Free trade agreement

EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA)

Negotiations for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement started in 2010, and in February 2019, the European Union approved the free trade agreement and investment protection agreement, which will come into effect later in 2019.

The agreement covers areas such as the elimination of import duties and taxes, strengthened cooperation in customs and trade facilitation matters and removing technical and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Germany is the largest economy in the EU making it an attractive opportunity for Singapore businesses to enter the European market.


offices in germany

Offices in Germany

  • Hamburg
  • Dusseldorf
  • Wiesbaden

collecting payments

Collecting Payments in Germany

The payment behaviour of domestic firms is good and the courts are efficient in delivering timely decisions. Professional pre-legal negotiation efforts remain the most efficient means of collecting debt.

The purpose of insolvency proceedings in Germany has long been to realise the debtor’s assets to repay the creditor’s debt.

As a result, liquidation has in practice remained the default procedure and the system provides no genuine support to unsecured creditors when it comes to collecting debt from insolvent debtors.


financial info

Availability of financial information

Access to financial information on German companies has improved since business reporting obligations were put in place in 2007.

All limited liability companies must register with the Commercial Register of the local court at the corporate seat of the business, but this is not mandatory for small businesses operated by a private individual or through a civil law partnership.


dso

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

The payment behaviour of German companies is good - with the average DSO at 53 days in 2016 - and, generally, short delays may be explained by a tendency to rely on supplier credit, rather than on bank credit. As a general rule, German partners want to preserve their credit history and so do what they can to avoid late payments.


late payments

Late payment interest

The core principle under German law is that the debtor, however late with payments, has to compensate and/or reimburse the damages caused by the late payment to the creditor. Business-to-business transactions must be paid within 30 calendar days and late payment interest may be claimed as soon as this has elapsed.


Amicable Settlement

Amicable Settlement

Although German courts are reliable and fairly efficient, it is advisable to first consider amicable settlement opportunities as an alternative to formal proceedings.

Before starting legal proceedings against a debtor, assessment of assets is important as it allows verification as to whether the company is still active and whether recovery chances are at their best. In addition, it is essential to be aware of the debtor’s solvency status: if insolvency proceedings have been initiated, it becomes impossible to enforce a debt.

Our Export Factoring specialists are happy to help make exporting easier, discuss your ideas and offer finance solutions tailored to your company needs.

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