Is the CVS MoneyGram a fair program

"Observe AWV reporting obligation": Everything you need to know about the notice

Last updated January 22, 2020

Have you recently made or received an international transfer? Then it is possible that you have received the note "Observe AWV reporting obligation - Hotline Bundesbank (0800) 1234-111" on your account statement. However, only transfers with a total value of over € 12,500 are notifiable.

You can find out when the AWV reporting obligation affects you and what that means for you in the Monito guide. We also explain exactly how you can report your international transfer to the Bundesbank.

As a private person, you will probably have to fill out a Z4 report. Therefore, we also refer to the relevant details. There are other AWV reports with partly different deadlines and procedures for securities transactions or other transactions!

By the way: don't panic! An AWV or Z4 message is usually sent by telephone in a few minutes and has a statistical background. You do not have to pay any money based on the report.

What is the AWV reporting requirement and who does it affect?

The AWV reporting requirement is used to record payment flows abroad. It does not only refer to payments from third countries such as the USA or Turkey, but also to payments from EU member states such as Spain or France. The Bundesbank publishes regular balances of payments from the recorded data, which you can view here, for example.

In principle, all international payments from 12.500 €or more reported to the Bundesbank. It makes no difference whether you receive money from abroad or send it. If you have your place of residence or habitual abode in Germany, you must report all incoming and outgoing payments.

The following counts as payment:

  • Transfers in euros or foreign currencies
  • Direct debits
  • checks
  • Offsetting and offsetting
  • Cash payments

It is important to know that payments via transfer service providers such as Wise, Currencyfair or mobile wallets such as PayPal must also be reported.

INFO: If you have noticed a note on the AWV reporting obligation on your account statement, this does not necessarily mean that you have to take care of it. Because most banks always point this out to their customers for all international transfers. If the amount of your transfer is less than € 12,500, you can safely ignore the message.

What are the exceptions to the reporting requirement?

Certain payments are exempt from the AWV reporting requirement. For example, if you initiate an account transfer from your domestic to your foreign account, you do not need to report this.

There are also the following exceptions:

  • Goods import payments and export earnings

Payments for the import and export of goods do not have to be reported to the Bundesbank. However, this only applies to physical goods, Software and technology are still notifiable.

  • Payments and repayments of loans and deposits

Payments relating to loans and deposits with a term of more than 12 months are not reportable.

  • Several small payments by the same person

Multiple and unrelated small amount payments totaling over € 12,500 do not have to be reported to the Bundesbank. However, it is not permissible to split larger payments in order to avoid the reporting requirement.

Report an international transfer: This is how it works!

Reporting a payment is basically very easy. While private individuals should usually do this by telephone, companies are free to submit the report by e-mail or via a reporting portal.

Private individuals in particular often forget that they have to submit the AWV report directly to the Bundesbank. Your own bank or a transfer service provider cannot do this.

The reporting deadline often creates ambiguities. The rule is that the so-called Z4 report must be submitted by the 7th day of the month following the payment. So if you received a reportable foreign transfer on July 25, 2020, you must report it by August 7, 2020.

AWV notification by phone

As a private person, you can conveniently report your international transfers to the Bundesbank by telephone, free of charge. There is a hotline for this, which is operated by service employees. They will guide you through the message step by step and ensure that you do not forget any details.

You can reach the Bundesbank's reporting hotline on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (0800) 1234-111 - the same phone number that you have probably already noticed on your bank statement. However, it is officially only available from the German landline network.

If you do not have access to a landline telephone or have to submit a report from abroad, you can also contact the Bundesbank at +49 6131 377 4790 to reach.

AWV notification by email

For companies and private individuals who have to submit regular AWV reports, reporting by e-mail is ideal. In this way, several reports can be created and submitted with little effort - waiting for a service employee on the hotline is thus avoided.

The Bundesbank provides a leaflet for this purpose, which explains the necessary information. It is not a fixed form. However, the Z4 messages should be based on the specified format so that they can be evaluated without major problems.

In any case, the following details must be reported to the Bundesbank:

  • Full name
  • Country of sender or country of destination
  • Purpose of transfer (or purpose for cash transactions)
  • Amount of money
  • Message number
  • Contact details for queries

Private individuals generally use the registration number 00999995 for transaction reports. Companies, on the other hand, must apply for a registration number in advance. You can find the form for this here. The completed report can then be sent to [email protected]

INFO: If you do not have a telephone or are unable to report by telephone for other reasons, you as a private person also have the option of submitting AWV reports by e-mail.

AWV report via the Bundesbank's reporting portal

To make it easier to submit electronic AWV reports, the Bundesbank developed a reporting portal a few years ago. Private individuals and companies can submit electronic reports relatively easily there. It is also possible to send several messages at the same time in XML or CSV files.

However, since registration involves a certain amount of effort, the Bundesbank's portal is only worthwhile for people with regular reporting requirements. We recommend private individuals to submit the AWV report by telephone. After all, this is relatively straightforward, 100% free and guaranteed to be complete.

If you still want to create a user account on the Bundesbank's reporting portal, you can do so here.

Are there any penalties if I forget an AWV report?

Delayed or forgotten, but also incorrect or incomplete AWV reports can cost you a high fine. The decisive factor is whether this was done intentionally or accidentally.

If you missed the registration deadline, you should do so immediately. This may give you the option of avoiding a fine entirely. The service employees on the reporting hotline usually know what to do and can also record your report afterwards.

Failure to comply with the AWV reporting obligation generally results in fines of up to € 30,000. So pay attention to the instructions from your bank and report all foreign transactions of over € 12,500. This is relatively easy to do via the Bundesbank's hotline and often only takes a few minutes.

Are there any other AWV reports in addition to the Z4?

There are a large number of different AWV reports. A Z4 report must be submitted for most occasions. For companies and some private individuals, however, it may happen that they have to submit a different AWV report in connection with financial transactions.

As you can see, most of the reports are very specialized. There are also other investments that mainly affect financial institutions and specialized financial firms. As a private person or a small company, you should therefore not pay any further attention to them.

Save money with international transfers!

If you are planning a foreign transfer, it is best to think carefully about whether you really want to use your house bank for this. With specialized transfer service providers such as Wise or Azimo you can save money.

This becomes particularly clear with larger sums. A regular bank transfer of € 15,000 with the Sparkasse to the USA costs you, for example, up to € 295 (07/29/2020). With the transfer service provider Azimo, on the other hand, you don't pay any fees or exchange rate surcharges for the first three transfers. At Wise, this also costs you a fee of just € 62.50, about € 232.50 less than at Sparkasse.

These transfer service providers do not relieve you of the obligation to submit an AWV report, but they will help you to save a lot of money.

Use the Monito search engine now to find out which transfer service provider is the cheapest!

You may be wondering ..

No, probably not. The AWV reporting obligation initially has no financial consequences for you and is only used for statistical recording of payment transactions. Many people believe that they have to pay special taxes on outgoing or incoming payments. However, this is not the case.

Yes, in principle all payments abroad in excess of € 12,500 must be reported. It makes no difference whether you transfer money to Spain, France or a third country. Make sure you find out whether you are affected by the AWV reporting obligation or whether there is an exception to your payment.

Many banks store a note on the reporting requirement for all transfers abroad or from abroad. This only affects you if the amount is over € 12,500. If your sum is lower, it is a small payment and you do not have to react.

There are various options available to you for a so-called Z4 message. You can contact the Bundesbank's hotline at (0800) 1234-111 and submit the report there by telephone. There is also the option of electronic reporting by email at [email protected] or via the Bundesbank's reporting portal.

You must submit a Z4 report on the 7th calendar day of the month following the payment. If you have forgotten this, the report must be submitted immediately. With a bit of luck, you can avoid fines and other consequences.

In principle, all payments over € 12,500 must be reported. This not only includes bank transfers via the SEPA network or SWIFT, but also payments with transfer service providers such as Wise or PayPal. You even have to state payments in cash if they are subject to the AWV reporting obligation.

Pure account transfers are exempt from the AWV reporting obligation according to §§ 67 ff. AWV. This is the case, for example, if you want to transfer money from your private account abroad to your private account in Germany.