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The Skilled Crafts Sector in Germany

Approximately 5.16 million employees are employed in over one million craft enterprises in Germany. The skilled crafts sector thus represents an economic force in its own right.

What counts for crafts ?

The skilled crafts sector includes more than 130 occupations in the fields of construction and development, in the metal and electrical sector, wood and plastics, textiles, foodstuffs, healthcare and creative handicrafts. In Germany, membership of a particular skilled crafts sector is regulated on a statutory level and does not depend on the size of the company or company turnover. The Trade and Crafts Code (HwO) defines which occupations constitute skilled crafts.

  • Annex A: All occupations for which a master craftsman diploma is a prerequisite for self-employment
  • Annex B1: All craft occupations for which a master craftsman qualification can be completed on a voluntary basis
  • Annex B2: Craft-like trades

Businesses that can be allocated to these occupations must be members of one of the 53 Chambers of Skilled Crafts in Germany.

Chambers of skilled crafts in Germany

The Chambers offer a wide scope of services, ranging from providing technical advice, business consultancy services and legal advice as well as extensive offers in vocational training and further education. They administer the Register of Crafts Businesses and are responsible for the examinations system.

When is it necessary to register with the Chamber of Crafts?

Skilled crafts businesses from the EU that wish to provide services in Germany in one of the  regulated professions listed in Annex A on a temporary basis only, are obliged to first register with the Chamber of Skilled Crafts (Notification of Services). Skilled crafts businesses from the EU that wish to provide services in Germany in one of the professions listed in Annexes B1 and B2 on a temporary basis only, are not required to register.

Registration should be carried out at the Chamber of Skilled Crafts in the district in which the services will initially be rendered.

EU-certificate

The Chamber of Skilled Crafts will check the qualification of the owner of the business or the operations manager before issuing an EU-certificate. The certificate serves as proof for foreign businesses that they may pursue the regulated profession in Germany and must be available for inspection at all times. It is valid for 12 months, after which it must be extended.

The EU-certificate is generally subject to a charge. The fee charged by the Handwerkskammer Flensburg is 102,00 Euros. The extension is free of charge.

The issuing of an EU-certificate requires that you (the owner of the business) or your operations manager are suitably qualified. How you can prove this depends on whether or not the profession is regulated in your country of origin.

The profession is regulated in your country of origin

In this case please provide proof of the fact that you are qualified in your country of origin. Documents to be submitted:

  • Application  form
  • Copy of applicant’s identity document
  • Excerpt from Commercial Register
  • EU-certificate
  • Proof of licensing in country of origin

All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations. 

The profession is not regulated in your country of origin

In this case, please provide proof that you completed formal vocational training in this profession. If you are unable to provide such proof, please provide proof that you gained at least one year´s work experience in this profession in the last ten years. Documents to be submitted:

  • Application  form
  • Copy of applicant’s identity document
  • Excerpt from Commercial Register
  • EU-certificate
  • Copy of apprenticeship diploma or alternative proof of work experience

All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations. 

Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to find out in advance what documents can be recognised. We speak German, English and Danish.

Please contact:

Handwerkskammer Flensburg
Handwerksrolle wegen Dienstleistungsanzeige
Johanniskirchhof 1-7
24937 Flensburg
+49 461 866-0

E-Mail:  info@hwk-flensburg.de
Re: Handwerksrolle wegen Dienstleistungsanzeige

Forms must be filled in German only. All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations.

The Chamber of Skilled Crafts will check the qualification of the owner of the business or the operations manage. If the qualification suffices, the business will be entered as a member of the Chamber of Skilled Crafts. Registration and membership are subject to charges. Detailed information on the charges is available on request. Once registered, members can take advantage of the comprehensive range of services offered by the Chamber of Skilled Crafts.

A condition for registration for a profession listed in Annex A is that the owner of the business or the operations manager has a German Master Craftsman’s Certificate or an equivalent domestic vocational qualification.

Application for Exemption

An applicant who is a citizen of the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland who does not have a German Master Craftsman’s Certificate or an equivalent domestic vocational qualification, can apply for an exemption. 

The requirements are based on the EU/EEA Trade and Crafts Code. Based on the Directive, an exemption will be granted if the applicant has a branch in Germany and has practiced the respective profession in another Member State:

  • for a minimum of 6 consecutive years either in a self-employed capacity or as operations manager, or
  • for a minimum of 3 consecutive years either in a self-employed capacity or as operations manager after having completed a minimum of three years’ vocational training in the respective trade, or
  • for a minimum of 4 consecutive years either in a self-employed capacity or as operations manager after having completed a minimum of two years’ vocational training in the respective trade, or
  • for a minimum of 3 consecutive years either in a self-employed capacity and a minimum of 5 years in an employed capacity, or
  • for a minimum of 5 consecutive years on managerial level, of which a minimum of 3 years were in a position including technical duties and responsibility for at least one department in the company after having completed at least three years’ vocational training in the trade concerned,

and

  • In the professional activity carried out consisted of at least one major activity of the regulated profession for which the exemption is requested.

in the first five cases , the activity may from the date of such request does not have ceased more than ten years ago.

Please provide proof of the fact that you fulfil these conditions by submitting the following documents:

  • Copy of applicant’s identity document
  • EU-certificate from the competent authority in your country of origin
  • Recent excerpt from the Trades Register in the country of origin showing that the business was registered there and the trade for which it was registered
  • Where applicable, job references, if you were not previously self-employed
  • At a later date: The German Trade Registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)

All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations. 

Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to find out in advance what documents can be recognised. We speak German, English and Danish.

Handwerkskammer Flensburg
Handwerksrolle wegen EU-Ausnahmebewilligung
Johanniskirchhof 1-7
24937 Flensburg
+49 461 866-0

E-Mail:  info@hwk-flensburg.de
Betreff: Handwerksrolle wegen EU-Ausnahmebewilligung

Forms must be filled in German only. All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations.

Registration and membership are subject to charges. Detailed information on the charges is available on request. Once registered, members can take advantage of the wide range of services offered by the Chamber of Skilled Crafts. 

Documents to be submitted:

  • Copy of applicant’s identity document
  • Application for Registration
  • At a later date: The German Trade Registration (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to find out in advance what documents can be recognised. We speak German, English and Danish.


Handwerkskammer Flensburg
Handwerksrolle wegen Eintragung
Johanniskirchhof 1-7
24937 Flensburg
+49 461 866-0

E-Mail:  info@hwk-flensburg.de
Betreff: Handwerksrolle wegen Eintragung

Forms must be filled in German only. All documents submitted must consist of certified copies together with certified German translations.