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  #21  
Old 25.06.2015, 22:31
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Re: Alibaba buy

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I'd expect that to mostly be determined by the country of origin, as well as type of goods. Different customs rules appliy to different countries (import/contract areas).
I've bought things over the Internet for 40Chf with no questions asked, and things for over 100Chf that were followed by a customs bill. Seems there os some sort of threshold in value that gets taxed. Anyone know for certain?
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  #22  
Old 26.06.2015, 08:49
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Re: Alibaba buy

Not sure if my esperience is relevant but I'll post anyways.
About two months ago I bought a soft ice cream machine off a Chinese company via Alibaba for my father (he runs a grocery store in Poland.)
I'm still waiting for the delviery (it's a big item anyways). The machine costs a fraction of the price but I can't be sure about the quality.

Anyways, there were no problems re contacting the company, payments, etc. Overall, I was impressed.
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  #23  
Old 26.06.2015, 09:26
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Re: Alibaba buy

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I've bought things over the Internet for 40Chf with no questions asked, and things for over 100Chf that were followed by a customs bill. Seems there os some sort of threshold in value that gets taxed. Anyone know for certain?
It's 62 francs (total of the package value and shipping costs). Below this value there are normally no added costs.

https://www.ch.ch/en/ordering-goods-abroad/
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  #24  
Old 26.06.2015, 09:33
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Re: Alibaba buy

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It's 62 francs (total of the package value and shipping costs). Below this value there are normally no added costs.

https://www.ch.ch/en/ordering-goods-abroad/
Thank you. That is what I thought.

Anyone happen to know what it is, if any, in Germany?
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  #25  
Old 26.06.2015, 14:01
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Re: Alibaba buy

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Thank you. That is what I thought.

Anyone happen to know what it is, if any, in Germany?
Swiss Customs does not provide a personal tax-free allowance for items imported by post or courier (i.e., not personally imported). However, for reasons of practicality, they waive the VAT if it comes to less than CHF 5.00 (and if it's CHF 5.00 or more, they charge the VAT plus a whopping fee for the privilege).

The magical CHF 62 figure is actually CHF 62.50 (to be exact), and is the total value of goods imported (including postage) such that the VAT payable (at the 8% rate) in Switzerland is CHF 5.00; the breakdown is:

CHF.....Notes

57.87...Pre-tax value
..4.63...VAT @ 8% on pre-tax value
62.50...Value including VAT

Therefore, any package with a total value including postage and VAT of CHF 62.50 or more incurs tax and charges.

If Germany were to follow the same reasoning and had a similar arbitrary waiver limit of €5.00, then the tax-free importation limit (for items attracting full 19% VAT) would be just €26.32 (including tax and postage). But there's no reason to assume that Germany would take the same approach.
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Old 26.06.2015, 16:20
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Re: Alibaba buy

If I buy something from China worth 100 Euros, had it shipped to Germany, then I pick it up and drive it over, would that be considered personal import or smuggling?
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Old 26.06.2015, 16:53
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Re: Alibaba buy

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If I buy something from China worth 100 Euros, had it shipped to Germany, then I pick it up and drive it over, would that be considered personal import or smuggling?
Personal import -- completely legal; it's within your daily personal tax-free limit, so you're welcome to bring it into Switzerland without paying any VAT here.

If you were to buy said online purchase from an EU retailer and bring it into Switzerland in the way you describe, you could even get the invoice stamped at the border and send it back to the retailer to get your EU VAT reimbursed -- if the retailer cooperates.
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Old 26.06.2015, 17:00
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Re: Alibaba buy

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If I buy something from China worth 100 Euros, had it shipped to Germany, then I pick it up and drive it over, would that be considered personal import or smuggling?
See here:
http://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Ste...euer_node.html

The limit for Germany seems to be 10 VAT. (Item value 52.63 )
The shipment will be held at customs, where you have to go and pay for it. On the other hand no surcharges. The German are keen on the CE mark. If it is missing or the goods not according to EU regulations no import is possible.
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Old 27.06.2015, 13:07
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Re: Alibaba buy

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Personal import -- completely legal; it's within your daily personal tax-free limit, so you're welcome to bring it into Switzerland without paying any VAT here.

If you were to buy said online purchase from an EU retailer and bring it into Switzerland in the way you describe, you could even get the invoice stamped at the border and send it back to the retailer to get your EU VAT reimbursed -- if the retailer cooperates.
Do you have particular insight WRT having the goods sent to Germany and importing from there? In my layman view, there's the risk of that being viewed as using DE for transit only, which would require paying customs.
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  #30  
Old 30.06.2015, 13:20
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Re: Alibaba buy

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Do you have particular insight WRT having the goods sent to Germany and importing from there? In my layman view, there's the risk of that being viewed as using DE for transit only, which would require paying customs.
Sure, you have to pay "customs" (usually MWSt only, but there are customs duties payable additionally on some items) on all imports to Switzerland, whether directly from China or via Germany, or from any other country. However, you are entitled to a tax-free allowance of CHF 300 per person per day for items that you import personally -- again, it doesn't matter from which country you're importing the goods.

So if the item(s) come to less than CHF 300 (pre-tax), you are legally resident in Switzerland and you personally carry them over the border from Germany into Switzerland, you will pay no Swiss taxes.

If you're asking whether you'd need to pay tax and possible duties in Germany, you'd need to check with the Deutsche Zollverwaltung (German customs authority). If they were to view the transit through Germany as just that, transit, then there should be no taxes payable. But if they don't, then presumably their import rules would apply.
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  #31  
Old 30.06.2015, 13:50
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Re: Alibaba buy

I'm looking at a Chinese made item that costs about 90CHF in a shop here. I can see it on Alibaba for 40 CHF. Sounds like a good deal, even accounting for postage and customs.
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  #32  
Old 30.06.2015, 15:08
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Re: Alibaba buy

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Swiss Customs does not provide a personal tax-free allowance for items imported by post or courier (i.e., not personally imported). However, for reasons of practicality, they waive the VAT if it comes to less than CHF 5.00 (and if it's CHF 5.00 or more, they charge the VAT plus a whopping fee for the privilege).

The magical CHF 62 figure is actually CHF 62.50 (to be exact), and is the total value of goods imported (including postage) such that the VAT payable (at the 8% rate) in Switzerland is CHF 5.00; the breakdown is:

CHF.....Notes

57.87...Pre-tax value
..4.63...VAT @ 8% on pre-tax value
62.50...Value including VAT

Therefore, any package with a total value including postage and VAT of CHF 62.50 or more incurs tax and charges.

If Germany were to follow the same reasoning and had a similar arbitrary waiver limit of 5.00, then the tax-free importation limit (for items attracting full 19% VAT) would be just 26.32 (including tax and postage). But there's no reason to assume that Germany would take the same approach.
One important caveat is that they reserve the right to open any package they like (regardless if it has a customs sticker or not), and for that you will be charged an admin fee which is what happened to me here.
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  #33  
Old 30.06.2015, 16:10
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Re: Alibaba buy

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CHF.....Notes

57.87...Pre-tax value
..4.63...VAT @ 8% on pre-tax value
62.50...Value including VAT

Therefore, any package with a total value including postage and VAT of CHF 62.50 or more incurs tax and charges.
While the precise figure of CHF 62.50 is correct (being CHF 5 / 8%), your analysis is wrong (and potentially confusing); you imply that (a) you pay VAT before the VAT is even assessed and (b) package value over CHF 57.87 is subject to (another) VAT.

The CHF 62.50 figure is total declared value before VAT.
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  #34  
Old 30.06.2015, 16:21
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Re: Alibaba buy

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While the precise figure of CHF 62.50 is correct (being CHF 5 / 8%), your analysis is wrong (and potentially confusing); you imply that (a) you pay VAT before the VAT is even assessed and (b) package value over CHF 57.87 is subject to (another) VAT.

The CHF 62.50 figure is total declared value before VAT.
You're right, my post does have the potential to confuse -- although your post is also misleading. Swiss VAT is levied on the total value of the package, whether VAT has been paid on the country of origin or not. So the CHF 62.50 is not just "before" VAT -- it's before Swiss VAT, obviously, but may or may not include VAT from the country of origin. If it does include VAT in the country from which it was posted, the component relating to the value of the contents may be reclaimable once the package arrives in CH. My calculation was supposed to show this -- although I agree that it wasn't helpful to use a VAT rate of 8% as an example.
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  #35  
Old 30.06.2015, 23:10
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Re: Alibaba buy

So after about 10 days, I get a message that my product was shipped, and I see a tracking number for China Post, with a link to the China Post website, except its ALL in Chinese.

Estimated delivery time in 15 to 34 days. I would be pleasantly surprised if it arrives. I don't believe the product has a CE stamp on it. I'll keep this thread posted.
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  #36  
Old 01.07.2015, 07:48
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Re: Alibaba buy

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So after about 10 days, I get a message that my product was shipped, and I see a tracking number for China Post, with a link to the China Post website, except its ALL in Chinese.

Estimated delivery time in 15 to 34 days. I would be pleasantly surprised if it arrives. I don't believe the product has a CE stamp on it. I'll keep this thread posted.
Just put the link through Google translate or use one of third-party trackers which can do a translation for you (guess what they're doing under the hood...). E.g. https://www.17track.net/en/

At some point the parcel will show up in Swiss Post tracking, but this may take a few days as it swirls around some Chinese postal clearing centre the size of a city. Here's the link:

https://service.post.ch/EasyTrack/?l...b#simpleSearch

In my experience of ordering from China (I've done a lot), it'll take between 10 and 20 days.
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Old 01.07.2015, 07:53
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Re: Alibaba buy

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You're right, my post does have the potential to confuse -- although your post is also misleading. Swiss VAT is levied on the total value of the package, whether VAT has been paid on the country of origin or not.
Well, I did say 'total value' of the package which would include any extra costs incurred.

But the bigger issue is: who on earth is paying origin VAT on an import? If you're buying stuff online from another country and they're charging you VAT, then you're being ripped-off. Do a charge-back if you're already clicked the purchase button and walk away.
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  #38  
Old 01.07.2015, 10:19
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Re: Alibaba buy

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Just put the link through Google translate or use one of third-party trackers which can do a translation for you (guess what they're doing under the hood...). E.g. https://www.17track.net/en/

At some point the parcel will show up in Swiss Post tracking, but this may take a few days as it swirls around some Chinese postal clearing centre the size of a city. Here's the link:

https://service.post.ch/EasyTrack/?l...b#simpleSearch

In my experience of ordering from China (I've done a lot), it'll take between 10 and 20 days.

What are your preferred shipping companies through AliExpress? Is DHL or Fedex worth it? It seems to be faster yet more expensive.
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Old 01.07.2015, 10:48
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Re: Alibaba buy

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What are your preferred shipping companies through AliExpress? Is DHL or Fedex worth it? It seems to be faster yet more expensive.
I always use the default free shipping option when buying Chinese goods. This is for a few reasons:

- It's free! The compellingly cheap (and really quite disruptive) price of directly-sourced Chinese goods becomes less so if you're giving 20 or 30 bucks to a courier. The long lead times can be ameliorated by getting a pipeline of orders going.

- The couriers are a pain. You never know when they'll arrive during the day and then have to make special arrangements if you weren't there. The Post is far more predictable and a missed delivery just means popping down to the road to the Post Office (if it's tracked - that's not even needed for cheaper stuff). And let's not go into the endless added costs the couriers love to layer on.

- No extra delivery security or insurance is needed for Chinese orders. If a package fails to arrive, the vendor will almost always just shrug and send you another one.

BTW, there are plenty more Chinese options than AliExpress. Adrian mentioned BuyinCoins and my current favourite of the exotically-named Chinese vendors is BangGood. (They're particularly good for RC stuff and have very attentive support).
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:02
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Re: Alibaba buy

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You're right, my post does have the potential to confuse -- although your post is also misleading. Swiss VAT is levied on the total value of the package, whether VAT has been paid on the country of origin or not. So the CHF 62.50 is not just "before" VAT -- it's before Swiss VAT, obviously, but may or may not include VAT from the country of origin. If it does include VAT in the country from which it was posted, the component relating to the value of the contents may be reclaimable once the package arrives in CH. My calculation was supposed to show this -- although I agree that it wasn't helpful to use a VAT rate of 8% as an example.
foreign VAT shouldn't be part of the basis for import tax.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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