Commercial goods transport – applying for permission
Do you intend to carry goods in Germany using a vehicle either commercially or for payment? And do you use vehicles whose permitted weight, including trailers, exceed 3.5 tonnes? In order to do this, you require a permit from the locally responsible traffic authority (place of business).
Carrying of goods across international borders
The carrying of goods across international borders with EU / EEA states, you require a community licence. This is also referred to informally as an EU or EC licence. You can also use this for transporting goods within Germany. In addition, this entitles you to also carry goods in other EU and EEA states.
An additional CEMT permit may also be necessary for the transportation. With this permit, you may carry goods commercially on roads between 43 CEMT member states. The loading and unloading location must be in two of the European states which have signed up to the treaty. These are the EU and EEA states, as well as several countries in eastern and southeastern Europe.
Transportation in third countries (non-members of the EU or EEA)
For transportation in third countries which are not members of the EU or EEA, you require a permit to carry goods commercially for the part of the journey which takes place within Germany. For the parts of the journey in third countries, you can obtain “bilateral permits”.
Attention: Should you travel in or through Switzerland in the course of the commercial carrying of goods, you require a valid community licence.
Note: Factory traffic is not classed as the commercial carriage of goods. This includes the carriage of goods for one’s own purposes. The transportation or delivery of the goods which you consume or manufacture yourself or which you are permitted to further process may only be in the course of the provision of assistance. You do not require a permit for factory traffic, however you must report this to the Federal Office for Goods Transportation.
- in urban districts: the city council
- in rural districts: the rural district office
As an entrepreneur headquartered in Germany, you can receive the permit under the following conditions:
- You and the named traffic manager are reliable. Both the company and the traffic manager must prove reliability to the authority which is responsible for issuing permits.
- The financial stability of the company must be guaranteed. The company requires equity and reserves. The amount of equity depends on the number of vehicles intended to be used: For the first vehicle, the entrepreneur requires equity to the sum of 9,000 EUR and 5,000 EUR for each additional vehicle. This also applies when using rental vehicles.
- You and the named traffic manager are professionally suitable. You are professionally suitable if you have passed an examination set by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce All final examinations which have been recognised in the past as being equivalent will continue to be considered to be such, provided that these were started or completed before 4 December 2011. Note: Further information relating to this option can be obtained from your responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce. You are also professionally suitable if you have worked in a company which carries goods commercially. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce which is responsible for you will check whether these requirements have been met.
- at least ten years,
- with no interruptions between 4 December 1999 and 4 December 2009
- in a management role.
You must apply for the community licence (EU licence) or a national permit for the carriage of goods from the responsible body. The application for the issuing of a permit or community licence must correspond to enclosure 1 of the general administrative regulation concerning the carriage of goods (GüKVwV) in terms of content.
The responsible body will provide the following institutions with the opportunity to make a statement:
- The Federal Office for the Transportation of Goods
- The chamber of industry and commerce
- The responsible specialist trade union
- The association of people carriers
The responsible body will then take a decision concerning the application.
- For the proof of reliability: generally an extract from the
- Federal Central Register (certificate of good conduct)
- Driver suitability register (previously: central traffic register)
- Central trade register
- Certifications (previously: certificates of good standing) from the following bodies:
- Tax office
- Health insurance company
- Professional co-operative for the transportation of goods, post logistics, telecommunications (BG traffic)
- For the evidence of sound financial standing: Enclosure 2 and, where necessary, enclosure 3 of the general administrative regulation concerning laws relating to the carriage of goods (GüKVwV)
The competent authority may request additional documents. You can obtain information from the responsible body for your place of residence.
Tip: First apply for the certificates of good conduct and extracts from the central trade register in a timely manner and name the responsible body in these. It generally takes a while for you to receive the documents. You can submit the other proof later. However also in this case, it may take a while for you to receive the documents. However, you need to submit these so that a final decision can be made.
- Community licence: EUR 120.00 - 700.00
- Permit for the commercial carriage of goods: EUR 120.00 - 700.00
Note: Further costs will be incurred for the information from the registers and the issuing of other proof. This also applies to the certified copies of the community licence and/or copies of the permit which you must carry in the vehicle.
Within 3 months from the time when the responsible body has all of the necessary documents. This period of time may be extended by the responsible body by one month in justified cases.
The domestic permit and community licence can be issued for a period of time of up to 10 years.
- Art. 3 und Art. 4 Verordnung (EG) 1072/2009 (Lizenz) über gemeinsame Regeln für den Zugang zum Markt des grenzüberschreitenden Güterkraftverkehrs
- Art. 3 Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1071/2009 zur Festlegung gemeinsamer Regeln für die Zulassung zum Beruf des Kraftverkehrsunternehmers
- § 3 Güterkraftverkehrsgesetz (GüKG) (Erlaubnis)
- Allgemeine Verwaltungsvorschrift zum Güterkraftverkehrsrecht (GüKVwV)
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 04.12.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.