Clearance sale is regulated in Section 8 of the Act against Unfair Competition (UWG). Clearance sales are only permitted if the evacuation of the existing stock of goods becomes necessary as a result of damage caused by fire, water, storm or a comparable event for which the entrepreneur is not responsible (so-called 'cases of force majeure') and this forced eviction situation only through an evacuation sale can be eliminated.
Clearance sales due to renovations are only permitted if the construction work is subject to notification or approval in accordance with the building regulations and creates a forced eviction situation that can only be eliminated by means of an evacuation sale. What is 'subject to notification or approval' depends on the respective state building regulations. Most of the state building codes only recognize projects that require approval and that do not require approval; the obligation to notify is mostly not applicable. The establishment, modification, demolition or removal of structural systems, in particular in the case of load-bearing and stiffening walls, are subject to approval. On the other hand, structural measures that affect non-load-bearing components as well as purely decorative design measures are usually not covered by the permit requirement.
Clearance sales due to force majeure or due to renovation can be carried out for a maximum of 12 working days. Clearance sale due to cessation of business operations for a period of 24 working days. As before, the reason for the clearance sale must be stated in the advertisement. Clearance sales due to force majeure must be reported to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts at the latest two weeks prior to their initial notification. The former sales are now (since 01/01/87) called clearance sales. Please contact the retail trade associations and chambers of industry and commerce for details.