The Foreign Trade and Payments Act regulates foreign trade and economic transactions between German nationals and foreigners – always based on the principle of the economic territory. Since 1961 it has formed the framework for the organisation of trade with other countries. The Foreign Trade and Payments Act is based on the principle that all transactions with other countries are permissible without restriction as long as they are not expressly subject to restrictions.
The movement of goods, payments and services with foreign countries is therefore free. Restrictions may result from the Foreign Trade and Payments Act itself, in addition to other laws and regulations – for example, customs regulations, health regulations or market regulation laws.