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Origin of goods Energy tax Transport

Origin of goods

The origin of the product can reduce the rate of customs duty ➔ origin of goods

The European Community (EC) has concluded preferential agreements with almost 200 countries and regions in order to support developing nations or the economic integration with the respective countries and regions. Consequently, goods with a preferential origin have the advantage that they can pass the frontier at a reduced rate of duty or duty-exempt.

One prerequisite for obtaining this preferential customs treatment is documentation affirming that the applicable rules governing origin have been observed for these goods. The certificate of origin is often used to demonstrate this; an invoice declaration can also be used.

The manufacturer of the merchandise must verify whether the prerequisites for obtaining originating status are met. If he did not manufacture the input materials for producing his product himself, he must obtain information about the origin of the input materials from his suppliers. If the input materials originate in an EC member nation, and if the supplier supplies a specific customer with merchandise on a regular basis, a Long-term Suppliers' Declaration can be issued.

As a supplier, we provide our customers with corresponding Long-term Supplier Declarations for the products we supply. However, due to changes in production processes or input products, it can happen that we are no longer able to fulfil the rules of origin of individual preferential agreements. Consequently, we regularly ask our customers to inform us of the countries to which they wish to export their products, so that we can review the corresponding preferential agreement.

The German Ministry of Finance and German Customs publish further information on this subject:

Energy tax

The properties and the use of the product for heating or as fuel can make it subject to an excise tax (specifically: energy tax).

The energy tax is the main excise tax for the Federal Republic of Germany and is an important source of government revenues, accounting for 13 % of these. In 2010, Customs collected energy tax totalling ? 39.8 billion.

In principle, energy tax is levied for energy products intended to be used as fuel or for heating. The Energy Tax Act (formerly Mineral Oil Tax Act) covers products with the aid of the excise-tax related Combined Nomenclature (CN code) and governs, among other things, the tax rates and the regulations for duty suspension and tax exemption.

Many of our products are classed as energy products, as their CN code falls in the range from 2704 to 2710. Our main customs office has granted us a permit to store energy products, so that we do not need to pay energy tax. The energy tax is also not due if customers have been authorised by their local main customs authorities to receive the corresponding product tax-deferred or tax-exempt.

Under certain conditions, the main customs office responsible for the parties involved will issue a general permit to obtain certain energy products tax-free, e.g. for use as lubricants, cleaning agents or oil for the working of materials (see Annex 1 in the German Energy Tax Regulation respecting Sec. 55 and 74 of the Energy Tax Regulation ).

In each case, we must prove to our main customs office that we have sold our product to a person authorised to receive them or that the product has left the EU. If we cannot prove this, we must remit the energy tax.

More on the Combined Nomenclature, classification:


Transport of goods subject to energy tax with duty suspension

As long as energy tax has not been paid for the product subject to energy tax, Customs is constantly monitoring that product. As of 1 April 2010, an IT-based system is in place for monitoring the transport of goods subject to excise duty ( Excise Movement and Control System, EMCS), and as of 1 January 2011 the use of EMCS is mandatory for all goods transported between EU member states. As of 1 January 2012, ECMS becomes mandatory for transport within Germany.

The EMCS replaces the previous paper documentation of the accompanying administrative documents (BVD). The sender transmits the e-VD (electronic administrative document) in advance, which is electronically validated by the sending member state. The sender receives an electronic response with an ARC reference code and the recipient of the goods is correspondingly notified. Only then can the sender dispatch the merchandise.

Once the merchandise has reached its destination, the recipient confirms receipt of goods electronically within five days. Thus, both the sender and the member states involved are notified that the merchandise has been correctly received.

To ensure that this electronic system can function correctly, the following prerequisites must be met:

  • Both parties must use either a certified EMCS participant software or the EMCS applications of Customs.
  • Both the sender and the recipient of the merchandise must have excise duty permits from their respective main customs offices. As a result of this, both parties also have the corresponding excise duty numbers (warehouse holder number and warehouse number).

The excise duty numbers can be verified in SEED. SEED-on-Europa is an online application on the website of the European Commission that enables users to verify the validity of the excise duty numbers of business entities as well as the corresponding merchandise categories (

For more information:

All information on our website is provided according to the best of our knowledge and belief; however, this description is necessarily incomplete given its short length. For legal reasons, the above information can only be provided on a non-binding basis.