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EUROMOVERS International

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Pay €8.50/hour when working in Germany or risk a €500,000 fine!

Feb 24, 2015
Germany introduced a minimum wage of €8.50 on 1st January. This requirement also applies to foreign workers working in Germany and transport drivers/porters making deliveries and collections in the country.

Put simply, if you send a vehicle into Germany to deliver or collect goods, all workers in your employ must be paid at least €8.50 or you risk a fine of up to €500,000.

Foreign companies need to give a written notification prior to the work being performed to the German customs department in Cologne (Bundesfinanzdirektion West): the organisation responsible for enforcement and control. This information needs to be provided on the official form that, at the time of writing, was only available in German.  It needs to be faxed to the customs office in Cologne on +00 49 (0) 221 964870.  Information supplied needs to be retained for two years. Companies should retain a copy of the fax transmission as no acknowledgement will be sent.  Blank forms can be downloaded at: https://www.formulare-bfinv.de.

It appears that it may not be necessary to lodge paperwork for every trip but to provide a 6-monthly return although at the time of writing this has not been confirmed. A notification is valid for up to six months. It is not necessary to review changes to planned journeys. The company must record the duration of the work on German soil (hours) within 7 days after the transport is performed. It is not necessary to specify the start and end time.

It seems likely that the regulation has been introduced as a way of combatting what is seen as unfair competition from Eastern European companies who pay lower rates. How rigorously it is enforced remains to be seen. The Mover spoke to one company that, in addition to registering with the Cologne customs, also provides a document in the cab, written in German, explaining the details of the trip and staff.  Staff are required to carry a recent pay slip to prove that they are paid more than the minimum German requirement.  This is in line with recommendations from other transport organisations.

The new regulation seems to have been hurried through and available information is incomplete.  The Mover has spoken to the UK Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills however they have not offered any additional guidance.  A BIS Spokesman told The Mover: “Government officials are aware of the national minimum wage brought in by Germany on 1 January 2015 and are working through the details in order to provide guidance to UK businesses affected by the new requirements."  The Mover will endeavour to provide up to date information as it becomes available.


  • While The Mover has tried to ensure that this information is accurate, as the information from the German authorities is sketchy it is recommended that every company travelling to Germany makes its own enquiries before departure to ensure that it complies with this new regulation.  

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