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Old 07.12.2012, 12:37
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Customs charges at Post Office

Just need to complain!
I ordered some bits and peices from Germany, and unfortunately it came to more than the magic 62chf, so I was hit by a customs charge. Fair enough, I was expecting to pay the standard charge and the MWSt, about 23chfs.
Unfortunately mine was one of the lucky parcels to be selected for an additional inspection, apparantly part of the standard process. Fine, I understand the need for this, but why should I pay 13chf for the priviledge? Selected at random to pay an additional charge! OK, so it isn't huge amount, but the charges came to 31chf, the MWSt about 5.
Why they can't include this levy in the general charge I don't know, it is really odd, in my opinion.
Still, when I wrote to complain they told me not to worry, I might not get charged it again.
I do not understand the 'customer service' that you (don't) get in this country.
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Old 07.12.2012, 12:55
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

You shouldn't complain about the post office but about the sender.
If the sender would have correctly paid the Swiss MWST, you would not have a problem.
But the sender did not. The post office had extra work because of that reason. Should they do that for free?
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Old 07.12.2012, 12:55
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Just need to complain!
I ordered some bits and peices from Germany, and unfortunately it came to more than the magic 62chf, so I was hit by a customs charge. Fair enough, I was expecting to pay the standard charge and the MWSt, about 23chfs.
Unfortunately mine was one of the lucky parcels to be selected for an additional inspection, apparantly part of the standard process. Fine, I understand the need for this, but why should I pay 13chf for the priviledge? Selected at random to pay an additional charge! OK, so it isn't huge amount, but the charges came to 31chf, the MWSt about 5.
Why they can't include this levy in the general charge I don't know, it is really odd, in my opinion.
Still, when I wrote to complain they told me not to worry, I might not get charged it again.
I do not understand the 'customer service' that you (don't) get in this country.
Welcome to Switzerland, things are different, non existent customer service is nothing new!
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Old 07.12.2012, 12:58
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Still, when I wrote to complain they told me not to worry, I might not get charged it again.
Sounds like good service to me.

But I agree on the draconian charging where they hit you for 15,93 for CustomsClearance Service on top of the IVA.

At least IVA is 0%
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:01
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

There's no such thing as a free lunch - if you want to buy cheap stuff from outside the country but don't want to go there an pick it up yourself you've got to be prepared to take the hit on these admin costs. The post office want to make money just like everyone else.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:03
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

I totally agree with you! This charge is totally outrageous and unfair.

The charges extra searching should be distributed over all the packages that are charged and not be the sole burden of the "lucky" person whose package was randomly selected.

At least you told them you are not happy about it and that it's unfair. Fingers crossed if enough people complain they will stop this practice.


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There's no such thing as a free lunch - if you want to buy cheap stuff from outside the country but don't want to go there an pick it up yourself you've got to be prepared to take the hit on these admin costs. The post office want to make money just like everyone else.

I think you are miss the point. Some packages are charged additional fees because they were randomly selected for extra scrutiny. That's not fair. At least I don't think it's fair. If they want to do extra random checks then that should be figured into the regular service charge that everyone who pays duty has to pay.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:05
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Welcome to Switzerland, things are different, non existent customer service is nothing new!
Never had to deal with the officialdom that is customs then... That example is annoying, but harmless.

Wait until they hold your goods for over half a year, doing "tests", analysing the goods and then charging you for the priviledge, plus storage - can happen anywhere.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:06
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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You shouldn't complain about the post office but about the sender.
If the sender would have correctly paid the Swiss MWST, you would not have a problem.
But the sender did not. The post office had extra work because of that reason. Should they do that for free?
The sender is NOT responsible for paying the Swiss MwSt/VAT!

The receiver is in this case. The sender most likely did not charge Germany MwSt/VAT of 19%, thus the Swiss Customs put the standard charges on the package. And, because it's claimed value is just over the limit, they may have decided to check the contents to see if someone was smuggling Rolex watches and self raising flour into Switzerland with a value of CHF 62.-.

On the other hand, if in a major business relations and it is agreed upon in the contract, the seller/sender may cover the charges. But obviously with a value of CHF 62.- that is not the case
JC
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:30
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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There's no such thing as a free lunch - if you want to buy cheap stuff from outside the country but don't want to go there an pick it up yourself you've got to be prepared to take the hit on these admin costs. The post office want to make money just like everyone else.
Some things are just not available in Switzerland.
I am happy to pay the MWSt and the standard admin charge, that is part of living here and wanting choice from elsewhere. What I am peeved about is being charged an additional sum (OK not much) for a random check.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:33
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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You shouldn't complain about the post office but about the sender.
If the sender would have correctly paid the Swiss MWST, you would not have a problem.
But the sender did not. The post office had extra work because of that reason. Should they do that for free?
The post office had no extra work to do, they randomly select 5% or parcels (at the request of the Customs Officials) and then charge the recipient for the 'service'. I just think this is daft and that they should include this cost in their standard charges.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:38
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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The sender is NOT responsible for paying the Swiss MwSt/VAT!
Correct, but they can still do it. I order bicycle parts from rose.de and they will deduct the 19% German MWST, add the 8% Swiss VAT, guarantee there will be no further postage charges and they charge 1% for doing that.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:44
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

A little while back I received a note from the PO stating they had a registered letter for me from the US and they wanted to know the value of the item enclosed so they could work out what to charge me. I replied with an e-mail in English, explaining that the item was sent to me for my opinion on its genuiness and I would be re-exporting it a few days later. I couldn't tell them the value as I didn't know if it was genuine. I guess since my e-mail corresponded with the letter enclosed they believed me and forwarded the letter to me with no charge. I have carefully filed the receipt for when I sent it back though!

The PO/Customs can be helpful.
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Old 07.12.2012, 13:53
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

Know the rules, avoid the charges. Copy and paste from the Swiss Post website.


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When is the "inspection, value clarification and storage" supplement charged?

The supplement is charged,
  • if a consignment cannot clear customs due to missing, unreliable or incomplete customs documents and must therefore be opened;
  • if, due to missing or incomplete customs documents or due to the contents, a consignment must be placed in storage until the missing information is received or until the recipient or customs authorities take the decision concerning customs clearance.
The inspection, value clarification and storage supplement is only charged once per consignment.

The supplement will cost CHF 13.00.

No supplement will be charged for duty-free consignments.


How can I avoid the inspection, value clarification and storage supplement?

Advise the sender that the postal item must be adequately declared. The contents of the consignment and the declaration of the value of the goods for customs clearance purposes must be indicated on the consignment either in the form of a customs declaration CN22/CN23 or as a commercial invoice. The customs documents must be affixed on the outside of the consignment.
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Old 07.12.2012, 14:25
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Know the rules, avoid the charges. Copy and paste from the Swiss Post website.
Thus, it is not a random inspection/charge.

Tom
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Old 07.12.2012, 14:28
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Thus, it is not a random inspection/charge.

Tom
I'm not sure. I've also heard that they do random checks to make sure what is written is what is in the package. They are not mutually exclusive.

Of course I'd be happier if the random checks weren't charged. Because I don't think that's fair.

ETA: Maybe it's this one?
http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit....htm#txt107329
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Old 07.12.2012, 14:44
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

I think if the selection process is truely random it's quite difficult to say it's not fair.
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Old 07.12.2012, 15:14
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

It seems random, I wrote and asked the SwissPost what the charge was. I got the following reply:

"The Swiss Federal Customs Administration orders
Swiss Post to open up about 5% of the daily volume
of parcels according to guidelines and certain
criteria that they do not share with us. This
means the parcel is taken out of it's normal
sequence and placed in a special sorting bin.
It is then sent through a scanner, and
subsequently opened for an employee of the
Customs Administration. Then it is put back
into delivery the delivery channel."

OK so maybe not random, but the
parcel I received had all the correct
documentation and the customs duty was as I
expected, with the exception of the additional
check charge.

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Old 07.12.2012, 15:15
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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I'm not sure. I've also heard that they do random checks to make sure what is written is what is in the package. They are not mutually exclusive.

Of course I'd be happier if the random checks weren't charged. Because I don't think that's fair.

ETA: Maybe it's this one?
http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit....htm#txt107329
Yep, that's the one.
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Old 07.12.2012, 15:26
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

Yuck Thats sick, you can do everything right but if you are unlucky you will have to pay extra? I though that was included in there customs clearance fee. What a greedy bunch of ....

It's like the police doing random Breathalyzer checks and charging you a small fee although you have 0.0!
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Old 07.12.2012, 15:37
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Re: Customs charges at Post Office

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Correct, but they can still do it. I order bicycle parts from rose.de and they will deduct the 19% German MWST, add the 8% Swiss VAT, guarantee there will be no further postage charges and they charge 1% for doing that.
I stand behind what I said... the seller is NOT responsible for paying the Swiss MwSt/VAT.

If you had a seller that did that, grand stuff. This is not standard procedures as sellers are not required nor responsible to do so.
JC
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