shooting permission

North Rhine-Westphalia is the state “deep in the West” of Germany. The region is home for 18 million people who live on a surface area of over 34,000 square kilometres. This not only makes North Rhine-Westphalia the most populous of the 16 German states, it also means that more people live in this state than, for instance, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria or Switzerland.

Nearly half of North Rhine-Westphalia’s land area is used for agriculture, forests cover one quarter of the state’s surface. Altogether, North Rhine-Westphalia has 14 nature parks, some of which it shares with other states, and one national park, the Eifel. There are 29 cities with more than 100,000 residents. The largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia is Cologne with a population of about one million, Düsseldorf is the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The state consits of 5 government regions (Regierungsbezirke), divided into 31 districts (Kreise) and 23 urban districts (kreisfreie Städte).

Due to this fact there does not exist ONE proceeding in shooting permissions – but there are some facts, valid for most regions and cities.

In NRW there does not exist a “general shoothing permit”.

some facts:

Instead of this, all permits concerning partial or total closure, “not stopping areas”, parking etc. will be submitted (fee based) separately by the competent department.

Filming on public roads or streets requires a special permit if any technical support, catering or camping vehicles are to be parked on or directly alongside public roads and streets (including sidewalks). This also applies to the setting up of spotlights, risers or camera rails. Summarizing: when interfering in the traffic (including sidewalks): a special permit is required.

Administrative Fees are calculated according to the actual complexity of the Permit.

in the forehand:

Brief description of project (description also mandatory for exterior shoots, including those with shooting and action sequences)

· Date and times of the shoot / setting-up and clearing of location

· Location / section of city map (with house numbers and length in metres for possible no-parking zones), and plan of road signs where appropriate

· Deployment of personnel and material

· Number of people working at the location

· Number of cars and trucks at the location

· Number and strength of generators to be used


please notice:

Regulations are subject to certain restrictions: 

  • “No stopping” signs must be put up 72 hours in advance. The time frame and distances for all potential impediments should be held to a minimum for the sake of traffic.The car signs of the vehicles in the “no stopping zones” are to be recorded.
  •  Personal vehicles in no way associated with the production cannot stop or park in these special “no stopping” zones. (Reserved parking is not permitted)
  • total closure will only be permitted in exception. Partial closure up to a maximum to three minutes.
  • citizens are to be informed in advance
  • It should be applied for permissions 14 days in advance

 A street blueprint (incl. properly numbered street lamps, buildings, recessed driveways, trees, handicapped parking spots etc.) must be submitted before any street signs can be mounted. The entire proposed “no stopping” area, the existing traffic signs and the time length of the traffic and/or stopping restrictions must all be clearly designated on the map.


NRW consits of 5 goverment regions (Bezirksregierung) – which are the ones to contact for permissions to shoot on “Autobahnen”.

filming at night:

In NRW, the authority for pollution control (Amt für Immisionsschutz) issues special permits for shoots between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.

filming with children:

These are the legal preconditions for an approval:

  • a hearing of the responsible youth welfare office in written form the consent of the guardian
  • the presentation of a doctor’s certificatenot older than three months
  • the proof that preventive measures have been taken the securing of care and supervision
  • the securing of the ordered compensation time of 14 hours
  • the securing that the children will not be detracted from their progress in school
  • In general, children under 3 years of age must not be employed
  • Children between 3 and 6 years can be employed for two hours a day, between 8.00 AM and 5.00 PM
  • Children over 6 years of age can be employed for 3 hours a day,        between 8.00 AM and 10.00 PM
visa regulations:

EU nationals

EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany.

Non-EU nationals

Generally speaking, all other foreigners require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to three months for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.You can find further information at the Federal foreign Office.

customs information:



customs information

For journeys and transports of goods and services within the European Union no customs regulations have to be observed.
carnet A.T.A. of the German Chambers of Commerce:

For importing and re-exporting professional equipment a Carnet A.T.A. is required. It is issued from the German Chambers of Commerce (IHK) for all companies and natural persons that are located in the region which the Chambers are responsible for. The Carnet is valid for one year only. The carnet allows that goods, which should only temporarily be shipped abroad, can be imported without paying a deposit for import charges (import duty, import-turnover tax, and other import charges and taxes).According to international agreements, professional equipment, samples, and goods shown at exhibitions and fairs are permitted.However, with professional equipment some restrictions are made on which the local Chamber of Commerce (IHK) is pleased to give information.The carnet cannot be used for items which remain abroad such as brochures, display material and refreshments.For goods which are used abroad during the shooting process, the import charges have to be paid in the respective country at a later date.To obtain a Carnet ATA a fee has to be paid at the respective Chamber of Commerce (IHK).How high the premium will be depends on the value of the goods listed in the Carnet (see chart).


Anfragen zu Drohnenflügen in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Regierungsbezirke Köln und Düsseldorf stellen an:

Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf, Dezernat 26 – Luftverkehr