Exchange rates on 17.06.2013
Efficient normative legal positively impacts to development of foreign-economic activity in Germany, which regulates foreign economic relations and protects interests of the country in this sphere.
The law «About external economic relations» April 28, 1961 with the following changes and additions establishes that goods turnover, services, capital movement, payments and other economic relations with the foreign states are free from restrictions. The exception is those which contain in the law, are established in the governmental orders published on its basis or are subject to application according to the international agreements or legal instructions of the international organizations which participant is Germany.
Restrictions in all areas of foreign economic relations, their character and volume should be within the competence necessary for achievement of definite purpose, whenever possible in the least method mentioning economic activities freedom. Restrictions of general character can be entered by state structures of Germany in following cases:
- for establishment of necessary conditions at fulfillment of commitments following from the international agreements;
- in order to avoid the negative consequences resulting from actions of foreign states governments if their actions limit or interfere with a free competition or conduct to restriction of economic relations of Germany;
- for prevention of negative consequences which occurs due to impact of Germany economy, dominating in the foreign states;
- For protection against foreign investments if they break the general economic balance of the country and cause a damage to a national economy (its separate branches);
- for safety of the country and peaceful co-existence of the people, and also protection against any infringements of external relations of Germany.
The official economic doctrine of Germany, one of main principles which is freedom of enterprise, does not mean refusal of the state of regulation and control functions at performance of external economic relations. Management of these processes at federal level is within the competence of following ministries: Ministry of foreign affairs, Ministry of economy and technologies, Ministry of foodstuffs, Ministry of agriculture, Ministry of consumer protection, Ministry of finance and some other federal ministries and departments and also the governments of federal lands.
The central place at non-state level takes such political-economic enterprise associations as Federal Union of the German economy, Congress of German commercial and industrial chambers, Federal Union of German wholesale and foreign trade and others.
In the conditions of expansion and liberalization of world markets of the goods and services, foreign trade mode of Germany is directed on providing protection of interests of national commodity producers, fixation on old and active development of new commodity markets, establishment of favorable conditions for activity of subjects in country home market, including foreign investors. The important role in functioning of German home market is played by the customs union established by EU member states which is characterized by general customs territory, the general custom duties, the unified rules of customs registration and the uniform approach to regulation of customs issues.
As a legal basis of customs regulation in Germany now act the followings:
а) legal sources of EN, particularly:
• tax code;
• the decision about an order of customs code execution;
• the decision about execution of customs clearing;
• the uniform (integrated) custom duties of EU (TARIC);
б) the source of national legislation of German, particularly:
• Law «About custom management» (ZollVG), 21.12.1992;
• Custom decision (Verordnung(EWG) Nr. 2913/92) 12.10.1992, regulating order of application of EU Custom code norm.
The role of main tool in customs policy of Germany belongs to integrated custom duties which is based on harmonized system of designation and coding of international trade goods (HS). Rules of collection of customs duties (in Germany, basically are applied ad valorem duty) are differentiated depending on country of origin of the goods on three groups.
The customs duties of the first group are applied concerning the goods from the countries to which the most favored nation treatment is given. In practice this mode is applied to the goods imported from the majority of countries, irrespective of presence of trading agreements from EU.
The second group is made by the preferential customs duties applied to import of goods from developing countries and the countries with transitive economy.
To the third group belong to special customs duties operating at import of some goods from associated from EU of developing countries, the separate states of the Caribbean and Pacific areas.
To tools of external economic policy of Germany, along with customs and tariff regulation, concerns also tax regulation. It is a question of internal taxes, namely: excises and tax from turnover to imported consumer goods, charged by customs bodies and making a considerable share in a profitable part of state budget of Germany.
Now in Germany are provided excise taxes to imported and extracted oil products, tobacco products, electric power, ethyl spirit and strong alcoholic drinks, beer and sparkling wines.
The tax to the import goods concerns to indirect taxes and charged by tax departments at import the products to Germany from the third countries. The rate of the tax from turnover of imported goods corresponds to the rate of VAT and by general rule makes 19 % from customs cost. In some cases it is stipulated full exemption of the given tax. Procedures of VAT return to exporters are accurately debugged.
The common market of agricultural production of the European Union is in a special way regulated. For protection of commodity producers in some cases at import is charged countervailing duty and at export – will be paid subsidies for the purpose of "alignment" with the world market prices. For majority foodstuffs in Germany the rate of tax from turn is provided 7 %.
Germany is the largest donor of European Union budget within the regulation of uniform market of agrarian production of EU, including export-import transactions and its annual payments is around 10 billion euro.
Not tariff measures of regulation applied in Germany, according to WTO classification it is possible to group conditionally in following categories:
• quantitative restrictions and administrative restrictions;
• not tariff collection, taxes, financial measures;
• restrictive practice of governmental bodies;
• customs procedures and the formalities supplementing normal and standard norms and rules, transformed into barriers to trade, including practice of their application;
• technical barriers in trade.
The main foreign trade not tariff barrier to the Russian exporters at import of goods to EU countries, including to Germany are antidumping duties. Not tariff restrictions are directed on protection of such industries as steelmaking (quota restrictions), atomic engineering (regime of private quota system of nuclear cycle goods), food (a tariff quota for wheat of soft grades with the average and low content of protein) etc.
Procedures of overcoming of technical barriers which technical standards and requirements, certified, sanitary, ecological and other measures concern become complicated. For instance during import of some kinds of electro technical production from the third countries there is a certain obstacle for Russian export due to established complicated technical norms established on March 1, 2005 and tough phitosanitory measures concerning forest products of coniferous breeds, wood packing and fixing materials.
New measures of EU on safety of goods also concern to technical barriers; in particular, within implementation of system “Reacho” of classification of chemical substances and application of methodology “Read Across” the relation of nickel salts. Since March 11, 2009 the interdiction for trade in cosmetic production and the components tested on animals is entered into European Communities.
Special restrictions in separate spheres of foreign economic relations can extend on transaction with goods, transit transportations, affreightment and etc. The law stipulates for example that import of the goods can be carried out without permissions according to so-called «Import list».
The import list is presented in a volume more than 400 sheets, the appendix to the Law «About external economic relations» and consists of three parts: instructions on application, the list of the countries and the inventory. The specified list defines, whether import of the goods is free or is interfaced to certain restrictions.
All imported and exported goods depending on presence of restrictions can be united in three groups:
• the goods, import/export is free;
• the goods, import/export it is forbidden;
• the goods on which import/export restrictions (licensing, quota system, restriction of use, etc.).
Delivery of permissions (licences) for export and/or import transactions is carried out by competent public authorities. Issued permission can be single or general. Among competent bodies concerning delivery of permissions the Law «About external economic relations» applies Federal Ministry of Economics and technologies, Federal ministry of food, agriculture and consumer protection, Federal Ministry of Finance and also Bundesbank of Germany (the central bank of Germany).