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Old 30.06.2015, 21:23
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Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Hi all

I'm planning on buying a used 2k CHF bike off of a private individual (not online shop) from someone in the UK/London. The idea is to have it shipped to me in Zurich - wondering if I'll have to pay duty on this or no because it's used and off of a private individual?

Thanks all in advance
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  #2  
Old 30.06.2015, 21:30
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Depends on how it is declared and shipped. It's still a sale. Used or not.
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Old 30.06.2015, 21:45
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

And if you declare a lowball amount, they will calculate a correct value and charge you based on that, and charge you for the experience on top.

So, 8% VAT of a fair value, plus maybe CHF 100 or so in fees.

Tom
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Old 01.07.2015, 10:01
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Can you wait until you are in the UK, then bring it back with you as accompanied baggage?
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Old 01.07.2015, 10:47
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Just say it was always your bike, but you have finally decided to bring it over. They shouldn't charge you for that, maybe just the customs paperwork which is about 25.- I think? Hopefully they don't ask for the original receipts. I had a Mac G5 tower boxed sent over that was worth about 2K, it was old, I wasn't charged anything except UK postage, which was surprising as it weighed about 20kg.
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Old 01.07.2015, 11:17
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Re used versus new making a difference, note that the special VAT treatment of second hand goods (the 'second hand margin scheme') is UK specific. No such common sense here or most other places for that matter.
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:48
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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Just say it was always your bike, but you have finally decided to bring it over. They shouldn't charge you for that, maybe just the customs paperwork which is about 25.-
Not true: You are allowed to bring your own belongings into CH, but you have to complete a form beforehand and there are restrictions in when and where you can import them: you cannot just rock up and say "oh, it's mine".


Get it from the source:
Importing personal belongings into CH
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
Importing goods personally
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
Getting things shipped to you:
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en


If you import the bike personally you will need to pay either 8% or 2.5% VAT. If you have it shipped you will need to pay that plus admin fee.

Last edited by greencelery; 01.07.2015 at 12:52. Reason: "have to declare them beforehand" changed to "complete a form beforehand"; text added after "restrictions"
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:56
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Hello. You could have it delivered to Germany or Austria, to a packet shop near the border, that way there would be no customs to deal with at all, and no fees. You do of course then have to bring/ride it over the border yourself and then on to your location.
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Old 01.07.2015, 13:01
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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Hello. You could have it delivered to Germany or Austria, to a packet shop near the border, that way there would be no customs to deal with at all, and no fees. You do of course then have to bring/ride it over the border yourself and then on to your location.

You could do this, but be aware that this is illegal and that there is a chance that you would be caught (how big a chance, I can't comment).
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Old 01.07.2015, 13:45
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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You could do this, but be aware that this is illegal and that there is a chance that you would be caught (how big a chance, I can't comment).
I've never once been stopped when cycling across a border (usually France->Basel). I think if you look like you're commuting and on an old-looking machine the chances are pretty close to zero, but a bright and shiny new-looking bike _might_ increase it slightly.

It probably also helps that by the time I'm at the border I've already done ~20km, so I don't exactly look like someone who's just trying to smuggle a bike across the border either
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Old 01.07.2015, 13:47
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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You could do this, but be aware that this is illegal and that there is a chance that you would be caught (how big a chance, I can't comment).
But if it is second-hand, surely it has nothing to do with customs? I mean, you could be backwards and forwards across the border all the time for errands and shopping with your own bicycle, you are in effect exporting and importing it each time. A bicycle is not like a car or a motorcycle (where I assume you would have documents pertaining to the owner and the vehicle).
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Old 01.07.2015, 13:58
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

I once tried to smuggle a used bike. Got caught Had to pay two times the VAT as penalty plus VAT. But that was at the airport.
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Old 01.07.2015, 14:05
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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Just say it was always your bike, but you have finally decided to bring it over. They shouldn't charge you for that, maybe just the customs paperwork which is about 25.- I think? .
There is some reason why you have to list all the stuff you want or may want to import as your household goods at the very beginning on your Form 18.44.
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Old 01.07.2015, 15:25
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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But if it is second-hand, surely it has nothing to do with customs? I mean, you could be backwards and forwards across the border all the time for errands and shopping with your own bicycle, you are in effect exporting and importing it each time

It's nothing to do with whether it is second hand or not. Anything that you permanently import from the EU to CH (i.e. not ride around for a day, or take on a holiday) is subject to tax. Whether or not they and/or you can prove anything is another matter.
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Old 01.07.2015, 17:07
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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It's nothing to do with whether it is second hand or not. Anything that you permanently import from the EU to CH (i.e. not ride around for a day, or take on a holiday) is subject to tax. Whether or not they and/or you can prove anything is another matter.

In that case, I assume that it simply can't be proven (if one is ever stopped), as nobody can know that at that moment in time you are permanently importing it. I would always have anything like this go to Germany and then bring it across myself, it essentially avoids such much hassle and complication, not to mention the absurd fees that they try to charge you! I don't know if it is actually wrong to do this.

In any case the Swiss Border Guards surely have far much more important things to be doing than worrying about what bicycle I am riding!
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Old 01.07.2015, 17:46
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

This topic really reminds me of this joke:


Juan comes up to the Mexican border on his bicycle. He's got two large bags over his shoulders. The guard stops him and says, "What's in the bags?"
"Sand," answered Juan.

The guard says, "We'll just see about that. Get off the bike." The guard detains Juan overnight and has the sand analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags. He releases Juan and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The guard asks, "What's in the bags?"

"Sand," says Juan.

The guard does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to Juan, and Juan crosses the border on his bicycle.

This sequence of events is repeated every day for three years. Finally, Juan doesn't show up one day and the guard meets him in a Cantina in Mexico.

"Hey, Buddy," says the guard, "I know you are smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. It's all I think about...Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?"

Juan sips his beer and says, "Bicycles."
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Old 01.07.2015, 22:16
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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This topic really reminds me of this joke:

This sequence of events is repeated every day for three years. Finally, Juan doesn't show up one day and the guard meets him in a Cantina in Mexico.

"Hey, Buddy," says the guard, "I know you are smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. It's all I think about...Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?"

Juan sips his beer and says, "Bicycles."
Had similiar story, do not remember what bridge/border, but the man was carrying Onions. Always reminds me of the onion seller on a bike a few decades back in Hampstead, London used to buy strings of onions from & he always asked how my mum was. He had a big warehouse and used to do main deliveries by van, but liked the charm of this side line and often his peddle bike with onions parked outside a good pub.

Back on subject, as the bike is ca £2K suggest it is imported properly, you will need a receipt from the seller (if not have one, you can probably produce one yourself with details) as for insurance purposes I presume it would be needed to prove your ownership in Switzerland.

Believe the various costings given previously. Whether you ship it or get it sent to post-parcel shop in Germany. Depends if you have a car, if so that is how I would do it and stop at the border for customs & pay the fee - remember to check their opening times.
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Old 01.07.2015, 22:34
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

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Had similiar story, do not remember what bridge/border, but the man was carrying Onions. Always reminds me of the onion seller on a bike a few decades back in Hampstead, London used to buy strings of onions from & he always asked how my mum was. He had a big warehouse and used to do main deliveries by van, but liked the charm of this side line and often his peddle bike with onions parked outside a good pub.

Back on subject, as the bike is ca £2K suggest it is imported properly, you will need a receipt from the seller (if not have one, you can probably produce one yourself with details) as for insurance purposes I presume it would be needed to prove your ownership in Switzerland.

Believe the various costings given previously. Whether you ship it or get it sent to post-parcel shop in Germany. Depends if you have a car, if so that is how I would do it and stop at the border for customs & pay the fee - remember to check their opening times.
The whole point though of shipping it to Germany is to lower costs and avoid Swiss customs altogether!

You just pay postage to Germany, collect the bike and ride it across the border.
There is practically never anybody on duty at the border nowadays anyway, I actually haven't seen anyone on the border crossings I use for months now and even when I had done, they are generally looking in car boots. You are a cyclist, you just ride across, simple! As for the receipt for insurance purposes, you will have this from the seller. The insurance has nothing to do with customs.
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Old 03.07.2015, 13:09
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

How much did you expect to pay for shipping it here?
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Old 03.07.2015, 13:28
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Re: Mailing used bicycle from UK to CH - Duty?

Import as a personal effect, especially if it an used one

Good luck!
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