Porath Customs Agents is your customs agency with a long history of experience. We have insight into various departments and resources – and all of the customs exceptions:
From aluminum to zucchini – we take care of all your customs needs.

The sensitive field of food and agriculture

Customs keeps an especially close eye on the food industry. Porath Customs Agents always stays completely current on the requirements, even when it concerns veterinary controlling.

Food made of animal contents (like meat, fish, milk or certain products made therefrom), are always subject to examination by a veterinarian for agricultural diseases. That is why entry is only allowed at specified customs offices within the European Union. Even some food items which are not animal products (like wild mushrooms or nuts from certain third-party countries) have to be registered with a veterinarian and office of entry.

It is mandatory that food items from third party countries fulfill European as well as individual state criteria and cannot be hazardous for human health. They cannot, for example, have any or only very little residue from pesticides. Due to the protection of endangered animals, it is possible that products acquired from protected animals or plants may be forbidden.

The customs experts and Porath Customs Agents insure a smooth flow of your goods:

  • We will apply for and inspect all necessary licenses and permits needed for import and export.
  • Proper preparation of food, raw products and additives as well as agricultural products is our specialty.

Importing wood and trade with recycled paper

Wood and paper are traded world-wide and are popular raw products. They are subject to specific requirements, above all requirements respecting the environment. Due to the Washington Animal Protection Act (protection level I to III) or the EU protection levels A to D, importing certain kinds of wood may be forbidden or require special permission. Even the re-export of imported wood, which has already received approval, may need special permission from the Federal Bureau of Environmental Protection (Bundesamt für Naturschutz BfN). Denial may also be given when an item is imported that has been made of wood that under protection – i.e. African music instruments with keys made of ivory or tortoise shell. Additionally, all of the requirements given by the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade must be observed.

There are special waste laws, which apply to recycled paper.

Recycled paper is a highly requested raw material. In order to comply with environmental laws, the exact composition of the various paper types has been laid out in the DIN EN 643. This is supposed to insure that the paper does not contain hazardous chemicals or biological substances.

Porath Customs Agents provides companies trading in wood and paper with specific consultation to fit their needs:

  • We oversee the smooth flowing import and export of these raw goods and the products made of them.
  • Our team is skilled in consulting wood and paper companies about all of the restrictions and requirements.

Pharmaceuticals and chemicals in transition

The Sanctioned Party List Screening, UN-Embargos, adherence to the chemical weapons agreements or conditions for the export of pharmaceuticals: chemical and pharmaceutical customs goods have especially difficult challenges when being transported.

The complicated customs procedures for clearing chemicals.

There is a comprehensive catalogue used to register chemicals properly at customs: the European customs inventory of chemical products (ECICS) with around 35,400 chemicals entered by their respective code of combined nomenclature (KN) given by the EU for customs tariff classification. This catalogue is regularly made current by the office of Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General.

Customs procedures for pharmaceuticals.

German customs officers have the right to stop and check imports of pharmaceuticals to insure that all requirements according to the pharmaceutical laws (AMG) have been held.

Among other things they check:

  • Presentation of required import permits and
  • Inspection that the goods are the actual permitted, registered and allowed pharmaceuticals
  • That the classification numbers are correctly assigned.
  • If the pharmaceuticals contain a German medical description in the package.
    • We are extremely skilled in preparing you for the complicated demands of transporting pharmaceuticals:

      • Porath Customs Agents guaranties customs compliance and moves your goods smoothly to their destination
      • Our experts are well-versed in the complex requirements and are happy to consult you. Current and detailed information concerning the export of chemicals can be found on the internet page of the Bundesamts für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle.

    Anomalies of customs in matters of textiles and shoes

    Anyone who wants to export textiles, clothing and shoes should be prepared for several regulations. Textiles are goods affected by very high tariffs. There are no clear-cut rules concerning the tariff amounts, but importers in the textile industry still feel a lot of apprehension due to the tariff laws.

    Important to know about the textile industry:

    Brand protection in importing textiles.
    When importing textiles, the customs office has the right to check your goods for any infractions of the brand protection laws. In Germany, the protection of brands is carried out at entry by the German registry of patents and brands (§ 4 MarkenG). Brand protection is equivalent in all EU countries, after the brand has been entered into the registry at the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, situated in Alicante, Spain (formerly known as Community Trademark).

    The team at Porath Customs Agents has a strong understanding of the textile industry and has decades of experience in classifying and clearing textiles, shoes and other clothing items:

    • We are very familiar with the traps used in tariff calculations.
    • We will help you classify your goods for customs.
    • We will help you calculate the correct amount for the tariffs.
    • We will oversee applications for a binding tariff assessment
    • We will mediate in disputes and legal procedures with the customs office.
    • We will consult you in preparing your company for an audit executed by customs.

      Importing and exporting waste has its customs anomalies

      Anyone who wants to import or export waste will not only have very strict requirements within Germany but also in trade with third-party countries. Transport is either illegal or is subject to declaration and the permission of federal officials or other set requirements. Depending on the kind of waste, how it is to be recycled or processed and which countries and regions are crossed during transport.

      Importing waste for the sake of elimination is fundamentally prohibited– unless it is, among other things, importing waste from countries, that are part of the Basel Convention. A permission procedure, the so-called notification process, must be done prior to transport.

      Importing waste for recycling is only allowed, when the waste originates form countries:

      • for whom the OECD applies
      • who are party to the Basel Convention
      • with whom the EU or individual member countries have closed bilateral agreements in accordance to Art. 11 of the Basel Convention

      Trust Porath Customs Agents to bring your trash to its intended destination:

      • We have been working with the waste industry for years and know the tricks of the trade
      • We make sure that the required permits have been requested from the proper offices and that these are correctly presented to the customs officials.

      Other items about Import/Export


      Do you have questions about our services? Just send us an e-mail or call us - your personal contact will be glad to answer your questions.

      Heidenkampsweg 81
      20097 Hamburg

      Tel .: +49 (40) 8000 50-500

      Emergency call after 6 pm:
      +49 (160) 90 60 63 58