This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
If you really want to legally get into high power or experimental rocketry,
you first will have to get a license to buy, store, and transport
class IV fireworks. There is no way around this since everything without
any kind of BAM approval (like foreign motors) will be considered to be
class IV fireworks.
Once you are licensed, you must contact a military base, where they may
have some kind of shooting range, and ask the authorities for permission
to occasionally using their range for 'test flights.' Usually, this will
be impossible because of 'duds' (Blindgaenger) laying around there.
If you do get the permission, then you can apply for a waiver
(Luftraumfreigabe) for the dates when you are allowed to fly. Most
shooting ranges will already have a restricted airspace (gesperrter Luftraum)
which only has to be activated for the time of your launches.
If you have made it this far, the you are one of the luckiest rocketeers
in Germany, because the 'normal' explosives law isn't valid on military
properties. But you still need to take precautions that your rocket will
not leave the range. If it does, then there could be trouble again.
And don't forget: posession and transport of non-BAM-approved motors is
restricted to licensed people!
If you are living near Berlin (or are willing to travel for your launches),
you can contact the DERA, since we are already in the process of getting
a launch range on a military base. Negotiations look good so far (09/96)
although there will be a fee.