Apply to the customs administration for transfer of electronic bookkeeping abroad Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you want to move your electronic accounting or other required electronic records, or parts of them, to a country outside the EU, you must apply for this.

Whether an application is necessary depends on the state to which you want to relocate your electronic accounting or parts of it:

  • without application: EU member states
  • with application: states outside the EU

The application must contain the following:

  • Location of the data processing system abroad: full address, different company name if applicable, address of a commissioned third party
  • a detailed description of the relocation
    • electronic books and
    • other required electronic records

Relocation is only possible if it does not affect taxation. You must therefore ensure that you continue to comply with all your tax obligations. These include:

  • The general obligations to cooperate in the taxation process,
  • the relevant duties of order, record-keeping and storage as well as
  • the duties to provide information and to submit documents.

The access of the main customs office to your data must be ensured. It must be possible to make the data readable without delay.
If the approval of the relocation is requested for both the area of the tax administration and the area of the customs administration, two separate applications must be submitted: to the tax office and to the main customs office.
The legislator does not provide for the relocation of "physical bookkeeping" or "paper bookkeeping".
It is your task to organise the data to be submitted in such a way that no legally protected areas can be touched in the case of a permissible inspection of the tax-relevant data files. This could be the case, for example, with members of legal and tax advisory professions.
You must notify changes in location without delay.











You do not need to submit any documentation.

Forms: none

Online procedure possible: no

Written form required: no

Personal appearance required: no

Preconditions

  • Your company has complied with its tax obligations in the past. The main customs office must be able to assume that this will not change even after the electronic books have been moved abroad.
  • Compliance with the "Principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access" (GoBD)
  • Relocation possible
    • within the European Union or
    • to third countries with which Germany has concluded a double taxation agreement.

Related Links

  • § 146 Absätze 2a und 2b Abgabenordnung (AO)
  • § 147 Abgabenordnung (AO)

Related Links

  • Informationen zu den "Grundsätzen zur ordnungsmäßigen Führung und Aufbewahrung von Büchern, Aufzeichnungen und Unterlagen in elektronischer Form sowie zum Datenzugriff" (GoBD) auf der Internetseite des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen

If you wish to relocate your electronic accounting within the European Union, no application is required.
If you wish to relocate your electronic accounting to a third country, you can submit the application informally by e-mail or by post:


  • Write the application and provide information on the following points:
    • the electronic books to be relocated abroad, as well as the other electronic records and documents
    • the procedure chosen for the transfer
    • the timetable for the transfer
    • the exact location of the data processing and accounting system
    • if a third party is to be used, its name and address.
  • Send the application to the main customs office responsible for the location of your company. If necessary, the main customs office will request further documents or evidence from you. Comply with this request.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

Corporate groups must submit a separate application for each company.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance

Last update or date of publication
11.05.2021