of the Bundesagentur für Außenwirtschaft "German Federal Office for Foreign Trade"(only in the German language) provides a wide range of interesting information about business opportunities.

 

 

What are the legal bases for compiling the relevant statistics?

As mandated by German law, the compilation of any type of statistics requires a legal basis.

The production of foreign trade statistics is governed by both national and European legislation. See here (only in the German language) or see the Intra-Community trade statistics General Guide Annex 6.

 

 

What will happen if I do not fulfill my obligation to provide information?

Pursuant to Art. 23 (3) of the Federal Statistics Law, it shall be considered an irregularity if a person willfully or negligently does not render information at all or not in due time, which may be punished by a fine of up to EUR 5,000.

 

 

Do I have to submit declarations of my trade in services, too?

No, declarations must only be submitted for the trade in goods. The only exception is processing trade.

 

 

Do I have to submit a declaration for goods which are produced in a foreign country and are exported from there to another foreign country while the invoice is paid by a German company?

No, declarations must only be submitted for goods which cross the German border.