Status 2020 Shipping from Germany

Hi all,

Could we have a status update on the shipment from Germany of the Librem 5? There was afaik no update in the news since the campaign started.
As there are posts in the forum of people been delivered directly via the US for current batches I guess that for at least Dogwood (as the last beta-batch) there will be no shipment from Germany. When will the librem 5 be delivered from Germany?
Some insights on what you are currently doing would be totally appreciated.

Thanks and kind regards,


No updates on German/European distribution centre. Just note that because we currently don’t charge VAT at time of sale, it still needs to be paid upon delivery.

Hi @Richard, I think that much has been clarified and (grumpily :slight_smile: ) accepted.

The question is, can we transfer that VAT to a European vendor, or do we need to:

a) pay a horrendous and within the EU varying handling fee to the shipping company

b) pay a varying amount of VAT depending on what the customs inspector believes the specific phone to be worth that specific day (and hope she is in a good mood)

c) prevent us from having to travel to customs offices of remote DHL centers to pick up the phones there.

These are all good reasons for shipping from within the EU, I believe. And you (as a company) sounded much more optimistic to be able to do that a few years ago than it sounds now…


That’s exactly the point.

And while one can “gumpily” accept that purism afterwards declares that VAT has to be paid additionally which is regularly not the case if the shipment is from within the EU (single market - vat get’s payed when you pay the product or when it enters the single market - shipping from Germany means it’s already in), paying the shipping company for transferring it through the VAT or having to go to customs contradicts the free worldwide shipping.

When the campaign started and when I backed, I was totally convinced that shipping from Germany means that the VAT was within the price. I also grumpily saw that I would have to pay additional VAT. But now also having to pay the shipment (having the shipment company doing the vat stuff for me is part of the shipment costs) just seems to be unfair.

When I am working with clients we all make mistakes or unexpected events happen. But in the end we always find a solution. Ofc if a vendor has been payed before delivery the client has close to no means, but most of the times no matter the power situation the solution lies in the middle as I want to continue making business with them based on a partnership.

To be honest I am not satisfied with “no update”. My interpretation of “no update” is that there are also no efforts in getting the shipment from Germany / EU. I can understand that there are currently far more important things to do for the general perspective like battery / performance issues, but on the other hand there also seems to be time and priority for announcing a Librem 5 USA to which at least as it seems to me a lot more effort has to be done (don’t get me wrong - Librem 5 USA is great).


This paragraph hits the nail on its head why customers are annoyed. If you expect the product to be shipped from the EU you don’t expect it to be taxed, when Purism then retracted that they would have a distributor in the EU is when I was seriously disappointed. The import tax is a large sum. Luckily I was able to get a refund at least.

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I disagree :slight_smile: . When I backed in Sep 2017 it was quite clear to me that NO VAT was included. (Most international crowdfuding campaigns don’t ). And I was expecting to having to pay it. There is no import tax on mobile phones into the EU, but value added tax comes on top off everything (and in the US, it is the normal way of presenting prices without VAT. Of course, that could and should have stated explicitely and clearer back then, agreed.

However the campaign page FAQ (< definitely said:

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

And THAT implies not having to pay VAT to a shipping carrier or having to travel to customs offices. And there I agree and am quite disappointed to see that one retracted without a good explanation. At least the announcement (in german) (which probably was the partner reseller) said that the partnership was ended from the Purism side, not from the local shop.

Anyway, back to the original topic, it would be great to get updates for the Everygreen shipping procedures.


Some notes: floss-shop is run by Purism staff members. And I’m convinced it is exactly those staff members actively working on the European fulfillment center, as stated here:

There is also no contradiction in that, it does make some sense to have one online shop and not two under different labels. The difference would then just be from where the packages begin their travel. Whether or not that hub is then geographically close to floss-shop and run by the same people ultimately doesn’t really matter. And I assume they’ll not want to disclose details before everything is figured out.
I’d hope for that to happen somewhere around Evergreen or Fir. We’ll see :slight_smile:


Ahh, good catch. Sorry had not noticed. I was just thrown off by the floss-shop statement that all fulfillment is now supposed to be done from the US as per decision of purism.

Yupp. (hopefully before Fir :wink: )

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Does import tax apply to a $700 phone? I’m not actually sure it does. The VAT is annoying but apprently it’s normal in the US.

If you are not in the US, there will most likely be an import tax where the amount depends on the country you live in.

aye and that is because the L5 is “made-in-the-US-of-A” … although Purism employs people remotely from all over the world … has to do with investors i believe …

If I understand that right, the following hints at that using DHL as carrier may allow for the recipient to avoid having to pay that extra interest percentage, by the recipient prearranging for the customs payment.

Shouldn’t matter if it’s not directly a “Chinahandy” or the recipient lives in another country.

as i see it the customs fee is a means to disuade “you” and “me” from buying in non-bulk quantities from not-inside-the-border entities …

The link seems to inform about some extra up to 2,5% charged, besides the customs fees, by some express carriers, and with others not, if an express payment was prearranged, or if standard shipping was used.

Hi @Richard / purism,

what’s the current status of the German/European distribution centre. :slight_smile:


Great question…

Dave Chappelle Runs Away GIF

Haha no updates as of yet but remember that VAT wasn’t charged at the time of sale. So regardless, VAT will need to be paid whether your Librem 5 is shipped from our warehouse in California or from one in Europe.


Thanks for the answer :slight_smile: Who could know?

Our executive team who let me know there are no updates currently. If one were to be in place by August when Evergreen is slated to begin shipping, that just means having to pay Purism for the VAT rather than the courier.



Totally off topic, but:

You DO know your avatar, trimmed to a circle, makes you look like a Centauri from Babylon 5, don’t you?


If happens that delivery of L5 v1 (Evergreen) comes from non-EU country (indirectly, without exceptions) to us within EU and if happens that DHL is in charge of it, I already posted how much this currently costs in Germany:

Further awareness, if Fairphone 3 is delivered to my door in Germany I’ll pay: “Our services have a tax at the Dutch rate of 21 VAT%, because we are a Dutch company”, even if I might think I’m paying for it 19% of VAT. Mundita Pure, if pre-ordered, will be distributed from Poland (23% VAT), from another EU member country, so there will be, at least, no headache(s), for us within EU, with customs+VAT issues.

Therefore, liking to make this approaches rethinking short, we are just saying Thank You @Richard for today’s update (and hope)!