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Old 16.09.2015, 13:15
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Personal post attracting import tax

Hello and thank you.

I had my mother send over something of mine addressed to the friend that I am staying with in Zurich.

Honest as the day she was born, she filled in the declaration with the value of post $160 AUD - as that is the value of the item.

Swiss post now want to charge me (my friend actually) 30 francs to receive the post.

I have already read up and understand the reasons that they want the 30 francs for commercial imports... but the rule is misapplied in this situation - as this is my property sent to me.

I was thinking either:
1. Going to the post office and explain the situation... that it is personal post of my property. My mother has the same first initial and surname lucky, so I can show passport and license to verify connection to her.

2. Rejecting / ignoring the post and hope they return to sender.

Thoughts / experiences appreciated?????????????
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Old 16.09.2015, 14:17
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

If you import something commercially or personally you pay import duty, MwsT and handling charges. same as any country.

If the items already belonged to you, for longer than 6 months, you could have imported them free of charge when you first moved here.
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Old 16.09.2015, 14:42
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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Hello and thank you.

I had my mother send over something of mine addressed to the friend that I am staying with in Zurich.

Honest as the day she was born, she filled in the declaration with the value of post $160 AUD - as that is the value of the item.

Swiss post now want to charge me (my friend actually) 30 francs to receive the post.

I have already read up and understand the reasons that they want the 30 francs for commercial imports... but the rule is misapplied in this situation - as this is my property sent to me.

I was thinking either:
1. Going to the post office and explain the situation... that it is personal post of my property. My mother has the same first initial and surname lucky, so I can show passport and license to verify connection to her.

2. Rejecting / ignoring the post and hope they return to sender.

Thoughts / experiences appreciated?????????????

The Post Office act as a collection agency for the powers above. They won't just cancel it because you say so, the process is far more complicated involving various admninistrative bodies.

Reject it, they may send it back but your mother will ay for the return package.

Pay it, chalk it up to expericence and tell your mum to put a value of AUS$25.-- on everything else
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Old 16.09.2015, 14:47
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

You probably know the value is A$160 plus the cost of the postage. You also have to pay Swiss post the handling charge for paying the sales and import taxes.

If you don't pay the CHF 30,-- it might be sent back, or it might be destroyed.

If your mother sends a parcel with a total value of less than CHF 60,-- (Parcel value plus the postage charge) you can escape the taxes. (Total MWSt, sales tax of 8%, is less than CHF 5,-- )

Tell her to send multiple smaller parcels!
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Old 16.09.2015, 15:28
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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If your mother sends a parcel with a total value of less than CHF 60,-- (Parcel value plus the postage charge) you can escape the taxes. (Total MWSt, sales tax of 8%, is less than CHF 5,-- )

Tell her to send multiple smaller parcels!
That's what mine did. Do you know a firm who would stick the 5 pieces of a vase together again?

Last edited by Longbyt; 16.09.2015 at 16:06.
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Old 16.09.2015, 15:39
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

Are you a tourist or did you relocate? If the later do you have a stamped Form 18.44 which lists the goods your mother sent you?
If you have relocated and the goods are not listed on your Form 18.44 you have to pay the import tax.
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Old 16.09.2015, 15:49
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

But what if the OP can prove that this item has been in his possession for more than 6 months and it's just something he forgot? Contact custom authorities? I am genuinely curious.
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Old 16.09.2015, 16:17
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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But what if the OP can prove that this item has been in his possession for more than 6 months and it's just something he forgot? Contact custom authorities? I am genuinely curious.
1) it must be listed on your Form 18.44 (See item 10 on FAQ http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en)
2) Customs charges AFAIK CHF 30 for any tax or duty reimbursement due to poor shipment documentation. (In OP's case tax is just CHF 15) (At least that is what they charge when you want to reclaim the tax when you send something aboard for repair, and tax or duty was levied because of poor documentation http://www.ezv.admin.ch/dokumentation/04033/04713/index.html?lang=de)
3) I do not know if you can get the CHF 15 post handling fee back when the documentation of the shipment was not o.k.
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Old 17.09.2015, 13:05
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

Thank you kindly all for the information and responses.

This is what transpired:

1. Attended the local post office with a smile and my friend who was the addressee...
2. Parcel located easily and we had a discussion about the import tax with the lady handling. She had good english which was great for me to get an immediate understanding that she had no authority to fix the situation.
3. She copied the tax note from the parcel and gave to me suggesting a call to the relevant authority to try and get a resolution with them.
4. With no time for such negotiations and it really not being worth the money either way, I enquired what happens in the event we did not collect it. She said it would be sent back to its origin.
5. I asked if we could just reject it now and force a "return to sender" right now.
6. We could.
7. We did.

So ends this little education.

My mum learnt her lesson too

Last edited by Ace1; 17.09.2015 at 16:11. Reason: Sneaky advert removed. Wait until you qualify to post in the marketplace.
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Old 17.09.2015, 13:31
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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The item in question actually is something that I make (and sell)... but still my property being sent to me and would leave the country the next day - so no commerce applies....
Think again.

Last edited by Ace1; 17.09.2015 at 16:12. Reason: Removing advertising part of quoted post
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Old 17.09.2015, 13:35
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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Think again.
Exactly. It is commercial goods that are being imported and exported. Not personal belongings.
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Old 23.09.2015, 00:47
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

You wanted something so badly it was posted all the way from Australia. Then, you had it in your sights in the post office; why not just pay the 30chf and put it down to experience?! Then you have your item, and can be happy.
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Old 23.09.2015, 01:08
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

I had a very cheap item £4 sent to me. Customs read it as £49 for some reason and tried to charge me 30chf to receive it. We argued with post office, pointing out that it clearly said £4. They said they'd send it back to customs for reevaluation and we'd get it back in a week. Never saw the parcel again, here or returned to my sister, who'd sent it.
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Old 23.09.2015, 08:48
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

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5. I asked if we could just reject it now and force a "return to sender" right now.
6. We could.
7. We did.

So ends this little education.

My mum learnt her lesson too
So how much was the postage from Australia? Probably around 30?
Great solution you found there :-).
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Old 23.09.2015, 09:31
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Re: Personal post attracting import tax

Whilst, I'm a strong believer that us mere mortals shouldn't always bend over to be shafted by the establishment, and, sometimes, it is important to stand up and argue our principles, I also think that it is also beneficial to apply a modicum of common sense to some situations.

Whether it is right or wrong, 30 chufs is not a great deal to pay for something that was requested to be sent, especially as it could possibly end up in the commercial marketplace, anyway.

The outcome of this situation, is that now that requested good have not been received and are (probably) being returned to sender - who could well end up having to pay additional costs, on top of initial postage, or goods are forever 'lost' in a huge warehouse, along with the Lost Ark.

-"Thanks, son".
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