International Movers South Africa To Germany


Germany is a land-locked country that holds a central position in Europe, geographically as well as politically.  In fact, in the years after World War II, Germany has rebuilt and rebranded to such a remarkable extent that Germany is now considered a strong democracy. With that rehabilitation has come vastly improved social, political, and economic stability, making Germany a popular country for ex-pats.

There’s a lot to know when you move internationally. The purpose of this guide is to share some of what you need to know to make this big move. Read on to learn more about the process of moving to Germany.

Importing Household Goods to Germany

One of the first things you should consider when moving overseas is customs duty and taxes. Fortunately, Germany will allow you to import your household goods free of custom and border taxes. To qualify for this benefit, you must provide documentation to support:

  • Official termination of your residence abroad (Documentation could include a lease termination or sale agreements for your previous home in South Africa)
  • Proof of new residence in Germany (Again, this could be a lease agreement, Einwohnermeldeamt [A fancy German word for German police registration], or a letter from your German employer.)
  • Proof of residency outside Germany for at least 12 months (By way of a signed lease agreement or proof of homeownership.)


Did you notice what all these things have in common? A terminated lease agreement from South Africa combined with a new lease agreement in Germany could be all you need. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Not all household goods will qualify for this exemption. The goods you import must have been owned and used by you in South Africa for at least 12 months before your move. Reach out to your local German embassy for the most current guidance.

Importing a Vehicle to Germany

If you move to Germany permanently, you can import your vehicle free of duty and VAT.  The requirements for this vehicle tax-exemption are the same as for your household imports. You must prove that you have given up your residence in your home country, are moving permanently to Germany, and have lived in South Africa for at least a year.

Modifications to your vehicle may be required. Even if your South African vehicle meets all of the mechanical requirements, your vehicle will be subject to inspection for roadworthiness and adherence to safety standards regarding headlights, emissions, brakes, and tires. Contact your local Kfz-Zulassungsstelle (German motor vehicle registration office) to learn more.

Once your vehicle has safely arrived in Germany, you will need to register your vehicle. Here are the documents you will need to provide:

  • 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 Australia
  • Insurance Card
  • Proof of Roadworthiness and Emissions Testing
  • Certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry proving that the vehicle has not previously been registered in Germany

Three Men and a Truck

Most people don’t get the chance to become experts in overseas moves or international shipping because they only do it once or twice. At Three Men and a Truck, we have developed international shipping expertise and established partnerships with international shipping partners. We can help with everything from paperwork to packing to ensure that your move is seamless and stress-free. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation international shipping 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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