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Old 29.03.2010, 17:11
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Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Does anybody know what the price limit is before you have to pay tax for goods that you buy online in Switzerland? Like makeup sunglasses etc.. In my country you can buy for around 40CHF before you have to think about tax..
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Old 01.04.2010, 18:01
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Well here its called " Mehrwertsteur" and you pay it on everything you buy.
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Old 01.04.2010, 22:57
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Assuming you are referring to duty paid on imported goods ordered over the net then this link might help. Rule of thumb is VAT is only collected where it would amount to CHF5 minimum. So something like CHF 66 worth of most goods or just over CHF 200 worth of books (which have a lower rate of VAT). On more significant purchases product-specific duties may be levied.

Anyway the link to the appropriate page on customs/vat payments on orders shipped into Switzerland on the Swiss authorities site is http://www.swisspost.ch/post-startse...ernational.htm
In case this is out of date by the time you read this post - we keep this link up to date from this page http://swisswebmall.com/html/customs.html as it has a habit of changing.
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Old 08.04.2010, 11:50
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Great Thanks!
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Old 30.08.2010, 11:55
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Great link thanks Swissmountainair! A lot of great info there.
Does anyone know how creative Swiss customs are with their exchange rate calculations? For example if I buy something from the UK it will come with a declaration in GBP which I assume will have to be converted to CHF to assess if it is over 66chf in total value. Is there a resource out there that shows example rates used? I assume they would use something a little less generous than the current spot exchange…
thanks
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Old 30.08.2010, 12:06
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

I buy a lot from Ebay UK but recently I had to pay tax, custom fees for something under 66CHF. They just checked the prices somewhere and applied to my stuffs and finally I had to pay 44CHF for something costs 33GBP. So be careful. Don't worry about the exchange rate, Swiss custom will do.
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Old 30.08.2010, 13:23
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

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I buy a lot from Ebay UK but recently I had to pay tax, custom fees for something under 66CHF. They just checked the prices somewhere and applied to my stuffs and finally I had to pay 44CHF for something costs 33GBP. So be careful. Don't worry about the exchange rate, Swiss custom will do.

go back to the customs, they did the same with me, i complained with a very harsh letter and they gave me the money back.
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Old 30.08.2010, 14:33
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

I was angry and I tossed the two documents immediately. However, I keep buying from UK. Could you give me the address that I could write to them next time? Thank you
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Old 30.08.2010, 16:07
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

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I buy a lot from Ebay UK but recently I had to pay tax, custom fees for something under 66CHF. They just checked the prices somewhere and applied to my stuffs and finally I had to pay 44CHF for something costs 33GBP. So be careful. Don't worry about the exchange rate, Swiss custom will do.
Do you know was it delivered by courier or normal post? If it comes by normal post then it will be processed using Simplified Customs Procedure - and you shouldn't be hit with customs. With couriers it is more of a lottery.
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Old 31.08.2010, 12:37
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

By normal post and I realize something has changed recently. Before the small parcels are delivered around 7 a.m and the postman woke up the whole family. If they send by Royal mail Airsure then the woman who brings mails will come at 10.30 a.m. Now all the small parcels are brought here with the same woman at 10.30a.m
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Old 31.08.2010, 12:45
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

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Do you know was it delivered by courier or normal post? If it comes by normal post then it will be processed using Simplified Customs Procedure - and you shouldn't be hit with customs. With couriers it is more of a lottery.

see this:

Reclaming VAT from parcels from the UK.
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Old 31.08.2010, 13:45
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

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I buy a lot from Ebay UK but recently I had to pay tax, custom fees for something under 66CHF. They just checked the prices somewhere and applied to my stuffs and finally I had to pay 44CHF for something costs 33GBP. So be careful. Don't worry about the exchange rate, Swiss custom will do.
I was having a rant in another thread [1] last week on this subject, and one thing to note was a comment fom Richard:

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How much was the freight? Because that is added to the value of the goods to calculate the landed value. And that probably takes you over the CHF66 threshold for VAT on goods entering Switzerland.
I've never taken in to account the freight costs, just assumed that the price point over which I would pay tax was 50,-. So it could be the case that a cheap item is sent via quick, very expensive post and then you have to pay tax due to this.


[1] [Rant] DHL import tax!
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Old 05.09.2010, 19:21
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

Hello Friends

I read all the topic, and topic made my mind stuck. I just ordered a jacket from UK site. cost was around 50 CHF. Well, I have to pay tax for this ?
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Old 05.09.2010, 20:11
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

I was charged 31 CHF for something I bought which cost 35GBP, this time I called the custom and the answer is that they add the postage as well. Thus, if you use express services, I guess you have to pay tax. Last time, including the postage, the amount I paid around 67 CHF and I have to pay 31 CHF. Crazy.
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Old 05.09.2010, 20:24
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

really weird custom rules.. where we are ?? in the middle east or deep africa, we are in the middle of europe, but whimsical tax and custom regulation. just ridiculous...
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Old 06.09.2010, 10:09
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

I've been buying stuff from the US and UK.
Usually you get a 7.9% charge...however the administration fee is added onto it.
I've bought items for 50 CHF and had a bill for 25 francs(tax plus admin fees).
Depending...sometimes they don't check the items. It's really luck as about 50% of my imported goods have had no taxes added
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Old 06.09.2010, 16:44
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

If I buy some books and DVDs from US or UK, there is still same tax rules
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Old 09.11.2010, 20:20
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

I have to complain again about Swiss Post, very slow and stupid. 10 days ago, the postman delivered a parcel from UK that I paid 17.5 GBP and demanded 40.5 CHF tax. I checked the invoice and realized they estimate the value around 290CHF given that the seller included the bill inside the box and outside she filled in the CN22 form 17.5GBP, yeah the postage is 7 GBP so no way it reached 66 CHF.

I rejected the parcel and called the Custom immediately and they told me to go to the post office print the bill again and asked them to send back for a new custom clearance.

I waited and waited and called everyday, the woman who worked there even wrote 2 emails for me to keep the parcel. And today I checked the status again, they already sent it back to UK.

I guess they read 17.5 as 175 and didn't bother to do it again so they sent it back . So now I have to pay the postage again and wait.
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Old 09.11.2010, 20:36
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

i usually buy clothes from HK and tried also every delivery service dhl ems fedex ups etc and its true that the tax thing can be random there are times i got charged for my purchases and times that I dont. However i was also informed that selecting ems ( express mail service ) can also somewhat lower the tax amount rather than havin thru other commercial courier.
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Old 10.11.2010, 14:20
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Re: Online shopping, when do you have to pay tax?

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However i was also informed that selecting ems ( express mail service ) can also somewhat lower the tax amount rather than havin thru other commercial courier.
As mentioned before, express mail will mean a CHF35 admin fee instead of Fr.18. It is the worst charge. All other commercial carriers charge around Fr.18. Avoid any form of express post via the post office if you can.
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