Being a member of the single currency eurozone, Germany does not impose any currency controls and has completely deregulated all individual and business transactions between residents and non-residents. The single European currency, the euro (EUR), is the second most traded currency globally after the US dollar. Sending money to Germany or transferring money from Germany is not restricted, whether within or to/from outside the EU.
Money can be freely transferred to Germany and sent out of Germany, although resident individuals or corporations are required to report any international transfers they send or receive that exceed a value of EUR12,500 to the central bank for statistical purposes. In accordance with national laws to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, banks are required to confirm the customer identity for any bank account deposit over a value of EUR15,000.
Sending money to Germany from within Europe has been vastly simplified in the last two decades. The introduction of the single currency in 1999 has made the transfer of money between the 18 member countries cheap and fast as the zone has created a single payments system. This single payment system extends to Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, despite their retaining independent currencies.
The value of the Euro faltered with the 2008 global financial crisis and the resulting economic downturn in the Eurozone, which affected countries like Greece, Italy and Spain more heavily than the anchor economies, France and Germany. Nonetheless, the euro is one of the worlds most successful currency unions, and it serves as the peg for two common currencies in Francophone Africa, the Central African CFA franc (XAF) and West African CFA franc (XOF). Within Germany, euros are most frequently exchanged with the US dollar, Swiss franc and British pound. According to the most recent report from the Bank for International Settlements, the USD accounted for 70.4% of euro exchanges in Germany in April 2013, followed by 8.4% for the Swiss franc, and 8.1% for the GBP.
Germanys foreign exchange volume is driven by a number of factors, including migration, investment and foreign trade - in 2013, Germany had the third-largest share of global trade (7.7%), after China (12.2%) and the United States (11.5%). Germany has the largest economy in Europe and has shown the most robust performance throughout the Eurozone crisis. However, stagnant population growth has created significant demand for skilled workers, encouraging strong migration flows from emerging economies both within and outside of the EU.
The creation of monetary union resulted in the adoption of a single monetary policy set by the European Central Bank (ECB). Germanys central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, supervises the domestic banking system and oversees the smooth operation of cash and electronic payments.
Like most EU countries, Germany has an independent Financial Intelligence Unit, which falls under the central banks authority, to monitor suspicious financial transactions and prevent money laundering.
Resident companies are required to pay corporate tax, or personal income tax in the case of partnerships, at the federal level and variable trade taxes at the municipal level. According to Germany Trade & Invest, the average corporate tax rate generally was 29.8% in 2012, which put Germany just behind Spain, Italy and France, which had corporate tax rates of 30%, 31.4% and 34.4%, respectively.
The country also offers a variety of fiscal and other incentives for foreign investment, which vary by region and are set by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs in coordination with EU policies. We recommend consulting the economic ministry website for regular updates to these conditions.
The euro is made up of 100 cents. Euro banknotes are printed in denominations of EUR5, EUR10, EUR20, EUR50, EUR100, EUR200 and EUR500. Coins are available in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and EUR1 and EUR2. Each member countrys central bank issues its own banknotes and coins; the latter have national designs on one side and common designs on the other. All euro currency from any country is accepted within the currency zone.
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