Frequently asked questions
When do I need a passport or visa for my journey?
For journeys within the European Union, the requirement to check a personal identification document has been dispensed with for all residents of Schengen states. In order to ascertain a person’s identity, however, the document must be carried all the same and presented on request. Therefore always carry a valid personal identification document with you. For travel within the European Union, an identity card is sufficient.
If you are travelling in a country outside the European Union, you will need a passport. You can find further information on this at the following website: www.neuer-reisepass.de
Besides a valid travel document (a passport or identity card, depending on your destination), you may also need an entry visa for some countries. Please make arrangements for your visa in good time. If you do not hold citizenship of a Schengen country, you should also check whether you need a visa for your destination also for travel within the Schengen area. The consular or diplomatic representation of the destination country is responsible for issuing a visa. You will find further information on the entry regulations for your destination country on the Department of Foreign Affairs website: www.auswaertiges-amt.de
Before setting off on your journey, please check that your travel documents are still valid. Your passport or identity card must be valid for at least the duration of your stay abroad.
When do I pay customs?
Generally a certain quantity can be imported that is exempt from duty. Different duty-free allowances apply for the various regions of origin. If you are entering the country from the EU, you must observe the duty-free allowances and value limits presented on the following page: www.zoll.de
If you are entering the country from non-EU countries, you must observe the following regulations, duty-free allowances and value limits: www.zoll.de
If you exceed the stated value limits, you must pay import duties that are calculated based on the full value of the product.
Furthermore, trade goods must always be declared. The same applies to goods that are subject to any measures of prohibition and/or restriction.
What significance does the Schengen Agreement have for my journey?
Due to the Schengen Agreement, identity checks are no longer performed within the Schengen area. To ensure you can identify yourself if required, you must still carry a valid identification document with you. The border checkpoints are divided into EU/Schengen and non-Schengen, which speeds up the checks.
You can find out which are the member states via the following link: www.auswaertiges-amt.de