This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
There is no real problem with importing rocketry stuff from foreign countries
as long as no pyrotechnics are involved. What you have to keep in mind is that
every shipment from abroad will have to pass the customs clearance where
you'll be charged the 15% 'Einfuhrumsatzsteuer' and the customs (5-8%) which
vary on the type of goods you're importing. The author found out that there
is a 'Zoll-Warengruppen-Nummer' 8802 6000 000 for 'suborbitale Raumfahrzeuge
und deren Teile' (suborbital spacecraft) which model and high power rockets
undoubtedly are ;-)) (The author likes the looks at the office he always
gets when the people there look up the number in their books.)
This way you get off with only 5.1% customs (which btw. will be computed on
the whole sum of the bill, including shipping and handling costs!). To ease
the procedure, have the sender glue a copy of the bill to the outside of the
box in an envelope marked with 'Rechnung'. Have him write the
'Warengruppen-Nummer' on the bill too.
Even after adding up S&H and the 20.1% to pay, there are some occasions when
you can get Estes and other stuff cheaper from the USA than you'd ever get it
in Germany. Not to speak of all the HPR stuff which is very unlikely to show
up in a German store at all.
*** BEWARE OF IMPORTING FOREIGN MOTORS!!! ***
Every box from abroad will be opened as it passes the German border. You
might be asked to show your license at the customs office when you try to pick
up your goods. If you don't have a license, then you're in trouble!
Non-BAM-approved pyrotechnics are ALWAYS considered class IV fireworks.
The goods will be destroyed and you will be charged with both the cost
of destruction and a fine. Offenses against the explosives law are considered
criminal offenses, and there is even a chance to go to jail for it!
Foreign dealers will not know about that and send you whatever you order.
BUT IT'S YOU WHO HAS TO BEAR THE CONSEQUENCES!