Selling gold in Germany, is it really worth it?

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In the German border regions, over 90% of customers of precious metal buying businesses are French. However, it is important to remember that attractive offers can hide significant legal and tax risks. Caution is therefore required when selling gold in Germany. In Germany, it is possible to sell one’s gold in a few minutes and go home with thousands of euros in cash without signing a contract or providing identification, if the sale does not exceed €2,000.

The French cross the border to sell their gold at a gold counter in Germany, where the regulations are much less strict than in France. Payments are made directly, sometimes in cash, and there is no tax levied by Germany. However, the regulations on gold buying are much less strict than in France but there is no legal protection or right of withdrawal.

The former anonymous limit of €9,999.99 for gold purchases is obsolete since January 2020. All purchases of gold by a private person must be accompanied by the seller’s ID and the sales invoice must therefore be signed by the gold investor.

The attractive offers from gold counters can be tempting, but it is important to remain vigilant.

Although the German tax authorities do not levy a tax on the transaction, it is important to declare the sale in France and pay the CRDS at 0.5% and the TPV at 34.5% of the gain amount, as well as the TFM at 11% of the sale price if the origin of the gold is unknown.

When crossing the border, it is mandatory to orally report the possession of gold to the German customs and to fill out a CIRFA form or the procedures via the DALIA online service in France. Customs officials may temporarily retain or confiscate illegally transported gold or cash, and the fine may reach 50% of the value of the goods.

A more flexible German regulation, but less protective.

However, if you want to sell gold on the other side of the Rhine, you will also be less legally protected. Unlike in France, the merchant in Germany is not obliged to inform you precisely about prices, nor to respect certain protective rules such as the establishment of a written contract, the respect of a withdrawal period or the recording of the transaction and your identity in a register (except if the transaction amount exceeds €2,000). It is therefore important to inquire about the gold counter, the conditions of the planned buying contract, and to compare offers.

In order to enforce an EU directive on money laundering, cash transactions must be significantly limited. Since January 1, 2020, gold can only be bought anonymously for a maximum amount of €2,000 if the payment is in cash. However, this law only applies to the purchase of gold by a private individual and not to the resale.

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  1. bru

    If you’re in a rush, consider visiting a “Leihhaus” or pawnshop in your city—they offer gold loans round the clock. While your bank should typically accept a certified gold bar, it might take a few days for the selling price to reflect in your account. Despite their iffy reputation, pawnshops are tightly regulated in Germany, minimizing the risk of not retrieving your bullion. Plus, you often secure a fair loan and a decent price there.


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