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Old 05.06.2013, 16:48
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Thanks for the answer. I guess it is only the VAT which is based on the value, paperwork seems to be a flat rate (+ 3% also value based).
So the shop messed this up for me by splitting the package and causing me like extra 20 chf of cost...

I'm fully disappointed about the whole thing.
Well, if they had split it up so that each shipment was worth less than GBP 40 or so, there would have been no customs/VAT charges.

Tom
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  #242  
Old 05.06.2013, 17:09
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Well, if they had split it up so that each shipment was worth less than GBP 40 or so, there would have been no customs/VAT charges.

Tom
Unfortunately impossible, as I have 3 items for EUR 50, 5, and 65... And first pack is with the 50+5, which is around GBP 46, just over the limit.
BTW, is this an official limit or just a kind of practical habit used by customs?

Anyway, I'm so pissed that I don't even want to pick up my stuff now, though I could hardly wait for them to arrive. Really, really embarrassing. I hope sleeping on it will help to change my mood a bit...
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  #243  
Old 05.06.2013, 17:20
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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BTW, is this an official limit or just a kind of practical habit used by customs?
Official limit is the amount that would result in a VAT charge of CHF 5 or more, so CHF 62 for most stuff, CHF 200 for books.

Tom
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  #244  
Old 05.06.2013, 18:01
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Official limit is the amount that would result in a VAT charge of CHF 5 or more, so CHF 62 for most stuff, CHF 200 for books.

Tom
Thanks for the info, good to know.
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  #245  
Old 21.07.2013, 10:54
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

The limit is 62chf, not 65chf on imported goods, so be careful. I took a chance that my last order from the UK would be just scrape through, but Customs calculated the cost at 62.14 and I ended up paying 25.75 in duty on an item that was £43.
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  #246  
Old 21.07.2013, 11:02
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

A recent survey by 'Bon à savoir' consumer magazine (yet it is Swiss) gave lots of examples showing that buying cheaper on internet abroad, usually ends up more expensive than buying here, especially for electronics. And then you have the problems with warrantee, repairs, etc.
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  #247  
Old 21.07.2013, 11:03
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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The limit is 62chf, not 65chf on imported goods, so be careful. I took a chance that my last order from the UK would be just scrape through, but Customs calculated the cost at 62.14 and I ended up paying 25.75 in duty on an item that was £43.
The mother...f! Sorry I think that's despicable!
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  #248  
Old 21.07.2013, 13:43
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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The limit is 62chf, not 65chf on imported goods, so be careful. I took a chance that my last order from the UK would be just scrape through, but Customs calculated the cost at 62.14 and I ended up paying 25.75 in duty on an item that was £43.
If you want to play the game of precision, be aware that forex rates can tip you over the edge as customs will use exchange rate as on arrival, not purchase...

At 8% VAT, the limit seems to be (not be but 'correspond for 5 CHF MwSt to') 62.5 CHF... tough luck.
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  #249  
Old 21.07.2013, 14:28
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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A recent survey by 'Bon à savoir' consumer magazine (yet it is Swiss) gave lots of examples showing that buying cheaper on internet abroad, usually ends up more expensive than buying here, especially for electronics. And then you have the problems with warrantee, repairs, etc.
I find in general electronics are very reasonably priced here anyway (forget about the US when I say that.

Most of the stuff I order online from the UK or France is a lot cheaper or just not available here...like the Monsoon summer sale. Even with the 30 francs of tax which I was fully prepared for was a LOT cheaper than any designer dresses in Switzerland...plus you just can't get Monsoon dresses in Switzerland!
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  #250  
Old 21.07.2013, 18:08
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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I find in general electronics are very reasonably priced here anyway (forget about the US when I say that.

Most of the stuff I order online from the UK or France is a lot cheaper or just not available here...like the Monsoon summer sale. Even with the 30 francs of tax which I was fully prepared for was a LOT cheaper than any designer dresses in Switzerland...plus you just can't get Monsoon dresses in Switzerland!
I always thought Scotsmen wore kilts rather than dresses
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  #251  
Old 25.07.2013, 13:57
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Official limit is the amount that would result in a VAT charge of CHF 5 or more, so CHF 62 for most stuff, CHF 200 for books.

Tom
I think it´s exactly as above, and you have to look out for 3 pitfalls:
  1. Foreign VAT (should it appear on the bill) is not included in Swiss VAT calculation.
  2. Foreign postage is included in Swiss VAT calculation.
  3. You have to know the FX-rate of the day the package is handled by Swiss customs.
With above in mind, Swiss VAT must yield less than CHF 5. Especially with fluctuating FX-rates this is a guessing game and goes wrong sometimes.


If you want to order something exceeding the limit and avoiding ridiculous fees, there are plenty of places (addresses) in Germany, to which you can have your packages delivered, pick them up there, and declare them yourself at the border (CHF 300 free allowance, and if you have to declare something above this you have to pay "just" the VAT (=no handling-fees whatsoever)).
  • Personally I have a friend in Konstanz, who allowed me to use his address for my deliveries. Superpractical
  • If you don´t personally know anyone, you can sign up with www.packstation.de and have your stuff delivered to any postoffice in Germany. This is free, drawback is packages are returned to sender after a week if not picked up. (And the sign-up process is somewhat cumbersome, during which you will need a private German address to receive your DHL-card)
  • Very friendly and resourceful is Mandy Klein of www.lieferadresse-konstanz.de. She charges EUR 5 per package, and you can pick them up in her shop in the centre of Konstanz.
  • There are many more services like the above in different locations in Germany. I just list the one above because I used her services before finding my private free version.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 25.07.2013 at 14:08.
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  #252  
Old 26.07.2013, 16:07
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Official limit is the amount that would result in a VAT charge of CHF 5 or more, so CHF 62 for most stuff, CHF 200 for books.

Tom
Just about to order some books from Amazon.co.uk to be delivered straight to me in Oberageri, books cost total circa GBP65 and postage another GBP10, so from the above, this will be exempt from any charges?

Why do books have a higher threshold out of interest?
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  #253  
Old 26.07.2013, 16:17
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Above will be delivered w/o additional charge.

The threshold is CHF 5 relevant Swiss VAT.

Usual VAT is 8%, however VAT on books is 2.6%, hence the difference.

Delivery via post is always calculated "per package", and not "per day". So if you have values approaching the CHF5-VAT-limit, and you can split the delivery into several packages, you can (and should) do just that.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

Regards, Christian
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  #254  
Old 26.07.2013, 16:32
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I guess it probably has been covered before but why don't you get yourself an address in the EU? I have all my stuff sent there and pick it up from there. Costs me Euro 5 per parcel and the limit I can import into switzerland is 300.-- Euro not 60 something Francs.
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  #255  
Old 26.07.2013, 16:56
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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I guess it probably has been covered before but why don't you get yourself an address in the EU? I have all my stuff sent there and pick it up from there. Costs me Euro 5 per parcel and the limit I can import into switzerland is 300.-- Euro not 60 something Francs.
Not everybody lives as close to the border as you do and not everybody has enough time on his hands to pick up stuff regularly.
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  #256  
Old 26.07.2013, 17:01
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Not everybody lives as close to the border as you do and not everybody as enough time on his hands to pick up stuff regularly.
Understood but as I see it these two are your only options. So either pony up with the cash they want for imported parcels or spend some time travelling
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  #257  
Old 26.07.2013, 17:37
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

My strategy is to order everything I want at any given time in parallel, pick up large quantities of stuff/parcels in one go, and combine it with shopping in Germany. Since most everyday articles are roughly 50% cheaper there, it saves a lot. You get 19% German VAT back, so paying 8% Swiss VAT doesn´t hurt all that much.

We usually stock up on all items that don´t go off/expire (toiletry articles, canned food etc...). The basement is full of such items, we could really open a shop here.
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  #258  
Old 07.01.2014, 00:36
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I'm thinking of purchasing a laptop from XoticPC.com - I have family still in UK so I could get it delivered there, I also have good friends who live just past the border in France so I could also deliver there, or I could get it delivered at home in Switzerland...

Question is, does anyone know what the best deal might be? I'm guessing the shipping/delivery is going to cost roughly the same (give or take 20 CHF) no matter which country I deliver to. So how much is the import tax/VAT going to be?

Let's assume it's about 3 Kg package containing a laptop worth about 1800 USD (1630 CHF), but let's say the total (including package insurance/shipping etc.) works out to be around 1800 CHF, how much am I looking to spend if I ship to Switzerland vs UK or France?

NOTE: XoticPC ships from USA
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  #259  
Old 07.01.2014, 01:26
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

If it ships directly from the US, sending it to Switzerland will attract 8% Swiss VAT + a possible handling charge of ~CHF 40-ish.

If it ships to the UK or France, it will be liable to local French or UK-VAT at their respective rates, which are higher and, in this case, non-refundable.

The Swiss VAT would remain applicable upon import anyway.

Summary: It´s easiest AND cheapest to have it shipped directly to Switzerland.
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Old 07.01.2014, 20:41
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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If it ships directly from the US, sending it to Switzerland will attract 8% Swiss VAT + a possible handling charge of ~CHF 40-ish.

If it ships to the UK or France, it will be liable to local French or UK-VAT at their respective rates, which are higher and, in this case, non-refundable.

The Swiss VAT would remain applicable upon import anyway.

Summary: It´s easiest AND cheapest to have it shipped directly to Switzerland.
Handling charges are *only* CHF 20 if shipped via UPS. It was CHF 18 before, but has just increased. Might be cheaper than the Post if the value is high enough.
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