Import & Export in Expertenhand


Mail Boxes Etc. - competent partner at your side

Import and export represent the central business foundation for global trade. As a partner in the import-export business with expertise in import VAT, Mail Boxes Etc. has many years of experience. In cooperation with our worldwide network of premium partners, we offer you an all-round carefree package for the import and export of your goods. You are planning an expansion with focus on import-export trade? Then we are the perfect partner at your side.

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Definition: Import and export

When importing, goods and services are imported from abroad. Exports are goods and services exported abroad. If exports and imports are not balanced, the trade balance is said to be positive or negative. If more goods are exported than imported, the trade balance is positive for the exporting country. If more goods are imported than exported, it is negative for the importing country. In this context, one also speaks of an export surplus or an export deficit.

Germany traditionally has an export surplus. In 2019, an export surplus of 254.94 billion US dollars was recorded - making Germany one of the "export world champions". Even during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, a significant export plus of more than 175 million euros was recorded in each case.

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Why are goods imported?

The import of raw materials is an important part of global trade. In this way, raw materials are procured that are not available locally but are needed in industry and production.

The import of new products also plays a role. Here, market demand is served that cannot be met by regional supply. Skillfully used import of goods can create a competitive advantage. This is because imported goods can, for example, be cheaper or of higher quality than the domestically available offerings.

Why are goods exported?

New sales markets can be served via the export of the company's own goods. Company expansion is often the central point of export trade. In addition, gaps in foreign markets can be filled, for example with raw materials or services that are not available there. Trade thus ensures better international availability of products from various branches of industry and production.

The export of goods also enables targeted risk diversification. If the sales market is spread over several regions, sales slumps in individual regions of the world can be better absorbed.

What is there to consider when importing and exporting?

Global trade presents traders and companies with a whole range of challenges. Cost-effectiveness for import and export can only be achieved if a well thought-out system is used. In this way, potential problems can be avoided and each shipment of goods is optimized in all relevant areas.

In addition, factors should be considered that have an impact on the availability and cost of imported and exported goods. These include import sales tax or import regulations of customs in the EU. It is therefore advisable to calculate and plan for import VAT in advance and to know the applicable rules, e.g. when importing goods from China (customs).

In order to get the best support for your import and export project through Mail Boxes Etc. it is important to know exactly your own requirements:

  • What is to be exported/imported? Food, raw materials, components, finished goods?
  • With which country does the trade take place? EU country or third country?
  • In which currency will the business be conducted?
  • What volume of trade is to be covered?
  • B2B trade or B2C trade?

Based on this information, we can plan a concrete collaboration together. In this way, we find solutions that are efficient, economical and tailored to your requirements.

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MBE Services - global trade from a single source

As an expert in the global trade of goods, Mail Boxes Etc. offers a range of specialized services for import and export:

  • Customs clearance - compliance with customs regulations / documentation (e.g. when importing goods from China)
  • International shipping with reliable contract partners
  • Insured shipments of goods worldwide
  • Management of customs inventory
  • Shipment tracking also in cross-carrier service

Import-Export Service from Mail Boxes Etc.

With us you receive all services for the import and export of your goods at one place. Our import-export package includes the following services, which can be extended if required: 

■    Advice on import & export: We advise you on the subject of import and export regulations and, if necessary, explain to you how to calculate and pay import VAT.

■    Customs clearance: We take care of all formalities in advance and also take care of the correct handling of customs matters during the transport process.

■    Worldwide door-to-door service: We pick up your shipment of goods at the agreed time and guarantee safe and reliable transport to the destination with leading express couriers.

With the MBE import-export service you can easily order and manage shipments of goods worldwide. Rely on the expertise and years of experience of Mail Boxes Etc. for your international business. Our MBE centers will be happy to advise you on every single step of the import-export process and on questions regarding import VAT in Germany or customs import from third countries - quickly and personally.

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Customs support: import and export made easy

For the export of goods to a country outside the EU, the following points must be observed:

  • Not all goods may be exported or imported to all countries. Here it is important to know the regulations of the respective country.
  • When exporting to a country outside the EU, sales tax, export duty and excise duty may apply.
  • In order to place goods in customs clearance, an EORI number is required - this is used to register and identify economic operators.
  • Each country has different rules for the type and declaration of customs clearance of goods.

Here, too, our MBE employees will be happy to provide you with comprehensive advice. This means that imports and exports with non-EU countries also run smoothly.

Info about customs for EU import

If goods are imported into the EU from third countries (not part of the EU), customs duty, import VAT and consumer tax may be payable on the goods. For shipments with a material value of up to 150 euros, only import VAT is due. Shipments with a tangible value of more than 150 euros are also subject to customs duty. Excise taxes are applied to so-called highly taxable goods - such as tobacco, coffee, alcohol.

How is the import sales tax calculated?

For the calculation of the import VAT of a consignment of goods, the following values are added:

  • Value of goods
  • Freight costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Import duty
  • Possible additional costs like excise tax

The import tax rate is calculated from this sum according to the specifications of the country of destination. Many customs offices offer an online import VAT calculator.

Customs inspection of import and export goods

In the course of importing and exporting goods, an inspection may be carried out by customs. Random samples and reasonable suspicion are examined to determine whether the customs regulations for the shipments are being complied with. Of course Mail Boxes Etc. supports you also in this area. We take care of a complete documentation and the correct customs clearance of all goods for all shipments on an international level. Among other things, the following documents are required for this:

  • Invoices and delivery bills as well as contracts
  • Stock records
  • Import and export licenses
  • Import and export licenses
  • Import duty notices
  • Freight documents
  • Freight forwarding statements
  • Customs and import VAT accounts
  • Extract from the commercial register

We work closely with our clients to be able to quickly provide the requested documents when needed. In this way, we ensure that there are no costly transmission delays.

Mail Boxes Etc. - Your expert for import, export and questions about import VAT

Use the opportunities of import and export trade to expand and successfully open up new markets. We are the reliable partner at your side. Contact our experienced staff directly with your questions about customs regulations, importing and exporting goods, and international logistics. We are available to you personally at more than 150 locations nationwide and can also be reached personally by telephone.

We are looking forward to your inquiry!

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*Service offerings may vary by location and MBE Center.

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International shipping outside the EU is the supreme discipline in shipping. Air freight as a transport option and the additional customs formalities require a high level of expertise. With Mail Boxes Etc. you have found the right partner for international shipping.
Air freight
Anyone who wants to hold their own in the international market today needs a fast, secure and reliable transport network to send freight. Air freight has established itself here as the global standard. Accordingly, there is a large network within the air freight forwarding industry. We offer you direct access to the best providers in the industry.
MBE Deutschland GmbH • Bundesallee 39-40a • 10717 Berlin • Tel. +49 30 72 62 090 • Fax +49 30 72 62 09-250 • •

Mail Boxes Etc./MBE Centers are operated by independent operators as franchisees, who operate under a franchise agreement under the brand name of MBE. Through its franchise network Mail Boxes Etc. provides support services for businesses and individuals. Logistics and shipping services represent the main services of MBE – enabled by MBE through contractual agreements concluded for the benefit of its franchisees with the main national and international express couriers - and other graphics and printing services - provided either directly or on the basis of agreements with large printing centers. The promotion of services for business and private customers is carried out in the framework of the business activity of each MBE franchise partner within and outside of the MBE Centers ("farming"). Each franchise partner is contractually obligated to perform such activities. Mail Boxes Etc. and MBE are registered trademarks used with permission of MBE Worldwide S.p.A. (All Rights Reserved). The services offered by the individual MBE Centers can vary depending upon the location. The material available on this Internet site, the information contained herein and any other relevant related data may not in any manner be copied, distributed, changed, republished, reproduced, downloaded or forwarded to third parties, without the expressed prior written authorization of MBE Deutschland GmbH. We accept no responsibility with regard to the unauthorized use of the material available on this Internet site, the information and/or the data contained herein.
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