12 changes in May 2022 in Germany that will excite you, annoy you and surprise you!

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Germany will see a lot of changes in May 2022: 9-euro tickets, expensive beer, supermarket innovations, and corona rules at work. Find out the 12 changes you should prepare for!

Changes in May 2022: The month of May will see changes that affect, among other things, prices for beer, the Postbank, and occupational safety. Additionally, things are also changing when going to the supermarket, in door-to-door sales, or consumer protection on platforms such as eBay and Amazon. Read below to find out the 12 changes in May 2022 that you can prepare.

Changes in May 2022: Beer will start being more expensive!

changes in May 2022 in Germany

One of the more noticeable changes in May 2022 is that beer prices will continue to rise, initially for producers. After the prices for alcoholic beverage had remained largely stable for several years, it is now becoming more expensive.

Krombacher, the Radeberger Group, and Veltins are currently informing their customers about planned price increases in spring 2022. The largest German brewing company, the Radeberger Group, increased its Draft beer prices on February 1st. Bottles and cans will be more expensive as of May 1st.

The reason for this is rising costs for energy and raw materials.

According to estimates by the industry service “GetränkeNews”, the glass of beer in bars and restaurants should become between 30 and 50 cents more expensive as a result of the price increase, and the crate of beer in the beverage market by around 1 euro.

Changes in May 2022: Some German states will start advance sales for the 9-euro ticket from the 2022 relief package

changes in May 2022 in Germany

Although the announced start date will not change, advance sales will begin in several German states. The transport associations of various federal states have announced that they will start pre-selling the 9-euro ticket from the 2022 relief package in May. The ticket is part of a package of measures by the traffic light coalition to relieve consumers in Germany.

From when is the ticket valid and for how long? June 1 to August 31, 2022
Where is the ticket valid? It is valid nationwide without regional restrictions.
Who is the ticket for? Without restriction to groups of people; Subscription customers will receive a refund
Contents of the 9-euro public transport ticket BahnCard 100 light
 3 months public transport ticket for a total of 27 euros = 9 euros per month
 Nationwide flat rate for all public transport including all regional trains
 only exception: 9-euro ticket not valid on the ICE, IC, EC and Flixtrain
Sale of the “9 for 90” tickets Digital: via the DB Navigator app and the websites & apps of the transport associations and regional transport companies
 Stationary: ticket machines and customer centers of transport companies and transport associations

Read more on the 9-euro ticket in the following article:


Changes in May 2022: Postbank customers have to adapt new security procedures

changes in May 2022 in Germany

Postbank will switch off the chipTAN security procedure in May and all its customers have to get used to using Postbank BestSign.

Important questions on the switch to the Postbank BestSign security procedure

I use Postbank chipTAN. Do I have to do something now?

Your existing chipTAN procedure is currently still available. However, the security procedure will be discontinued in May.

Postbank recommends that you set up Postbank BestSign as a new security procedure now. You can use Postbank BestSign on the go with an app or with an additional device.

What happens if I have not yet set up a BestSign procedure for the chipTAN deactivation?

If you have only used chipTAN as a security procedure, you should immediately set up the BestSign procedure.

Please note: If you have only used chipTAN up to now or have not yet activated Postbank BestSign, you will no longer be able to log in to Postbank Banking & Brokerage with Postbank chipTAN from the time of deactivation. When you log in, you will then be automatically directed to the setup process for Postbank BestSign.

If you are currently using chipTAN, set up with the BestSign app takes just a few minutes. Under certain circumstances, however, the setup can take a few days, e.g. if you first purchase an additional device or the activation code for your BestSign app has to be sent by post.


Read more on other Postbank changes in the following article:


Changes in May 2022: The workplace Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance is expiring

changes in May 2022 in Germany

The Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance in Germany is set to expire on May 25th. Will companies and their employees still have to take basic protective measures for a transitional period to prevent infections at work after that date? Stay tuned for some sort of extension.

The expiring Extended and revised Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance

The ordinance stipulates that basic protective measures are defined in company hygiene concepts, taking into account the regional infection process and special activity-specific infection risks and that employees are supported in taking advantage of vaccination offers.

Changes in May 2022: Ticket exchanges will have to start disclosing the original prices

changes in May 2022 in Germany

Comparison portals such as Verivox or Check24 will have a new feature from May 28: In the future, ticket exchanges will have to provide information about the original price of the ticket for an event on their website. In this way, the consumer should be able to keep track of how much he or she pays in addition.

This is one of several changes in May 2022 intended to strengthen consumer protection.

The issue with ticket exchanges in Germany:

  • Many consumers have frustrating experiences when buying tickets that are not offered directly by the event organizer or a commissioned agent, but by so-called secondary market platforms. Ticket exchanges in particular are causing problems.
  • The core problems with online ticket exchanges include a lack of transparency, poor customer service, and a lack of intervention against improper use.
Excessive prices and non-transparent additional costs
In addition to the actual ticket prices, booking and processing costs, as well as sales tax, can also be added to online ticket exchanges. 

However, not all providers sufficiently inform the customer that additional costs may arise.
In addition, when buying via secondary market platforms, you have to reckon with the fact that the private seller also wants to make money from the resale. The tickets are often more expensive than the printed price.

Changes in May 2022: Better consumer protection with new price adjustment law

changes in May 2022 in Germany

The changes in May 2022 also affect consumer protection in supermarkets. The way prices are indicated will also change. The changes affect the information required for prices in general, i.e. both in stationary trade and in online shops. The legal changes are laid down in the so-called Price Indication Ordinance (PAngV).

Goods must be priced in such a way that the customer understands the price correctly at a glance.

From May 28 2022 people in Germany will have more transparency in price adjustments

All prices must be final prices, i.e. the actual price to be paid including all taxes and other components are indicated. If the retailer chooses to indicate the net price, the VAT and the final price, the final price must be clearly highlighted.
Retailers will have an obligation to provide additional information – Insofar as it is required by law or corresponds to general public opinion, retailer must also state in their product offer or in their advertising to which quantity, service unit or quality class the price of the product offered relates.

► For example, it is required by law that the filling quantity for pre-packaged products and the commercial class for potatoes must be specified.
Mandatory for (almost) all packaged and partially packaged goods: the basic price must be indicated for ready-made packs or open packs, the contents of which have been filled in the absence of the customer (e.g. fruit baskets), by weight, volume, length or space are offered, the basic price, i.e. the price per quantity unit, must also be stated in addition to the final price. This also applies if retailers advertise these goods by stating prices.

► A basic price is not required if the basic price is identical to the final price. The basic price must be stated near the final price. The basic price is intended to enable the customer to compare prices for different packaging or container sizes.

► To improve price transparency for consumers, the basic price must always be given in the unit quantity of one kilogram, one liter, one cubic meter, one meter, or one square meter.

► For goods whose weight or volume is less than 250 grams or 250 milliliters, retailers can also state the basic price for 100 grams or 100 milliliters.

► In the case of goods for which the drained weight is to be specified, the basic price is to be related to the drained weight specified

Changes in May 2022: Innovations in the discount law

changes in May 2022 in Germany

A new law in May could bring more supermarket discounts. From May 2022, a new law is intended to ensure that less food is thrown away in Germany. The new requirement simplifies the discounting of products in supermarkets that are about to expire.

In the future, it should be enough if Aldi, Lidl and Co. state on the goods by what percentage they are sold cheaper if they soon reach their sell-by date. This should result in less effort for the supermarkets. The law could also bring important benefits for customers.

Fruit, vegetables and fresh baked goods in particular could be available at bargain prices more often in the future.

Food waste is a problem throughout Germany

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) estimates that 0.5 million tons of food waste are generated in retail every year. That’s four percent.

► A big reason for this: The best before date, which is not an expiration date, is read by most people as just that. Retail is therefore the adjusting screw that can be turned fastest if you want to counteract the problem.

“Perishable foods that are about to expire can be sold at significantly lower prices,” says the new law, which is due to come into force in May 2022. The regulation affects the sale of fruit and vegetables in particular, as well as fresh baked goods.

The new thing about it: from May it will be sufficient for Aldi, Lidl, and Co. to stick a percentage sign on the product. Until now, discounters always had to make the new and old prices clear.

Differences between “Best before date”, “expiration date” and more

Best before date (Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum)After this date, food is not immediately inedible and spoiled. If stored correctly, the food is usually still suitable for consumption afterward, sometimes even for several weeks. 
Use-by date (Verbrauchsdatum)This information applies to perishable foods such as meat or fish, which may pose a health risk after the specified date. 
Food that has passed its use-by date should therefore no longer be eaten. You can tell the difference by the note “use by” in front of the date. 
No dateFoodstuffs in particular, such as unpackaged bread, fruit or vegetables, are not marked.

Changes in May 2022: Right of withdrawal for dubious doorstep sales

changes in May 2022 in Germany

From May 2022, consumers should have more protection against dubious doorstep selling. For sales contracts that are processed at the front door, providers will no longer be able to demand payment on the day the contract is concluded. In addition, consumers should be able to easily revoke such doorstep contracts from May 2022.

However, this only applies to contracts with amounts over 50 euros.

Doorstep selling: requests for immediate payment not permitted

From May 28, 2022, the legislature will put a stop to costly rip-offs at the front door: In the case of contracts that came about as a result of unsolicited visits to the apartment, payment may no longer be requested on the day the contract is signed. 

Exception: If the goods or service cost less than 50 euros, payment can be requested immediately. This is intended to protect those who have been taken by surprise from having to run in vain to the front door after the often high amounts paid in cash by shady businessmen if they want to make use of their right of withdrawal or file a criminal complaint for unfair business dealings.

Changes in May 2022: The census begins on May 15th – the 2022 census

changes in May 2022 in Germany

Changes in May 2022 due to postponement due to the corona pandemic: The 2022 census will begin in Germany on May 15. This means that the census will begin, during which selected people will be asked about various things, including their work situation and their Education. Administrative data is predominantly used for the census.

Dormitories and shared accommodation

In the 2022 census, there will be a full census of dormitories and shared accommodation. This means that data is collected on all residents. There is a high turnover in halls of residence and shared accommodation: people move in and out regularly. This can lead to an above-average number of errors in the individual registers. These errors are corrected by the survey in the main survey.

You can find out what information is required for the main survey in the sample questionnaire for communal accommodation and the sample questionnaire for dormitories.

Changes in May 2022: Information obligation for online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon

changes in May 2022 in Germany

From May 28th, new information obligations will apply in Germany, which online retailers and marketplace operators such as eBay and Amazon must fulfill. Consumers should be better protected. The new rules are part of a large EU legislative package called the Omnibus Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/2161). 

This is what consumers need to know

This will change for online retailers when it comes to digital products, prices and ratings• If prices in the online shop or on a platform are personalized using automated decision-making, retailers must inform customers about this.
• It must also be communicated that the statutory liability for defects also applies to digital products.
• The last new point included in Article 246a is that retailers – where necessary and possible – must provide information about the functionality, compatibility, interoperability and technical protective measures of digital products.
• Another change concerns the law against unfair competition (UWG). The new § 5b paragraph 3 UWG introduces that online retailers must provide information on whether and how they ensure that customer reviews only come from actual buyers. This is to counteract fraud with fake reviews.
These information obligations will be introduced for operators of online marketplaces• According to the new Article 246d EGBGB, the online marketplaces must inform consumers about how rankings are achieved on the marketplace. Specifically, the main parameters for determining a ranking of search results and their relative weighting must be disclosed. This is intended to enable consumers to understand why certain goods, services or digital content are presented to them in a certain order.
• Online marketplace operators must also disclose if product providers on the marketplace are companies affiliated with the marketplace. Such constellations are common on the Amazon marketplace, for example. Other business connections between the provider and the marketplace must also be disclosed to the consumer.
• Starting in May, online marketplaces will also provide clear information as to whether a seller is acting privately or is an entrepreneur. The basis for this is a self-declaration by the provider to the marketplace.

What happens in case of violations by Online marketplace operators?

► Basically, violations of the new regulations will result in fines of up to 4% of the annual turnover or up to 50,000 euros. For larger companies with an annual turnover of more than 1.25 million euros, higher amounts may also be due.

► If there is hidden advertising in the search results on a marketplace or if there is no information about paid rankings, there is also a risk of a warning. It is exactly the same when online retailers deceive consumers about the authenticity of customer reviews in the shop or when fake reviews are recognized.

Changes in May 2022: Consumer protection also applies to sales trips or excursions (so called “Kaffefahrten” in German)

changes in May 2022 in Germany

There will also be changes in consumer protection in May 2022 for providers of sales trips: In the future, more clarity will have to be created as part of the application.

Ban on the sale of financial products and dietary supplements

The sale of insurance, home loan savings contracts, food supplements, and medical products – such as capsules with fat or carbohydrate blockers – on so-called “Kaffeefahrten” is generally prohibited from May 28, 2022. The “Act to Strengthen Consumer Protection in Competition and Trade Law” puts a stop to the often misleading sales methods for these products at such events. In particular, older people, who are the preferred target group, are to be protected from abusive practices. 

Kaffeefahrt (Sales trip) rip-off!

According to estimates, five million Germans take part in a bus trip with a sales event, a so-called coffee trip, every year. Their organizers often have only one goal: to sell overpriced goods to the participants.

  • Sale of medical devices and financial services banned from May 2022
  • Package travel law provides protection for coffee trips lasting several days 
  • Buyers of goods have a 14-day right of withdrawal

What actually is a “Kaffeefahrt” (coffee trip)? 

Even the name is misleading. Of course, the organizers are not interested in a nice trip with a leisurely coffee, but almost always in selling products such as saucepans, laptops, rheumatism blankets, vitamin pills, or other remedies at overpriced levels. The inexpensive day trip or multi-day trip only serves as a framework.

Rip off: How do “Kaffeefahrten” (coffee trips” usually work?

The target group of these sales or promotional trips is often older people. Many people who love to travel accept the fact that a sales event is also on the program in exchange for conviviality and variety for little money. Prospective participants are often enticed by advertisements in newspapers and direct mail with low prices, small gifts, a delicious lunch, and of course lots of bargains at the sales show. In retrospect, however, it almost always turns out that the products purchased are not worth their money

Changes in May 2022: The deadline for the 2022 tax return also ends for latecomers

changes in May 2022 in Germany

It is not really one of the changes in May 2022, but it is an important date: the deadline for filing the 2020 tax return for 2020 also ends in May for all those who do their tax return together with their tax advisor.

As a rule, all those who submit the declaration through their tax advisor will receive a later deadline than those who do it alone. For them, too, May 31, 2022, is the end: the 2020 tax return must be submitted to the tax office by then. If this is not the case, a late fee will be charged. This amounts to at least 25 euros, but mostly 0.25 percent of the fixed tax.


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Expaturm
Expaturmhttps://www.expaturm.com/
Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany

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