How to ship from Indonesia to Germany

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Today, Indonesia is one of the largest countries amongst other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, with a booming economy due to their strongly established bilateral relationship with the European Union (EU). According to the European Commission, in 2020, Indonesia boasted a significant amount of value in their trading goods, at US$20.36 billion, with at least US$7.1 billion of their goods attributed to EU exports. 

With these impressive numbers, it is no surprise that many of Indonesia’s exports are shipped to Europe since they are favoured by many European countries. Indonesia even clinched the fifth EU partner spot in ASEAN in 2020. 

As such, businesses should leverage this relationship between Indonesia and the EU countries, tap into this trade industry and start shipping to Europe. However, international shipping from Indonesia is no easy process. With many things to consider, including essential documents, taxes and duties, as well as restricted or prohibited goods, it is crucial for businesses to take key precautions and ensure that all criteria are met before their goods reach German customs. Else, they might experience delays or returns in the shipment of their goods.

That being said, with the right measures in place, you will be able to eliminate delays when you ship worldwide from Indonesia, as well as reduce the risks of shipping any prohibited items. Read on and learn how to ship your exports from Indonesia to Germany with this comprehensive guide.

1. Laws and regulations

As the aforementioned points, Indonesia and the EU have enjoyed a deepened and positive relationship which has facilitated more fruitful discussions and negotiations surrounding Free Trade Agreements (FTA). With such conversations, at least 11 rounds of discussions have taken place since July 2016, and more is forecasted to be held soon. 

With the EU-Indonesia FTA, the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) was able to grant Indonesia trade benefits such as lower duties on at least 30% of its exports into Europe. Such arrangements were framed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, along with Indonesia's membership with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 1996. Thus, positive relationships between countries are essential and impactful in affecting trade and future business opportunities.

2. Restricted and prohibited goods

All countries prohibit and restrict a unique list of goods. In the same way, certain goods are restricted while others are prohibited from being exported to Germany. This is due to restrictions made by the EU’s foreign trade or security policies, along with the countries’ intention to protect their national interest, citizens and organisations in their country. Therefore, before exporting to Germany, it is important to understand the customs rules and regulations of Germany. Some key goods to take note of include:

  • Prohibited goods: 
    • Waste
    • Animals including those threatened with extinction
  • Controlled goods:
    • Chemicals
    • Medical products
    • Textile products including clothing
    • Weapons
    • Organic foods for farming

For the full list of goods subject to restrictions, you should contact the German Customs information desk for more clarity. It should also be noted that there are strict guidelines when it comes to international liquid shipping. Adhering to these restrictions will help smoothen your experience during the customs clearance in Germany and minimize the chances of your shipment getting stuck in or delayed at Indonesian Customs. 

3. Export and Import documentation 

Apart from being aware of the types of goods to ship and not ship to Europe, it is also essential for your business to prepare the necessary import documents beforehand. For instance, depending on your export goods, you may be required to obtain import licenses and submit your import and transit declarations. In addition, Germany’s customs may also need you to produce a disinfection certificate before your goods are permitted into the country, along with an inspection certificate for any relevant assessment procedures.

For the full list of shipping documents and their purposes, you can find them in the Exports Document List. If you are exporting out of Indonesia, you may also want to check out the export documents necessary for doing so.

4. Duty and taxes

Your business will be required to pay duties – a type of tax on goods entering a country – whenever you are bringing goods into a different country. In Germany, all goods will be subjected to import duty and taxes upon entering the country through the EU’s Common Customs Tariff, and preferential rates are determined if your country has signed an agreement with the relevant EU countries.

Import duty rates in Germany can go up to as high as 17%, while the average tariff for all goods is 4.2%. In addition, goods such as food or non-agricultural products, as well as clothes, are subjected to higher tariffs at 11.8% and 11.6%, respectively, as these goods require extra protection.

For more information on the different categories of goods and the chargeable tariffs, you can find the full list in the WTO’s Tariff Profile of the EU.

5. Rates of duty

The rates allocated to the different types of goods being brought into another country will serve as an indicator for the amount of duty that needs to be paid by your business, along with various other criteria. However, there are three main categories that you may use to determine your import duty rates in Germany:

  1. Ad valorem duties: Duties are calculated based on the percentage of a good’s customs value. To determine the percentage, you may visit the Integrated Tariff of the European Union (TARIC), a multilingual system that integrates all necessary data and information regarding all EU customs tariffs, commercial rules and agricultural legislation.
  2. Specific duties: Duties are calculated based on the quantifiable specifications of a good such as weight, quantity, dimension, volume, and even the amount of alcohol content.
  3. Mixed duties: Duties are calculated through the combination of ad valorem and specific duties.

6. Payment of duties

If your parcels being sent to Europe incur duties, you may make payment in cash using the euro (EUR) currency. Alternatively, you may also opt to make payment through cheques, bank transfers or cash orders. However, if your payment is nearly due and you require a longer time limit, you may request an extension through the systems of collection credit or duty credit.

Shipment solutions with DHL Express

To make certain that your goods arrive safely at their destination and meet Germany’s customs rules and regulations, consider working with a reliable shipping logistics courier company to ensure that the complicated processes of your shipments are well taken care of and streamline your international logistics.

DHL Express is the global leader in the logistics industry, where we specialise in international shipping, courier services and transportation. In addition, we offer a wide range of solutions to our business partners and even customisation options to make sure that it is well suited to your business' specific needs and to cut down on your shipping costs when you export from Indonesia.. These include parcel tracking, on-demand delivery options and streamlined shipment preparation and management through our intuitive MyDHL+ online portal.

With our logistics solution, allow us to optimise and improve your supply chain and enable you to gain a competitive advantage while meeting customer needs altogether. For more help and support, you may also contact our logistics experts at our DHL call centres to receive advice on shipping and clearance. Alternatively, open a DHL Express business account to find the right solution for your business today