International Movers Japan to Germany


In Japan, food takes many forms. You can find candy that looks like hot dogs or rice balls that look like pandas. In Germany, they also like to have fun with food. In fact, in Germany, beer is considered food.

The history of beer in Germany is fascinating. One of the country’s previous kings even outlawed coffee in the country for a time due to fears that the caffeinated beverage might overtake beer in popularity. The country is home to countless breweries, and it is said that if you wanted to taste one beer in Germany per day, it would take you over a decade to taste them all.

If you are moving overseas for the first time, there is a lot to learn. The purpose of this guide is to share some of what you need to know to make an overseas move to Germany. Read on to learn more.

What Does it Cost?

When you move to Germany via sea transport, you can choose either a half-container or full-container. The half-container offers 20 feet of space, and the full-container gives you the whole 40 feet. While you will need to work with a shipper to get a comprehensive quote, container shipping rates are available online and serve as a helpful baseline. To move a full container from Japan to Germany, you can expect to pay under 250,000 yen. A half-container can be shipped for as little as 100,000 yen.

Importing Household Goods to Germany

Moving overseas can be costly and time-consuming. You will have to pay fees for transport, logistics, handling, storage, and much more. You will need to carefully choose which items to bring and which items to leave behind. All items that are packed for shipping must be carefully inventoried, with lists describing the contents of each individual box.

One of the first things people ask about when moving overseas is customs duty and taxes. Unwelcome surprises at the border can cost you thousands of dollars or force you to surrender items that are prohibited.

The good news is, if you are moving to Germany permanently, you can import your household goods free of custom and border taxes.

To qualify for tax and duty-free imports, you must provide documentation to demonstrate:

  • Official termination for your residence in Greece (such as a lease termination or sale agreements for your previous home in Greece)
  • Proof of new residence in Germany (a lease agreement, Einwohnermeldeamt [German police registration], or a letter from your German employer.)
  • Proof of residency outside Germany for at least 12 months

As always, the laws governing immigrations and customs are subject to change. Reach out to your local German embassy for current guidance. There are some exceptions to the tax-free rules and items that are strictly prohibited from import altogether.

Importing a Vehicle to Germany

If you are moving to Germany permanently, your vehicle can be imported tax and duty-free. (Note: Your vehicle will be tax and duty-free as it pertains to customs only. Germany has other taxes associated with vehicle ownership that you will be required to pay.)

Even if your vehicle is new, modifications to your vehicle may still be required, particularly to your headlights, emissions, brakes, or tires. In addition to the mechanical requirements, your vehicle will be inspected for roadworthiness and adherence to German safety standards. At the end of the day, the German authorities aren’t going to let you on the Autobahn until they know your vehicle is safe. You can always contact the local Kfz-Zulassungsstelle (German motor vehicle registration office) to learn more.

Once your vehicle has successfully passed through customs, you must register your vehicle in Germany. Vehicle registration in Germany requires:

  • Valid Passport or Other ID
  • Proof of Vehicle Ownership (free of liens or encumbrances)
  • Proof of Address in Germany
  • Customs Clearance
  • Export Permit
  • Vehicle Registration from Japan
  • Insurance Card
  • Proof of Roadworthiness and Emissions Testing
  • Certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry attesting that the vehicle has never been registered in Germany

Three Men and a Truck

International moves can be tricky, but you don’t have to go it alone. Three Men and a Truck is an international moving company with the experience and connections you need for a seamless transfer. We can help with everything from packing to logistics to customs declarations. Contact us today to learn more and to receive your free, no-obligation international movers quote.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

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