Shipping within the EU from Germany?


One must distinguish between the croudfunders of a development process, which didn’t bought any item, and the customers who will buy later an existing product.


Seems that the discussion got some speed at this time. But referring to the original question:

some time ago there were rumors that the librem5 would be shipped from Germany to all buyers from the EU.

I was dead sure that I read about that somewhere on the purism page. So I used the wayback engine, et voila, snapshot from May 20. 2018:

Do you have a German or UK/EU Reseller?
Yes, we have partnered with a German reseller, and will be shipping all German (and hopefully EU orders in general) from Germany.

Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much share the opinion of @guru, but I just wanted to add that it wasn’t just a rumor, but a, maybe outdated, information.


in my country at customs when your turn comes in order to pick-up your box they look inside and they ask you what it is.
i just hope that untill the final librem 5 is ready to ship out from the US the customs will sort out their mess.


Is there any update on this? I’m eager to order a librem 5, but the phone not being shipped from the EU is kind of stopping me here. It’s hard to buy electronics without really knowing any specs and that might or might not be shipped in a way that introduces additional costs and issues :frowning:


purism just announced the new updated specs for the librem 5 and a progress report … i will not link here since i don’t know if it will remain as it is untill the end but there is a strong indication about the CPU and other main components.


Looking at today I cannot fins any Librem-stuff offered at all. I know the laptop have been presented on their website earlier. Wondering what this mean…?


There is a blog post in German to this topic, that Purism decided to only sell products via the Purism online shop.


Well, I didn’t expect that it would become a subdivision of floss-shop.
But as the team page was updated to say that “European Operations” is run by the owner of floss-shop, I expected the announcement of “Purism Europe” with basically the same postal address as floss-shop, simplifying delivery and returns.
Would be reasonable to me. We’ll see :slight_smile:

Support in EU for Laptops
Support in EU for Laptops

This would in fact be cool also for reasons like payments in sepa, sending stuff in in Europe, more security on payments and shipping as stated in this post and even some security with the trade war issue.
As Purism is a SPC in the US, in Europe maybe it could also be an e.V. to have tax benefits.


I’m in Germany and a customer of FLOSS-Shop for security OpenPGP cards. Some month ago I phoned them for some technical issue and asked btw if they would be the partner of Purism to ship the L5 here. At this time they told me something about plans to creat a German Purism plant. Don’ know what happened with this.


if sepa’s impossible, have a look for transferwise. served me well several times.



Hi Nicole,

For months now I have been on the fence about pre-ordering the Librem 5. With the $50 discount deal ending within the next 10 days and knowing Microsoft ending their Windows Phone/10 (currently using MS Lumia 950) by the end of this year, I’d like to order the Librem 5.

I missed out on the Kickstarter campaign (donation, value for customs declaration is null?) so pre-ordering might add a significant amount to the pre-order price.

Could you please confirm that any pre-orders made by EU citizens will be shipped from Germany, therefore be delivered at the pre-order price? Hence, no additional VAT or fees to be charged either by Purism, Floss or mailman at the door?

Thank you!

Best regards,



Hey Edwin
did you read through this thread? I think we are pretty sure that the price on the purism page is exlusiv VAT and customs as it is the normal for us price because the VAT differs from state to state. So even if purism would sell them from
within europe they would need to pay the VAT and put it ontop of the price you would need to pay. Else wise purism either pay the VAT for you or they found a nice hole in tax system. Others figured out that customs for phones are 0% in netherlands and germany. I could imagine it‘s the same in the entire EU but i‘m just guessing.
So i think none of this is 100% as i believe none of us is a tax specialists, but i would calculate with additional cost for your countries VAT. I think the only place where you could get the phone for the price on the page is a place without VAT and no customs for phones from the US.

And i just had the thought that i purism would ship from the EU i‘m pretty shure they would need to do the tax handling and you definitely had to pay it. When it comes from the us you might be lucky and it goes through without tax.
Hope this helps.


Thank you @ramnasko for the reply.

Yes, I did read the comments above but they all seem to be speculative and inconclusive.

If in fact the German branche is under the Purism Umbrella as @nicole.faerber was referring to earlier on, bulk shipments from US to Germany could be considered to be intercompany shipments. When arrived it could then be send out to EU customers based on the Schengen agreement.

Even better would be a German based production plant/distributor center

Anyway, I agree with @Raven 's comment (feb 21) and would like to see Nicole’s confirmation on how Purism has envisioned conquering the non-US markets at a competitive pricing point and I’m eager to know if and how she managed to sort out “the nasty details”.

Frankly, I would rather spend the anticipated 25% additional fees (appr. €150) on Purism products rather than dropping it at the tax office.


I am also a EU citizen and it would be nice if shipping would come from Germany - much less problems with customs. But I am afraid that there still are two things you cannot avoid: Death and the taxman. I paid for my phone at the very begin of the project but I think I have to pay taxes when I receive my phone. Fortunately I have a VAT number and therefore VAT can be deducted in the tax declaration.


This is where i thinks lies the problem. They probably could without any controls but would violate the law. So they have to charge you with the VAT. This is also where i’m not 100% sure, but if it weren’t this way every firm would let customers order the product on the international website and ship it from their local warehouse without taxes. So i’m pretty sure this is not meant to be legally possible. Maybe there is some workaround with the crowd-founding thing.

But yeah would be cool to hear something official.

Edit: I think its more like that it is not possible for purism to import the phones from china or us to the EU without paying VAT in any country.


In fact they can. The VAT must be paid but is deductable for a company (or anyone) with a VAT number. I often buy goods inside EU and the seller can sell it without VAT. The buyer must pay VAT but as I have VAT number it is a fact that I do not pay any VAT. But end consumers without VAT number must pay VAT (in his own country). If an end consumer in Sweden buys a Librem 5 from Germany he must pay German VAT but it is only 19 % while Swedish VAT is 25 % so it is a good idea to have a German reseller. The Purism reseller never pays any VAT (I suppose he has a VAT number).


I’m still not that deep into the topic, but what i read early this day. As an customer without a VAT number, which i think we should assume because it should be the general case, the seller has to do all the VAT stuff. If it is bought form a nother EU county which VAT is applied is depended on the amount the seller sells to customers in other EU countries. Above 35.000 or 100.000 € export to other countries (i don’t know why there was an or in the paragraph) the shop has to pay the VAT of and to the customers country. Under this it’s to be paid in the seller county. I think its to help small businesses with not having to manage all the tax stuff for multiple countries. So it seams not that easy to me.

On the deductible idea this also means they need to do the paper work to get it back and at that point it would be noticed that there were not taxes charge when they gave it to the customers. So i don’t think this is a way the phones could arrive at customers without that some one paid the vat. And one can only deduct from pay taxes so they have to pay any thing to get it back. This would be exactly the amount of taxes they paid for the income of sell the phone to you an giving the charged VAT from the customer further to the country. I they just deliver the phone without charging, they have no income, pay no taxes and can not deduct from anything, which means they eat the VAT for the customer.

Please correct me if i made any mistakes or something seams odd.


It is correct that the seller must add VAT for the customer UNLESS the customer has a EU VAT number (as I have). The seller then pays the VAT to the taxman. The seller should pay exactly the amount he gets from the customer and the VAT is paid to the sellers country. It is also correct that the seller must do the paper work. There are some mechanisms for refunding VAT between countries within EU but I do not know exactly how they work.

I do not know about other countries but here in Finland it is fairly easy to declare the VAT (over the Internet). No details need to be declared (for a small business).

For the end consumer it is necessary to pay VAT.


Thanks guys.

Still, an official statement by @nicole.faerber would be great.

Pre-ordering should be an advantage not a piling up of uncertainties.

Alternatively I will pass on the -$50 discount and wait for the Librem 5 to hit the European consumer market later on, distributed from Germany.