Germany – changes in customs law

Starting situation

The German customs authorities tightened the conditions for Swiss based companies to apply for a payment deferral account. In the past it was possible to apply for such an account without having to found an independent subsidiary in Germany.

This account is used for the deferment of custom duties, import VAT and excise duty. The deferment is only granted if a minimum amount of transactions is meat on a monthly or yearly base.
In principle, only applications from legal persons based in the EU can be granted. Until now companies based in Switzerland or Liechtenstein were also allowed to apply for a deferred payment account.

Continuous payment deferral only with security deposit

The granting of a payment suspension account is now linked to a security deposit. The authorization is however only granted to EU-based companies. Swiss companies with an additional seat in an EU Member State will therefore no longer be granted a license for a security deposit. German customs authorities are aware of this problem. According to our information, this issue will be discussed internally with the goal to find of a solution.


Currently, exclusively Swiss based companies will not be granted payment deferral and can no longer apply for a payment deferral account in their own name. They have the option to use the payment deferral account of their forwarder, their EU-subsidiary or group company or their customs representative.

Existing payment deferral accounts of Swiss companies are currently not affected by the restriction and can still be used by the companies.

For more information, please feel free to contact Robert Richter on +41 58 792 21 27 or


Bildquelle: Gordon Gross  /

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