The EU internal market has significantly facilitated trade within the 28 member countries, and this has also been helped by the introduction of the VAT identification number within the EU. At the same time new regulations have been introduced for trade with non-EU countries. Accordingly internal EU commerce is differentiated from worldwide export trade.
There are no customs duties on goods movements between EU countries. Customs formalities have also been lifted, which means that no customs documents are required any longer for the shipment of goods from one member state to another, unless the goods are subject to consumer taxes (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, oil) or are politically sensitive and subject to export controls.
The relevant permits are obtained from the Federal Office for the Economy and Export Control (BAFA).
The INTRASTAT declaration for goods movements within the EU is mandatory for companies which are subject to VAT and which ship or receive an annual volume of goods in excess of €500,000. This enables the Federal Statistical Office to record the movement of EU goods between member countries. It is not to be confused with the summary statement with which each company has to declare its internal EU sales to the Federal Central Tax Office.