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Old 12.03.2012, 15:02
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Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

We had couriered few items which Fedex while shipping has put text - 'Personal use' and we are charged a tax which is more that the items shipped. Fedex says they had already paid customs and cleared my parcel and I have to pay them now. The reason they give is - the parcel should have - 'Personal belongings'. It is for the fedex to know what text is needed. Anyways.. I think they would take some other reason to tax. So advice is not to courier using Fedex. No experience with other couriers. Dont be surprised if some xyz ships u items and make you cough up paying money to fedex. They dont even take consent of yours to clear the shipment. Had I been informed on the customs amount to clear it, I would have asked them to forget it and let it go off at the customs dept only.
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Old 12.03.2012, 15:04
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

Welcome to the forum. You meant to Switzerland ?
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Old 12.03.2012, 15:10
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

Having worked in the shipping industry for a number of years, and having tracked thousands of parcels (DHL, UPS, FEDEX) I can say with confidence that Fedex was the most reliable.

FYI, you are allowed to receive up to $100 value per person in the household as a gift per package without customs charges. For example, you could put something at a value of $500, and write "Gift for five people", and that should negate any customs charges. Ideally you have a knowledgeable service person who can help you navigate the rules when you ship something.
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Old 12.03.2012, 15:31
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

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We had couriered few items which Fedex while shipping has put text - 'Personal use' and we are charged a tax which is more that the items shipped. Fedex says they had already paid customs and cleared my parcel and I have to pay them now. The reason they give is - the parcel should have - 'Personal belongings'. It is for the fedex to know what text is needed. Anyways.. I think they would take some other reason to tax. So advice is not to courier using Fedex. No experience with other couriers. Dont be surprised if some xyz ships u items and make you cough up paying money to fedex. They dont even take consent of yours to clear the shipment. Had I been informed on the customs amount to clear it, I would have asked them to forget it and let it go off at the customs dept only.
Your 'advice' is more accurately a rant.

The problem seems to be that either you or the shipper does not know the rules. FedEx is not the shipper, it is the courier. It is the shipper, not FedEx, who declares the contents and the value.

If the tax exceeds the correct percentage of the value declared by the shipper, you can protest the invoice to FedEx. (In most countries, international inbound freight is zero-rated for VAT.)

I agree with Kristanez that FedEx is the most reliable of the courier services, at least based on my own few decades' experience.
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Old 08.05.2015, 20:05
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

Bump up.

I ordered a pair of sunglasses from Italy. Their value was 114CHF.
Fedex added 22CHF "admin fees" (no further detail), customs duty was 0.20CHF, and they even added 1.75% VAT on the admin costs.

I ended up having an invoice in front of me for 35.10CHF for an item that should've had ~9.2CHF VAT.

<rant>I'm quite reluctant to pay the amount as it seemed the package was never touched by the Customs Office, it's just a random value from Fedex put it for not doing anything, apparently</rant>

found some additional fodder for the same topic in German:
http://www.beobachter.ch/foren/ueber...-abzocke-zoll/

What are my options? I can't call FedEx until Monday as they are out of regular business hours already.
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Old 09.05.2015, 23:46
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

The admin charge sounds normal for imported goods over 60chf and swisspost will charge you this as well if it isn't couriered. Just pay the fee and focus on what you saved by buying online from Italy.
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Old 11.05.2015, 15:32
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Re: Advice to all people on shipping parcels to Swiss

I wonder how many trolls have harassed their target person abroad by sending a styrofoam brick (or some other worthless product) and labelling it on the FedEx airwaybill as a $1,000 treasure.

Some years ago I subscribed to a US Lexis CD-ROM service and the first CD arrived with a customs invoice based on the $1,000 annual subscription fee. FedEx went ballistic when I refused the parcel but in the end Lexis told me not to worry: they apparently paid the bill even though the goods were returned, and they re-shipped the first and then sent the subsequent CD-ROMs by mail marked as CD-ROM data hosts without value.

Today of course data services are all online, albeit behind a paywall. But I remember from a university course I took that electricity transmission and imports and transit by pipeline are subject to customs clearance. I know this is a big issue for consumer sales now: ebooks are subject to VAT in Europe whether or not printed books are.
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