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South Africans in Germany

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Import a used vehicle to Germany

12.01.2022 – This document is still a draft, awaiting feedback

What documents do you need

  • Proof of ownership – Proof of purchase / Hire purchase agreement
  • Dealers Invoice
  • Original Vehicle registration documents –  Proof of registration in your name
  • Current vehicle insurance documentation
  • EU Certificate of conformity (Konformitäts-bescheinigung or EWG – Übereinstimmungsbescheinigung)
  • Certificate of exhaust emissions (AU-Bescheinigung) – vehicles older than 3 years
  • Tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung). This is to confirm that the vehicle has not previously been registered in Germany
  • Drainage certificate for the shipping agent (you will need several copies)
  • Packing list
  • Documents from the shipping agents for customs. The customs agents will open your container and check your declaration

What else do you need

  • A Shipping agent
  • You will need a conform container

The process

  • Get all the necessary documents together
  • Arrange a shipping agent
  • Have your vehicle VeriDotted –  
  • Prepare the vehicle (no fuel, fuel line and battery disconnected etc)
  • Deregister the vehicle in SA
  • Ship the vehicle
  • Collect your vehicle at customs / arrange vehicle delivery to TUV. You will not be allowed to drive your vehicle before all the paperwork is done and you have a TUV certificate
  • Customs in Germany will issue you with a Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung to enable you to get your vehicle licensed, registered and insured here in Germany.
  • Vehicle is modified to German standards e.g changes to the headlights
  •  Register your vehicle in Germany – Licensing 

Registering your vehicle

You will need the following documentation

  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of your registration in Germany (home address)
  • Original registration documents
  • Tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung)
  • Proof of duties paid or exemption (Zollrechtliche Bescheinigung)
  • Original Certificate of Conformity
  • Proof of insurance
  • Road tax form
  • TUV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) certificate – Testcentre for roadworthiness
  • Proof of the original purchase contract


  • As a rule, you have to pay the following:
  • Duty Fees – 10% import duty
  • Import VAT – 19%

You can get exemption from the duty and VAT if you are establishing a new residence in Germany and have given up your residence in a non-EU country. The vehicle must be registered in your personal name (sole owner) for at least 6 months and be used by you personally. You will have to declare the vehicle as Übersiedlungsgut

  • Shipping Fees
  • Customs fees


  • In Germany, you drive on the right lane and the driver sits on the left
  • Your vehicle will have to go through TUV, there are some adjustments that needs to be done for example the angle of the headlights

Info on the internet

  • Your Europe – Car registration documents and formalities
  • Zoll (Customs) Transferring residence
  • KBA (Kraffahrt-Bundesampt) Central Vehicle Register