Overview of Processes and procedures for importing coffee into Germany

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter

Overview of Processes and procedures for importing coffee into Germany: As a member of the European Union (EU), Germany applies the same processes and procedures for importing EU coffee.

The process of importing coffee into the EU, in general, is detailed at the European Commission’s Access2Markets Portal  ( https://trade.ec.europa.eu/access-to-markets/en ), with a specific address follow the link:  https://trade.ec.europa.eu/access-to-markets/en/content/guide-import-coffee.

In addition, the website of the German Customs ( https://www.zoll.de/EN ) at the link:  https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Movement-of-coffee/Import/import_node.html also regulates this import process.

(Note that the links/links mentioned in this section are for reference only and may be subject to change. In any case, businesses can directly access the Access2Markets Portal and the German Customs website to find their information).

Processes and procedures for importing coffee into Germany

Below is a summary of the steps for importing coffee from non-EU countries into Germany:

Step 1: Prepare to import

Register EORI Number – Business Entity Registration Number and Identifier

To carry out the import and export of coffee into and out of the EU, individuals/enterprises on the EU side must use the EORI number as an identification number in all customs procedures when exchanging information with the EU. Customs authority.

Determining the import category of coffee

Not all coffee is allowed to be imported into Germany, and not all coffee imported into Germany has the exact import mechanism. Therefore, before importing coffee into the German market, importers need to determine the import category of their coffee to determine the corresponding procedures.

Step 2: Categorize the coffee

Determining the classification (HS) for coffee is crucial in determining the import tariff on that coffee.

  • Coffee, tea, and spices
    • 0901 – Coffee, roasted or not roasted, whether or not decaffeinated; pods and coffee silks; Coffee substitutes contain coffee in some proportion.
      • Coffee, unroasted:
        • 090111 – Not decaffeinated:
          • 09011110 – Arabica WIB hoặc Robusta OIB

Vietnam is currently applying the HS system detailing up to 8 numbers under the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff System (AHTN). Meanwhile, Germany uses the EU’s integrated HS (8 digits) system (CN) to apply import tariffs and details up to 11 numbers to impose VAT and some other measures. . Therefore, businesses need to pay attention when exporting Vietnamese coffee to Germany, they need to determine the HS code of the coffee according to the German HS system (11 numbers) rather than the Vietnamese HS code (08 digits).

Step 3: Determine the taxes and fees

Import tariffs

For Vietnamese coffee imported into Germany, there are currently 03 tariff options, each corresponding to a specific tax rate and conditions. Based on the particular requirements of the coffee, the importer will choose the most suitable and beneficial tariff for them. Specifically:

  • MFN tax;
  • GSP Tax;
  • EVFTA preferential tax.
  • other kinds of tax

In addition to import taxes, coffee imported into Germany may be subject to other taxes such as:

  • Excise tax (Excise tax);
  • Value Added Tax (VAT);
  • Anti-dumping duties, anti-subsidy duties and safeguard duties.

Step 4: Transportation, customs clearance and clearance for the shipment

All commercial coffee transported from non-EU countries, including Vietnam, to Germany will have to declare to the German Customs Office – the competent authority on coffee release procedures for coffee. Foreign coffee is imported into the EU, whose first border gate is in the territory of Germany.

Customs procedures for importing into Germany  include the following steps:

  • Declare the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS);
  • Declare the import declaration;
  • Check import documents;
  • Physical inspection of means of transport and coffee, if necessary;
  • Collect import duties, taxes and other fees.

After the imported coffee is submitted with all the required documents, taxes and fees and the coffee is checked without problems (if the coffee is physically inspected), German Customs will proceed with customs clearance. Shipment and release of coffee. During the customs clearance process, imported coffee will be put into temporary storage (Temporary storage) under Customs supervision (no more than 90 days) until the coffee is cleared.

After being cleared and released, imported coffee will be freely circulated in Germany and EU member territories.

List Of Seaports In Germany to Import Coffee


The Port of Hamburg is a port in Hamburg, Germany, located on the river Elbe. The port is located 110 km from the mouth of the Elbe River into the North Sea. It is known as Germany’s “Gateway to the World” and is the largest port in Germany. It is the second busiest port in Europe in terms of TEU throughput and the 11th largest worldwide.

The Port of Hamburg is important for supplies to the European domestic market with a consumer population of 450 million. The state-of-the-art technology of its cargo handling facilities and data communication systems, efficient transportation infrastructure and excellent transhipment and inland links create the necessary conditions for exchanging coffee and services—exchange coffee with trading partners around the world.

The port also plays a vital role in supply logistics and waste treatment for the industry in Hamburg and the Metropolitan Region. Equipment facilities in the port area of ​​Hamburg can handle most types of cargo.

In addition to container berths, the port also has multi-purpose docks for handling heavy cargo, general cargo and project cargo, while other equipment handles liquid cargo. The Port of Hamburg annually generates a total value added of about 20 billion Euros across the country; more than 260,000 jobs in Germany are related to the Port of Hamburg.

The goal is to optimize the management of the arrivals and departures of large vessels.

In response to the sustained growth in container handling, an increasingly more significant number of ships have to be handled at the Port of Hamburg and on the Elbe in a decreasing amount of time.

The Port Elbe River Information System (PRISE), operational in March 2014, has deployed a single information platform worldwide. PRISE collects all information regarding vessel arrivals and departures generated by various stakeholders: terminals, pilots, shipping companies, tugs, mooring services and Port Authority.

This includes detailed information on berth scheduling and registration at the berths, status information regarding the current positions of ships on the Elbe from the German River Bight right to dock, a list of ETA vessel pilots, condition reports from tug and mooring services, as well as water level projections issued by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Service (BSH).

In addition, PRISE creates an overview of trains where any impending problematic encounters between large ships are visually highlighted, with proposed changes to the timings. Departure or arrival times are displayed on the screen.

Handling facilities for every need The Port of Hamburg is universal, offering handling facilities suitable for all types of cargo, from general cargo to bulk load, from projects and factories to quality liquid.

There are special terminals for reusable waste products and recyclable materials. On a site covering an area of ​​more than 71 square kilometres, there are more than 50 handling facilities in operation, ensuring the smooth handling of the most diverse cargoes.

Some 290 berths provide space for ships of all sizes: enormous container and bulk carriers, oil and chemical tankers, ro-ro, oil tankers and inland watercraft. Highly qualified staff and modern handling technology facilitate coffee’s quick and safe handling.

Germany’s largest container port

Today, more than 70 per cent of all bulk shipping worldwide is packed into containers. As Europe’s third and third largest container port, Hamburg undertakes an important distribution function for worldwide flows of coffee.

The four high-performance container terminals have an annual handling capacity of approximately 12 million TEUs (20-foot standard containers). Added to this is the power of multiple multi-purpose terminals where it is handled in addition to conventional container cargo.

All container terminals are equipped with integrated rail terminals – this further strengthens Hamburg’s leading position among rail ports in Europe.

Multi-purpose pier

Large and oversized coffee is handled at Hamburg’s seven multi-purpose facilities. Project cargo weighing several hundred tons can be unloaded and loaded with special equipment. In addition, many facilities are dedicated to handling different types of coffee, such as vehicles, fruit, cocoa and other foods.

The bulk wharf ensures the supply of raw materials.

Bulk handling in Hamburg is of particular commercial importance. More than 40 million tons of bulk cargo are handled in Hamburg each year, including bulk coffee such as building materials and fertilizers, grain and fodder, iron ore and coal, and liquid cargoes such as mineral oils and chemicals.

Warehousing areas ensure the safe handling of moisture-sensitive coffee. Hamburg holds a leading position in Europe for grain, with a silo capacity of one million tons. Vessels can dock directly next to large storage tanks, where high-performance units load and unload.

In addition, there are many mineral oil companies in Hamburg and other liquid raw material processing companies equipped to safely handle and store liquids such as mineral oil, palm oil, alcohol, latex and chemicals.

Sea freight to Hamburg, Germany :

  • Hai Phong – Hamburg : 20 usd/ cbm
  • Retail shipping time to Hamburg, Germany: 39 days
  • Ho Chi Minh – Hamburg : 20 usd/ cbm
  • Retail shipping time to Hamburg, Germany: 28 days


The port of Wilhelmshaven is Germany’s only deep-water port with a maximum depth of 18m. The port area is over 1000 hectares, including industrial, commercial and logistics space. The port area includes a container handling area, a logistics area and a railway system. The port is equipped with 16 main cranes for loading and unloading ships, which can handle 25 parallel rows of containers.

The container port is located at Jade Bight, a bay on the North Sea coast. Container ships with a length of 430 m and 16.5 m can dock at any tide level. Construction of the port was started in March 2008 and opened on 21 September, 2012.

However, due to the Great Depression, the port was not received with the warmest welcome, and very little traffic was brought through the brand new harbour. But container handling has increased from 60,000 TEUs in 2014 to 426,700 TEUs in 2015. The port’s annual capacity is 2,700,000 TEUs.

With only limited trade in the hinterland of Wilhelmshaven, most coffee would require additional transport by the feeder, rail or road. The German railway company DB has upgraded the Wilhelmshaven, Oldenburg railway line to provide more capacity for freight trains.

The logistics zone allows the establishment of cargo handling facilities. The Nordfrost Fruit and Refrigeration Dock entered service at the end of July 2012. It also houses several authorities such as customs and agricultural services.

A stacking yard with 16 rails is located at the northern edge of the port area. A cargo station with six rails for ship loading and unloading is situated in the centre of the port area between the handling area and the rearing area. Need.

  • Shipping time by sea from Hai Phong to Wilhelmshaven, Germany: 34 days
  • Sea shipping time from Ho Chi Minh to Wilhelmshaven, Germany: 34 days


Helena Coffee Vietnam

Helena Coffee Processing & Export in Vietnam | Helena., JSC, which was established in 2016, is a Vietnamese coffee exporter, manufacturer & supplier. We provide the most prevalent varieties of coffee grown in Vietnam’s renowned producing regions.

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