Octagona Srl/Internationalization News/How to export Made in Italy to Germany? Here's everything you need to know
How to export Made in Italy to Germany? Here's everything you need to know

How to export Made in Italy to Germany? Here's everything you need to know

Made in Italy continues to be a driving factor in Germany. Despite recent developments in the macroeconomic and geopolitical context, characterized by numerous uncertainties, our country's commercial relationship with Germany is constantly growing. Find out how your company can also take advantage of this favorable trend.



Appreciated all over the world, Made in Italy is synonymous with quality, safety and aesthetics: these are the characteristics that have made any product made in Italy recognizable throughout the world. And among the countries that seem to most appreciate Made in Italy we find Germany. From the most recent data, published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, it emerges that Italian products are experiencing a "new golden age" on the German market.

This is a factor of no small importance: in the current macroeconomic context, characterized by strong inflationary pressures on the price levels of raw materials, and interruptions in the supply chain, finding a market with high profit potential like Germany could be the winning move in 2023 for Italian companies.

In this article we will therefore analyze the latest Made in Italy trends in Germany, and then move on to the study of the most successful sectors for the German market. Finally, we will review everything you need to export Made in Italy to Germany, including new rules on packaging and required documentation.



The numbers of Made in Italy in Germany


Italy and Germany are two founding countries of the European Union, and as such they share many elements, both historical and cultural. In addition to both belonging to the Eurozone and adhering to the NATO agreement, the collaboration between the governments of the two countries is very intense, with interests and views that often coincide on numerous issues.

For these reasons, Germany has been Italy's main trading partner for several years: in detail, it is the first destination market for Italian exports, while Italy is the sixth destination market for German exports. And upon closer inspection, the commercial exchange, i.e. the cross import and export between Italy and Germany, has grown steadily from 2015 to today, as well as Made in Italy exports.

Looking at the following graph, in fact, it is possible to see how the commercial exchange in 2015 was worth around 108 billion euros; value which rose to 140 billion euros in October 2022. A figure, that of 2022, which is therefore destined to exceed the maximum recorded in 2021, and which indicates that Covid-19 ("only" 117 billion euro in 2020) is just a memory.

Likewise, the export of Made in Italy to Germany has also grown significantly in the last 7 years, going from approximately 50 billion euros in 2015 to 65.2 billion euros in 2022 (considering the period January – October).

Italy-Germany trade trend
Source: infomercatiesteri.it, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (https://www.infomercatiesteri.it/overview.php?id_paesi=69#)


The successful sectors of Made in Italy in Germany


Data which therefore leaves room for few interpretations: Made in Italy in Germany is increasingly appreciated, ed exporting to the German market is the strategy adopted by many Italian companies to increase their turnover and their profits.

But what are the sectors in which to export Made in Italy to Germany? By analyzing the data published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we can draw up a real ranking of the most promising sectors for Italian exporting companies.

In detail, the metals and metal products sector is the one that occupies the first position, with 13 billion euros of exports between January and October 2022, thus representing 20.2% of total Made in Italy exports.

In second place we find industrial machinery and equipment, which with 8.2 billion euros represented 12.7% of total Italian exports. Closing the podium is the transport and logistics sector.automotive, with 7.1 billion euros in value (11% of the total), but excellent prospects are also offered byfood and beverage industry ($6 billion), and industry pharmaceutical chemistry on a par with the industry fashion and clothing (€4.8 billion each).

Export sectors Made in Italy Germany
Source: infomercatiesteri.it, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (https://www.infomercatiesteri.it/overview.php?id_paesi=69#)


Italian companies exporting to Germany


The presence of Italian companies that export to Germany is therefore an established factor: whether they are companies belonging to the fashion, food or mechanical sectors, their participation in the economic life of the German market, both B2B and B2C, is generally very appreciated.

As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, there is a great correlation between Italian and German companies, especially with regards to the industrial realities of Northern Italy: just think of the Italian components present in German cars and in aeronautical and space production. Right there proximity to the Austrian and German markets, it has facilitated commercial exchange and the economic prosperity of various Italian companies, both large and small and medium-sized.

Furthermore, Made in Italy in Germany expressed in particular through the 3Fs (Furniture, Fashion, Food) is much loved, also because it often evokes positive cultural and landscape similarities that the German consumer knows well also thanks to a highly developed tourist tradition.

But what can be examples of Italian companies that export to Germany? We can find countless examples: thinking of large Italian companies, we cannot ignore the deep-rooted presence on German territory of Italian food companies such as De Cecco or Barilla, as well as the deep-rooted presence of Italian banks such as Intesa San Paolo or Unicredit.

Not to mention the many small Italian companies, that indeed represent the majority of Italian companies that export to Germany. To give some examples, the Octagona team accompanied to Germany Mojito Design, a company specializing in the production of plastic and rubber items, Electronic Genesis, an Italian company engaged in the production of LED technology, or Rinaldi brothers, a company that produces machinery for aluminum processing.



What is needed to export Made in Italy to Germany?


In general, specific documents are not required to export Made in Italy to Germany, even if the assessment must be made on a case-by-case basis.

In fact, being part of the European Union, Germany does not require the payment of customs duties or specific documentation of conformity of the goods. An export to Germany can therefore take place with peace of mind, as if it were a sale on the Italian market.

Be careful though, because although this is the general rule, in some cases specific documents are required!

For example, in the case of export of products containing alcohol (therefore also simply Made in Italy wine), excise documentation is required. For this reason, it is necessary to consult with the importer to understand the specific needs and who will take care of this documentation.

Last but not least, starting from 2022 a new law has been introduced that requires maximum attention, namely the LUCID regulation on the packaging that is used in shipping.

Octagona has dedicated an entire article on this topic, which summarizes the specific requests of the German country and which can be used as a guide for Italian companies to avoid heavy sanctions and even a ban on trading on German soil.

In short, all transport packaging is expected to be registered on the Lucid portal of the Central Packaging Registry Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister. Companies that are not in line with the new legislation risk a lot: in fact they are both the ban on sales in Germany and financial penalties that can reach up to 200,000 euros are envisaged.

For more information read the full article on new rules for export packaging in Germany.

And what about VAT?

Again, the answer is Depends: it is necessary to understand whether the sales take place between companies and or between companies and private individuals. An excellent guide in this regard is the European community guide on cross-border VAT.

Said this, we advise companies intending to export to Germany to contact Octagona by contacting our internationalization experts: Octagona's specialists support Italian companies also in these delicate issues to allow a fluid management of all aspects of Made in Italy exports to Germany.

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3 effective ways to export to Germany


As seen, exporting to Germany offers enormous advantages for Italian companies interested in expanding their horizons and accelerating their growth process. But, in fact, How to export to Germany?

The options available to businesses are many, but according to Octagona only 3 can really make a difference and we present them below:

Online sale through marketplace or e-commerce: it is certainly the cheapest option, as it avoids the physical component of doing business abroad, such as transfers or costs for a network of agents, participation in trade fairs, or a direct physical presence with a subsidiary. This is a suitable solution for those who want to test the German market without having to spend excessive resources and time, but with the great disadvantage of having to wait a long time to see results;

Relying on a Temporary Export Manager: with a slightly more demanding, but still limited budget, SMEs can achieve great results by relying on a Temporary Export Manager (TEM). These are professional figures or companies of international trade specialists who operate directly on German territory, and who act as the company's interface in Germany. In other words, the figure works as a hybrid between a foreign salesperson and a sales agent, who for a limited time (usually at least one year) works on the commercial development of the company: it is an extremely flexible solution that is perfect for companies that they want to start an internationalization process;

Physical presence: this is the most economically demanding solution, but also the one that guarantees greater results. It is suitable for medium or large-sized companies, or in any case for companies that can have a large capital: the activity begins with frequent trips and commercial missions to Germany, and then culminates with a real company incorporation abroad, with its own office and with its own dedicated resources.




Made in Italy continues to be a driving factor in Germany. Despite recent developments in the macroeconomic and geopolitical context, characterized by numerous uncertainties, our country's commercial relationship with Germany is constantly growing.

The numbers presented show how Made in Italy is experiencing a golden moment in Germany. Italian products are attributed positive characteristics such as versatility, high quality and unique design, inimitable in the rest of the world, and exploiting this driving force is a necessary condition to create a competitive advantage for your business.

Internationalizing in Germany could therefore be the winning choice in 2023 to give new impetus to the future of your business: an almost obligatory path for the possibility of consolidating your growth path both in terms of profits and brand recognition.

Are you interested in exporting Made in Italy to Germany? Then contact us and tell us about your project: we will study the best solution together with you.



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