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  #21  
Old 17.06.2008, 17:19
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receiving a package

Hi,

I've been expecting a pair of sunglasses in the post and finally I received a letter from Customs, asking me for the value of them and evidence of value so that they can decide on charges.

Now these are glasses that I bought at home in Ireland, paid for in Ireland, and now I want them over here. I didn't keep the receipt for them so I have no proof of value.

Since they are my personal belongings which I already own, do I need to pay tax on them? I mean if i had brought them with me in my suitcase, I would not pay tax.

Can I just say that they are mine, and declare a value of zero? Should I make up some small number like CHF30 even though I've no evidence of this either? Alternatively I will be heading home soon, so I could allow them to return them to the sender, but will they incur even more charges then?

Thanks for reading,
Rosi
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  #22  
Old 17.06.2008, 17:23
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Re: Import Duties and Tariffs

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What was the value of the package?
I actually got two packages today. A small and light one (worth about usd 180 incl postage) without the Droits de douane charge and another big one (worth about usd 285 incl postage). Both have the same Formalites en douane for CHF 35.

btw, I had to pay CHF4 extra in taxes since the custom declaration form was wrong (the store where I made the purchse did not take into account the 20% off coupon I used when I shopped. Aka, declaration form has actual price vs. the 20% off price I paid).....
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  #23  
Old 17.06.2008, 17:25
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I was sent a parcel from England, and the sender put a high value on the parcel, and i had to pay over 100frcs to collect my parcel. I would tell them that they belong to you, and they are not worth anything that way you will not have to pay any charges.
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  #24  
Old 17.06.2008, 17:25
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Re: receiving a package

Rosi, I've moved your post to this thread. While not exactly the same situation it does have some useful information.

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Hi,

I've been expecting a pair of sunglasses in the post and finally I received a letter from Customs, asking me for the value of them and evidence of value so that they can decide on charges.

Now these are glasses that I bought at home in Ireland, paid for in Ireland, and now I want them over here. I didn't keep the receipt for them so I have no proof of value.

Since they are my personal belongings which I already own, do I need to pay tax on them? I mean if i had brought them with me in my suitcase, I would not pay tax.

Can I just say that they are mine, and declare a value of zero? Should I make up some small number like CHF30 even though I've no evidence of this either? Alternatively I will be heading home soon, so I could allow them to return them to the sender, but will they incur even more charges then?

Thanks for reading,
Rosi
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  #25  
Old 25.07.2008, 10:35
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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DHL now charges 19 SFR Administrative Fee. What a rip-off

Just an update on recent experience buying a pedometer on amazon.de and shipped through DHL( as I could not find the model I was looking for in online swiss shops)

Cost of the pedometer=42,95 EUR
Shipping cost: 7,90
Total= 50,85

Got the item delivered and everything works fine.

One week later I get an invoice from DHL for the following

Nettobetrag= 6.40 CHF
Admin. Kosten=10 CHF
Verzollungsdienstleistung = 38CHF !!!!!

Total = 54.40

I called up their office here in Basel Flughafen and challenged this upon which I was told that irrespective of the value of goods, DHL charges this pro-rata to all its customers importing electronics

When I suggested that since I would not have to pay this customs duty if I walked through red channel with this item, the customer service person told me yes that would be the case but since this came through DHL this would have to be paid. The conversation ended like this

Me = so in effect you are saying that since you charge this prorata and wouldn't have to pay this back to customs it essentially goes to your pocket

DHL customer service = yes that is true

Me = ok I understand ( hang up)

Can anyone tell me this is legal ? how do they record this extraordinary income on their records ?
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  #26  
Old 03.08.2008, 19:31
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Hi, does anyone know if all amazon.de purchases get sent via DHL? Usually I order via Amazon.com & have never been charged taxes on these packages as they come through regular post. I see that Amazon.de is not charging shipping, but if the package goes via DHL, that could end up costing quite alot!
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  #27  
Old 05.08.2008, 01:32
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Has anyone else noticed that they're being charged import, handling, etc on absolutely EVERYTHING coming in the post all of a sudden? I must've paid nearly CHF200 in rubbish fees for the postman in the last month alone, including: a package only worth GBP20 effectively meaning that the duty paid was more than the package cost in the first place, a present from my brother, etc, etc. I thought there was a minimum before you started paying in this way? I'm disgusted and wondering if it'll ever be safe to order from the world wide web again....
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  #28  
Old 18.08.2008, 11:45
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Hi, does anyone know if all amazon.de purchases get sent via DHL? Usually I order via Amazon.com & have never been charged taxes on these packages as they come through regular post. I see that Amazon.de is not charging shipping, but if the package goes via DHL, that could end up costing quite alot!
Hi miniMia,

Did you buy also DVD on Amazon.com?I bought books and delivered to Zurich with no charge, now I'm wondering if it's worthy to buy some DVDs.

Thank you

M
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  #29  
Old 18.08.2008, 11:48
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I occasionaly buy games from Amazon.co.uk, and got charged an import tax on all of them until Saturday, when they let one through without charging me. I figured they might have some random checking system in place, as other posters have said they don't always get charged.
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  #30  
Old 07.09.2008, 16:48
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

If you can, make sure the vendor is shipping via their national post system (i.e. US Post, UK Royal Mail, etc) and hence via the Swiss Post instead of using a courier company. The latter make sure they add a hefty Zollabfertigung, tax and other charges at the border. About 5 years ago I had a similar experience with DHL as cobenz, including the futile phone call.

Note that the Swiss Post are raising their customs prices from 1st October. Details are here, with PDF.
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  #31  
Old 07.09.2008, 21:53
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Hi miniMia,

Did you buy also DVD on Amazon.com?I bought books and delivered to Zurich with no charge, now I'm wondering if it's worthy to buy some DVDs.

Thank you

M
Hi, No. I only buy books via Amazon. I've bought with both .com & .de & have not been charged for the deliveries.
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  #32  
Old 24.09.2008, 15:02
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I am buying software from USA. US price USD$1100, Swiss price USD$2000. What could be the worst scenario as far as final cost for me is concerned? Next day priority from US for the software package is $70 (4-5 thick manuals with part of the software package).

So $1100 + $70 = $1170. So it's still $830 cheaper than Swiss price. How much of the $830 could get eaten by customs and any other additional charges? Could someone please give me a best and worst scenario?
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  #33  
Old 24.09.2008, 15:10
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

From similar experience I would say that you will get charged about 100CHF VAT (7.6% converted to CHF) plus about 10-20CHF by the carrier for clearing the package (post office charge 10CHF, couriers tend to charge more).

As an aside, if people are sending you something then make sure that they don't do you a "favour" by mis-declaring the content value. I bought something from ebay once and the sender declared a low value. When customs opened the package they charged me the VAT based on the actual value (the eejit had also included a receipt with the real cost) with an added fine (about 30 CHF IIRC) for the mis-declaration.

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I am buying software from USA. US price USD$1100, Swiss price USD$2000. What could be the worst scenario as far as final cost for me is concerned? Next day priority from US for the software package is $70 (4-5 thick manuals with part of the software package).

So $1100 + $70 = $1170. So it's still $830 cheaper than Swiss price. How much of the $830 could get eaten by customs and any other additional charges? Could someone please give me a best and worst scenario?
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  #34  
Old 24.09.2008, 15:15
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

If I end up saving $500-$700 then that is already good enough for me. I appreciate your prompt and helpful reply mirfield.
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  #35  
Old 24.09.2008, 15:30
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

As yet another aside, make sure you can register and run the software in Europe. Some software producers have set up obstacles to avoid undermining of market segmentation and maximised profit.
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  #36  
Old 25.09.2008, 00:15
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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As yet another aside, make sure you can register and run the software in Europe. Some software producers have set up obstacles to avoid undermining of market segmentation and maximised profit.
That won't be a problem in this case. Btw the seller offered to include a cheaper bill to fool the customs. Should I take them up on the offer?
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  #37  
Old 27.09.2008, 14:27
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

hope someone could tell me,,
so i received a telescope i bought online from a shop in germany, the UPS guy didnt charged custom taxes.. am i suppose to get a bill in the mail to pay the VAT?

or, i was just lucky?

tx
/f
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  #38  
Old 27.09.2008, 14:38
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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hope someone could tell me,,
so i received a telescope i bought online from a shop in germany, the UPS guy didnt charged custom taxes.. am i suppose to get a bill in the mail to pay the VAT?

or, i was just lucky?

tx
/f
You will most likely receive a bill in the next couple of days.
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  #39  
Old 27.09.2008, 16:22
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

gregv thanks for your answer, confirms what i though, and at the same time confuses me a bit that the UPS guy didn't charged me since the package spent one day in UPS dependencies passing the import procedure.. yes sure this is all about understanding their logistics.. and perhaps it really makes no sense to try to make sense of it..

i will just wait for the bill while enjoying the telescope.

/f
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  #40  
Old 28.09.2008, 09:15
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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I occasionaly buy games from Amazon.co.uk, and got charged an import tax on all of them until Saturday, when they let one through without charging me. I figured they might have some random checking system in place, as other posters have said they don't always get charged.
The last time we bought DVDs from amazon (I think it was co.uk, not com, but we order from both), they came in 3 or 4 packages. Only one had import tax, but I think (if I remember correctly) it covered all of the packages and therefore I only paid one tax analysis. It's better, since otherwise the tax analysis would be per package, and then I would have to pay 10 CHF per package just for the tax analysis.

We'll probably buy some more DVDs soon, so I'll try to keep track and report back if it happens again.

Quote:
gregv thanks for your answer, confirms what i though, and at the same time confuses me a bit that the UPS guy didn't charged me since the package spent one day in UPS dependencies passing the import procedure.. yes sure this is all about understanding their logistics.. and perhaps it really makes no sense to try to make sense of it..

i will just wait for the bill while enjoying the telescope.

/f
I suspect the UPS drivers got tired of tracking money, plus it takes time to collect the import tax and it's better that the drivers are delivering packages, not fussing about import tax. They always want exact change, but the import tax is not always known until UPS (or DHL, FedEx, SwissPost) shows up at the door.

The last time we had to pay tax to SwissPost, the deliverer got a tip of a whopping 25 rappen. I didn't have the exact change and told him he could keep it. He just had a few coins in his pocket - he's also not prepared to provide change.
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