Exporting to Germany? What you need to know for market entry

For Swiss companies, Germany is the most important trading partner of all. In 2016, goods worth almost 39.6 billion francs were exported to Germany, more than to any other country. However, to enter the German market, geographic and linguistic proximity are not enough. The following points are crucial for a successful export.

Germany is one of the most important markets for Swiss exporters
Germany is one of the most important markets for Swiss exporters

Does your product offer added value?

Before you start exporting, it is worth carrying out a thorough analysis of the market. Much like the Swiss market, the German market is largely saturated in most sectors. Above all, a new product or service needs a clear USP to be successful.
Another important factor is pricing strategy. Swiss products and services are usually 20 to 30 percent more expensive than competing products from Germany due to the weak euro. It is therefore all the more important that your product offers added value or a clear advantage. Depending on the sector, Swiss precision and quality alone are no longer sufficient, as there is already strong competition from other high-quality products.

Clarify legal stipulations

Anyone wanting to export their product to Germany should find out exactly what the customs regulations are in advance. This is done worldwide with the customs tariff number. Inconspicuous products such as lampshades or electrical switches might also be classified as hazardous. The customs tariff number can be determined via If you are unsure, please clarify this with the Swiss Customs Directorate. At, you can also find out whether your product falls into a specially regulated category. Should this be the case, then the product can be registered with SECO.

In some areas, such as food or food supplements, there are regulators. A sugar tax is currently being discussed in Germany, for example. This could make foods with a higher sugar content more expensive. It is therefore very important to find out about the legal regulations before the first export to avoid any nasty surprises.

Certification & trademark registration

Electrical appliances, personal protective equipment, measuring instruments, medical and many other types of products need certification in order to be allowed on the market. Switzerland and the EU have an agreement regulating the mutual recognition of conformity assessments. Depending on the product, it can be sold in the EU and Switzerland on the basis of an evaluation (carried out in Switzerland or the EU).

If you want to sell your products in Germany, it is also worth registering your trademark. This has the advantage of preventing copies and improves the credibility of an enterprise.

All procedures involve costs. If you want to export to Germany, you must be prepared for costs totaling tens of thousands of francs.

S-GE helps you on your way to Germany

Do you want to export to Germany? Switzerland Global Enterprise supports you and creates individual market studies. This gives you answers to your questions and an important basis for market entry in Germany. Information about market analysis


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