The German Foreign Trade and Payments Act regulates the movement of economic goods such as goods, foreign exchange or services from abroad. Since 1961, it has formed the framework for the organisation of trade with other countries.
For Germany, the Foreign Trade and Payments Act regulates the economic and foreign trade between German nationals and foreigners on the basis of the principle of the economic territory. The law is based on the principle that all business with other countries is permitted without restriction if it is not expressly subject to restrictions. The movement of goods, payments and services with foreign countries is therefore free. Restrictions may not only result from the Foreign Trade and Payments Act itself but also from other laws and regulations – for example, customs regulations, health regulations or market regulation laws.