This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
Written by Stefan Wimmer (email@example.com)
Germany is well-known for its many legal regulations. Consumer
rocketry is no exception to that rule: rockets, rocket motors and launches
are covered by several laws (Luftfahrtgesetz, Luftverkehrordnung,
Sprengstoffgesetz...). The most stringent legal regulation are concerning
the motors which are covered by the German explosives law (Sprengstoffgesetz,
SprenG). To understand why they are so restrictive you have to know, that
they passed legislation in the 70s during the active phase of the
Baader-Meinhof terrorists (btw. one of their declared aims was to cause
the creation of so many legal restrictions, that personal freedom would
be strangled to a breaking point causing a revolution against the system.
Well, they almost reached the first part....).
Rockets and rocket motors are considered to be a potential base for
destructive devices and therefore limited to useless (unfortunately not
only for this purpose) power levels. As if terrorists bother with model
rocketry stuff - ever heard of an I-powered hand grenade, or such??