Germany will reduce paper bureaucracy with new law

Germany will reduce paper bureaucracy with new law

The German government has announced a draft law which aims to minimise the amount of paper bureaucracy for businesses, residents and citizens.

New law hopes to reduce bureaucracy in Germany

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced a new draft law to reduce paper-heavy bureaucracy in the federal republic.

Among other changes, the Bürokratieentlastungsgesetz IV (Bureaucracy Relief Law IV) will require businesses to keep tax accounting documents from the past eight years, rather than 10. When it comes to travel; passenger check-in procedures at airports will be digitalised and hotels will no longer have to register guests with a German passport.

"Reducing bureaucracy is one of the federal government's major tasks, one of our major projects. And we have taken another major step forward today," Scholz said on the Bundestag floor on March 13.

Reducing paper bureaucracy should save Germany millions

According to Germany’s Ministry of Justice, the new law could save companies in Germany around 625 million euros in rental costs for storage space.

For some however, including the German Automobile Association and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck (Greens), the law doesn’t go far enough to lighten Germany’s bureaucratic load.

“[Germany’s heavy bureaucracy] cannot disappear overnight,” Justice Minister Marco Buschmann told ARD host Michael Strempel in response to criticisms from industry and politicians. Asked by Strempel if people in Germany should be worried that they will be left out in the cold as Germany begins to loosen its tightly thatched bureaucratic system, Buschmann said there had to be some give.

“People in Germany generally think that reducing bureaucracy is good, but when you suggest a concrete list [...] people say, “Please, not in this case, or not that case” [...] there is no perfect solution. I just think that the world will not end if we have less bureaucracy in Germany, actually the opposite. In a time when we have a worker shortage, we cannot busy people with paperwork," he explained.

Thumb image credit: Nirat.pix /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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