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  #61  
Old 15.10.2008, 12:57
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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I haven't yet given up on getting a PO box across the border. So far the situation in France is that they don't offer these to domestic customers, only businesses. In Germany you need to have a valid DE address to set one up, and then undertake to collect your mail/packages once a week.

So I'm now looking at commerical solutions e.g. Mailbox Etc.. they have a franchise in Lorrach so I've asked for further details.

Here's something to consider Castro. If you order goods from say Germany to be sent to a delivery address in Germany (PO Box) don't forget that your total will include 19% VAT!! If you have the goods delivered to Switzerland that German company MUST take 19% off the total of the goods (as long as the price quoted includes VAT). Yes, you will pay 7.6% to the Swiss when it is delivered to you in Switzerland, but if your final goal is to avoid an 18 franc fee then it is probably not worth it.
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  #62  
Old 15.10.2008, 13:12
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Here's something to consider Castro. If you order goods from say Germany to be sent to a delivery address in Germany (PO Box) don't forget that your total will include 19% VAT!! If you have the goods delivered to Switzerland that German company MUST take 19% off the total of the goods (as long as the price quoted includes VAT). Yes, you will pay 7.6% to the Swiss when it is delivered to you in Switzerland, but if your final goal is to avoid an 18 franc fee then it is probably not worth it.
Thanks Smitty, but that scenario is by no means certain, plenty of German/Italian/Spanish and UK etailers have either said that they will not sell ex-VAT or else I must send them the tax receipt for re-imbursement. In addition there seems to be a lot of uncertainty and confusion regarding the handling/admin fees once they land in CH depending on which courier you use etc..

Its far simpler for me to jump on my scooter and nip across to Germany once a week to collect my stuff. And since the value of the items are unlikely to be above my duty free limit I wouldn't even have to declare them.
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  #63  
Old 15.10.2008, 13:20
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Thanks Smitty, but that scenario is by no means certain, plenty of German/Italian/Spanish and UK etailers have either said that they will not sell ex-VAT or else I must send them the tax receipt for re-imbursement.

For shipping to outside of the EU (Switzerland)? That's not allowed, how very naughty of them... Why is it naughty? Because they know damn well that they don't need to pay the VAT for sales to outside of the EU to their respective government so by buying from them you increase their profits starting at 15% (depending on the country you import from). I've had companies try this and a simple you know you're not allowed to do that, I'll take my business elsewhere usually has them come running back tails between their legs.
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  #64  
Old 17.10.2008, 15:33
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

In case anyone is interested, Mail Box Etc.. (Germany) offer a PO Box service which is tailored to your needs. On my next trip to Loerrach I will visit the franchise and investigate further.

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Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for getting in contact with us.

As the responsible person for Loerrach I can tell you we do offer
PO Box services in Loerrach with 24 hours access.

Depending on the number and size of your mail we offer
different sizes of boxes.

Prices start at EUR 45,- for the smallest box and a time period of 3
month up to EUR 1300,- for the premium box with a five years contract.

If you would let us know your requirements we are able to prepare
a contract (even in english, when preferred).

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards / mit freundlichen Grüßen
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  #65  
Old 20.05.2009, 09:50
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Hello all,

Apologies if this has been covered before.

Could someone please explain how import tax works?
I've asked the Post Office but they weren't very helpful...

My understanding is that you pay VAT + customs tax (around 30.-) for anything over 65 francs...is that correct?

Could someone give me examples when importing from EU and the US?

Thanks
I know you wrote this over two years ago, but it seems a subject that still stirs. I found this link today http://www.swisspost.ch/en/print/ind...iewId=10006253 after paying 25.70 to receive a package I had already paid 101 for . Yes, you are correct in noting the 65 frank rule, there are a few more details in the link. I will pay more attention to my orders in the future.
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  #66  
Old 18.06.2009, 21:15
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

A recent ebay purchase costing $9 US inc post (from Hong Kong), arrived and the Post Office wanted 28chf for customs and other charges. There was a nice yellow invoice attached, which we looked at. 18 chf customs or similar, admin charge, and some tax.

As the link in the previous post states that items under 65chf in value are free of duty. I wondered if there was anything I could do?

[For the curious, the items were an SD card->USB adapter (99c), and an IDE/SATA to USB combo cable 6.95.].

The woman at the post office was helpful, but had no idea what to do if I didn't agree with the charges. The original customs declaration was covered with a sticker, so couldn't be read. This supplier previously put $15 value on my one other order, even though the one other order was for a little less.

Other than letting them return it to HK, I wondered if there was some way I could feed back the mistake, assuming it is a mistake.

[edit 21-07-09: It turns out that the electronic bits from Hong Kong came through OK yesterday, and that the parcel held back was probably a bikini from the UK, new with tags (also from Ebay).]

Last edited by p42; 21.06.2009 at 07:29.
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  #67  
Old 18.06.2009, 21:39
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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A recent ebay purchase costing $9 US inc post (from Hong Kong), arrived and the Post Office wanted 28chf for customs and other charges. There was a nice yellow invoice attached, which we looked at. 18 chf customs or similar, admin charge, and some tax.

As the link in the previous post states that items under 65chf in value are free of duty. I wondered if there was anything I could do?

[For the curious, the items were an SD card->USB adapter (99c), and an IDE/SATA to USB combo cable 6.95.].

The woman at the post office was helpful, but had no idea what to do if I didn't agree with the charges. The original customs declaration was covered with a sticker, so couldn't be read. This supplier previously put $15 value on my one other order, even though the one other order was for a little less.

Other than letting them return it to HK, I wondered if there was some way I could feed back the mistake, assuming it is a mistake.
They are probably assessing you based on the Swiss catalog price.
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  #68  
Old 18.06.2009, 22:48
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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They are probably assessing you based on the Swiss catalog price.
correct! that pesky CH market protectionism again.
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  #69  
Old 18.06.2009, 22:59
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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
Swiss Post charged me CHF30 for a CHF23 item, which attraced only CHF3 tax. Be gratefull it,s only CHF19!
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  #70  
Old 19.06.2009, 09:23
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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correct! that pesky CH market protectionism again.
Market protectionism is certainly an aspect. All countries do the same. Our jobs depend on it.

And considering that VAT is only 7.6%, the revenues to the Swiss Government are not enormous. Probably the lowest in Europe?

A larger part of the import fees are taken by the couriers and processors.

It is unreasonable to expect the customs officers to assess the value of each import based on country of origin, truth in declaration, etc. Hence, they just use the Swiss catalog price as provided by the manufacturer.
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  #71  
Old 18.07.2009, 14:20
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Hi,

From what I've understood in all the above information, and a little bit of reading on the swiss postal service's website I should be able to get by the customs charges like so:

I order something in the US, get it shipped to family there. They repackage the item and send it to me. I then have to ensure that the value of the item is less than 100 francs.

In order to make sure the package doesn't get inspected I'd have to have the receipt in a clear plastic envelope attached to the front of the box, as well as the CN 23 declaration form, saying that it's a gift (which I assume is available from the Post). Then I'd just have to hope like hell that they don't decide to inspect my parcel and charge me the 6 francs for it.

The valuation part of the thing confuses me though because on this page: here (about halfway down) it's stated:

Quote:
Do gift items have to be cleared through customs?

No customs clearance on gifts from one individual to another

(or from a company on behalf of one individual to another individual)
  • For personal / private use
  • Value of up to CHF 100
  • Declared as a gift or evidently a gift
What exactly is their definition of "value" here. Is it the same as for VAT, where the "Value" is comprised of the total cost involved in getting the package into Switzerland, or is it only the listed value of the item as per an included receipt. If so, does that include internal (within the US) shipping as well, or is it only regarding the actual item itself.

Hope that someone can help here, or will find this useful.
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  #72  
Old 18.07.2009, 14:25
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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Hi,

From what I've understood in all the above information, and a little bit of reading on the swiss postal service's website I should be able to get by the customs charges like so:

I order something in the US, get it shipped to family there. They repackage the item and send it to me. I then have to ensure that the value of the item is less than 100 francs.

In order to make sure the package doesn't get inspected I'd have to have the receipt in a clear plastic envelope attached to the front of the box, as well as the CN 23 declaration form, saying that it's a gift (which I assume is available from the Post). Then I'd just have to hope like hell that they don't decide to inspect my parcel and charge me the 6 francs for it.

The valuation part of the thing confuses me though because on this page: here (about halfway down) it's stated:

What exactly is their definition of "value" here. Is it the same as for VAT, where the "Value" is comprised of the total cost involved in getting the package into Switzerland, or is it only the listed value of the item as per an included receipt. If so, does that include internal (within the US) shipping as well, or is it only regarding the actual item itself.

Hope that someone can help here, or will find this useful.
"Value" is what the Customs think its worth, usually the full retail list price for this item in Switzerland.
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  #73  
Old 18.07.2009, 14:36
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I have another brief thing to add to this thread.

According to this page, one can pay either 18 or 35 francs (Simplified/Regular clearance) for "Import duties and customs charges paid Cash On Delivery" or 13 or 35 francs (Simplified/Regular clearance) for "Import duties and customs charges paid by invoice".

What is the differentiation here? Is it referring to paying for the customs charges by invoice or COD, and if so how does one request one or the other? Or is it referring to paying for the item which you've bought by invoice or COD?

Thanks.
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  #74  
Old 19.07.2009, 20:49
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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"Value" is what the Customs think its worth, usually the full retail list price for this item in Switzerland.
I think I may be answering myself here. I found another part of that original link which I quoted before which says:

Quote:
Which values are decisive for customs clearance?

If the commercial invoice is in the document pouch, the details on the commercial invoice are used, regardless of whether these are higher or lower than on the CN22/23 form.
If the information on the CN22/23 form is clear and sufficient, the item will not be opened to look for a commercial invoice that may be inside.
So there are two values which apply to an item.

Customs value:

The value of the actual item on the receipt included by the sender, if you've also got the sender to use the CN22/CN23 form then the swiss post will mot likely not come up with their own valuation.

VAT value:

Invoice value for the item

- foreign VAT
- discount
- trade discount
- packaging charge


+ credits
+ commissions
+ licence rights
+ carriage
+ import duties (calculated automatically)
+ customs clearance

So there you have it. Hope that helps.
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  #75  
Old 24.08.2009, 19:53
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

I have a question about duty fees that I couldn't really tell if it was covered or not.

I just moved here from Canada and now I want to play hockey but need someone to ship my equipment. What kind of duty fees would I be subject to? It's used hockey equipment if that helps...
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  #76  
Old 18.11.2009, 20:34
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Hello,

I ordered some stuff from the US a month and a half ago. It should have already been here in CH two weeks ago. Does anyone know how the procedure with custom office goes? I mean, if something was inspected by the custom office, will they contact me with some bills or should I call some custom office and ask them if they have my packet?
Thanks
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  #77  
Old 18.11.2009, 21:53
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Products sometimes get held up by customs, especially if there is not a complete invoice available for them to asses the taxable value of them. What happens in that case , is usually you get a letter from either customs or the Post office, asking for you to prove the value of the goods. Once you have filled in the form and sent back the relevant paperwork, ie an invoice, they will then send the item to you with an invoice for the taxable amount. A lot will depend on the shipping method though, and who the carrier is. If its already been inspected by customs you will here from them if its deemed to be of taxable value. If youve not heard anything by now and the goods are really late, then i suggest you contact the shipper before you contact any one else. Hope this helps.


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Hello,

I ordered some stuff from the US a month and a half ago. It should have already been here in CH two weeks ago. Does anyone know how the procedure with custom office goes? I mean, if something was inspected by the custom office, will they contact me with some bills or should I call some custom office and ask them if they have my packet?
Thanks
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  #78  
Old 18.11.2009, 23:32
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Thanks a lot!
I haven't received anything from the custom or post office, and the sender says that I should contact the custom office. Anyhow, I expect something to happen
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  #79  
Old 12.01.2010, 13:32
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

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I just received a few computer things in the mail. I had it sent via USPS priority, and it was fast enough. 7.6% VAT + 10 Franks was the total charge. I'm glad someone here told me to avoid FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc.
You're lucky. I ordered a pair of jeans worth $69 from the US (via USPS priority) and had to pay CHF 25.
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  #80  
Old 13.01.2010, 18:25
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Re: Import tax on internet purchases

Many of the questions posted on this thread pertain to new commercial goods. Does anyone know if taxes are to be paid on imported used goods that one already owns? For example, I will be shipping several boxes of my used belongings (old athletic shoes, ski equipment, kitchenware, etc.) to Switzerland. Are such items expempt from import tax (it seems to me that they should be. after all, we're not taxed on every item we bring with us in our luggage.), and, if so, how do I ensure that they are not taxed? (A friend recently sent me an unannounced "gift" with a declared value of $1000, and I was met with the unpleasant surprise of a $120 fee when I went to pick it up. I'd like to avoid repeating this experience if possible.)
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