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Old 29.12.2014, 19:19
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Importing an animal and taxes

I am completely lost in the area of taxes and customs. I need someone who understands it better, and who knows better than my beloved EF .

It seems I will get a dog from Germany, we will come together by a train. On this website I found info, that all imported animals are duty-free, but are subject to 8% of VAT.

Does it mean I will have to pay the full price (which I assume includes German VAT) and then additional 8%? I doubt the breeder would willingly deduce German VAT (less money for them, more paperwork to fill).

Second thing, as I won't stop at the border, can I just declare the imported animal being already in Switzerland, for example in Zürich?
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Old 29.12.2014, 20:42
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Heksita, I'm so pleased to hear that you are getting another dog. I hope this new friend brings you much happiness, and helps to heal the heartbreak of the loss of your girl.

Yes - you are supposed to pay Swiss MWSt on an animal bought abroad.

While I have adopted from abroad, I don't actually know how the CH-MWSt and DE-VAT refund works. I have always driven to pick up my 'Auslander' mutts, and have each time tried to stop and declare the newbie and pay the tax. However, each time I have been waived away, as the customs officers were 'too busy' to deal with me.

So since they were not interested in taking my money I've then simply registered the doglet with the vet in CH.

Take from that what you will - best to be prepared to pay the MWSt, and hope for the best.

But... and hopefully someone who has actually done the German VAT refund and paid the Swiss MWSt can chime in.
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Old 29.12.2014, 21:36
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Some time ago I enquired about that at the Swiss Customs and this is a copy of the answer I received by email (in German naturally):

Wenn Sie den Hund in einem Privatfahrzeug persönlich über die Grenze befördern und dieser für Sie bestimmt ist, gelten die Bestimmungen des Reiseverkehrs. Diese können Sie unserem Internetangebot entnehmen: Im Ausland abgabenfrei einkaufen
Sofern der Warenwert innerhalb der Wertfreigrenze von CHF 300.00 liegt, können Sie den Hund abgabenfrei einführen. Wenn diese Wertfreigrenze überschritten wird, ist die Mehrwertsteuer von 8.0 % vom gesamten Warenwert ohne ausländische Verkaufssteuer (sofern ausgewiesen) zu entrichten. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie in der angegebenen Internetseite unter den Titeln „Andere Waren“ und „Abgaben“.
Spezifische Bestimmungen für die Einfuhr von Hunden können Sie auch unserem Internetangebot entnehmen: Einfuhr von Hunde, Katzen, Haustiere
Bitte beachten Sie auch die Bestimmungen des Bundesamt für Veterinärwesen.
Bundesamt für Veterinärwesen BVET, Mit Hund, Katze oder Frettchen über die Grenze
Die Einfuhr von Haustieren muss über einen besetzten Grenzübergang erfolgen, da auch bei einer abgabenfreien Einfuhr der Heimtierpass durch den Schweizer Zoll gestempelt werden muss. Welche Grenzübergänge dauernd besetzt sind, entnehmen Sie bitte der Broschüre: Ihr Weg durch den Schweizer Zoll, Seite 22/23.

Bezüglich Rückforderung der ausländischen Mehrwertsteuer können wir Ihnen keine Auskunft geben. Wir bitten Sie, sich diesbezüglich direkt an die entsprechende ausländische Zollbehörde (z. B. Deutscher Zoll, Auskünfte zu Zollthemen ) zu wenden oder dies durch Ihren Lieferanten abklären zu lassen.

A couple of interesting points:

  • If your dog is under CHF 300 then you can import it VAT free.
  • Even if the dog is a Vat-free import you must use a "manned" border crossing to get the dog pass stamped

Good luck and much joy with your new family member!
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Old 30.12.2014, 11:01
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Thanks for your informative posts.

The price will be higher than 300 CHF, but something else worries me: does it mean I have to use a manned border crossing and using a train is not possible?
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Old 30.12.2014, 13:08
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

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Thanks for your informative posts.

The price will be higher than 300 CHF, but something else worries me: does it mean I have to use a manned border crossing and using a train is not possible?
That's a good question that I really don't know the answer to. I know they sometimes have border inspections on the train, but they are random and not that frequent (unless you are going to/from Italy). But, how would you pay the VAT on the train if there was no inspection? (Don't answer that , I don't want you to incriminate yourself!).
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Old 30.12.2014, 13:13
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

You have to get off the train and deal with it. I tried to do it at the italian border but it was a pita and I missed my train.
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Old 31.12.2014, 15:11
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

I asked at the source. The answer was: if there is a customs agent onboard, go to him. If not, fill a declaration form, can be done in Zürich (http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en). I don't have to leave the train.
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Old 01.01.2015, 10:34
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Unless the breeder gives you an invoice specifying the German sales tax he is charging, you won't get the German tax returned. Even then, with the invoice stamped by the German customs at the border, the breeder will have to return the German 19% tax to you. So probably just forget it. You can pay the 8% MWSt Swiss tax at any customs office.

I bought a puppy in France, I drove over the manned border at lunchtime, and never declared it. Make sure the dog is vaccinated against rabies, and carry the dog paperwork with you on the train. If you are controlled, they will tell you to go to your local customs office and import the dog there. Otherwise, go to your local Swiss Vet and get a new Swiss dog passport there.

Oh, and don't forget to buy a train ticket for the dog! It is the same as a child's ticket.
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Old 01.01.2015, 10:50
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

If I am not mistaken the dog should also be "chipped" before being imported. Maybe someone else can confirm that?
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Old 01.01.2015, 11:14
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

The dog should be chipped. But at least when we flew her in, they didn't scan her at ZRH. We had our dog chipped in the US with a European chip and our Swiss vet couldn't find it. So she got another chip once she registered with the vet.
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Old 01.01.2015, 14:01
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

There is a new document dated 29.12.2014 on this page under the heading regulations in detail.
http://www.blv.admin.ch/themen/04670/05325/05326/05327/index.html?lang=en

Heksita, if the dog is a puppy, you need to check the rules carefully and I quote:
"The importing and transit of puppies aged less than 56 days is forbidden for reasons of animal welfare - unless they are traveling in the company of their mothers (or their foster-mother)."

Other items to take note of:
Pet passport: Dogs, cats and ferrets must be accompanied by an "official pet passport". For pass-ports issued after 29.12.2014, only the "new model" is valid, the form and content of which comply with the criteria laid down in EU Regulation 577/2013.

Identification: Pets must be identified with a microchip readable by standard reading devices (i.e. in conformity with ISO 11784 or Annex A of ISO 11785) - otherwise the animals must be accompanied by a suitable reading device. Alternatively, an existing legible tattoo is also sufficient, provided it was applied before 03.07.2011. Dogs imported definitively into Switzerland must be registered in the national dog database by a veter-inarian within 10 days after arrival. (They are referring to ANIS)

Rabies vaccination: Dogs, cats and ferrets must have been vaccinated against rabies using an inac-tivated vaccine licensed or registered in the relevant country and complying with WHO standards. Vaccination must have been carried out not before the age of 12 weeks and at least 21 days before import. This waiting period does not apply if the animals always received booster vaccinations within the period specified by the vaccine manufacturer. If no "expiry period" is stated in the pet passport, a period of one year applies as standard.
Animals aged up to 12 weeks may be imported into Switzerland unvaccinated if they are accompa-nied by and dependent upon their mothers or if a declaration by the owner or accompanying person can be provided showing that, since birth, the animals have never come into contact with wild animals susceptible to rabies. The same declaration can also be used to import animals between 12 and 16 weeks old, which have already been vaccinated against rabies but have not yet completed the 21-day waiting period. A model document for this declaration is available on the website www.blv.admin.ch.

To ensure healthy development, it is important not to separate young animals too soon from their mothers or any litter mates. The import and transit of puppies under the age of 56 days is there-fore prohibited - unless they are travelling with their mother (or foster mother).
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Old 02.01.2015, 00:23
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

OK, no TAX return for me, I get it. Meh.

I want to declare the dog, because I register it later in ANIS and for taxes -- what if somebody asks where it comes from? Remember, this is Switzerland .

The dog will be chipped, dewormed, vaccinated and will have an EU-pass. Don't worry, I did my research and I know about the 8-weeks rule . One of the reasons of looking for a dog in Germany was simplified paperwork and no language problems (no documents to translate).

I won't need a separate ticket, because the pup will be small enough to be carried in a transport box. It also solves the problem of wearing a muzzle.
http://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/zu...et/hunde.shtml
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:04
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Will the dog be old enough to have his/her rabies vaccination? If not they ask for a note from the vet declaring the pup has lived with the breeder/seller from birth.

We imported a 9 week old Lab last year, paid our German VAT and declared him and paid the Swiss 8% at the border. We did not get the German tax back either but...

The other requirements last year were that the dog of course needed to be chipped and have his EU pet passport, I have heard of people having been asked for proof of having taken their dog theory course, we were not.

I would expect however to do this by train as others have suggested you would need to get off do the paperwork and continue your journey later.

Good luck and all the best with the new puppy
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:07
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

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OK, no TAX return for me, I get it. Meh.

I want to declare the dog, because I register it later in ANIS and for taxes -- what if somebody asks where it comes from? Remember, this is Switzerland .

The dog will be chipped, dewormed, vaccinated and will have an EU-pass. Don't worry, I did my research and I know about the 8-weeks rule . One of the reasons of looking for a dog in Germany was simplified paperwork and no language problems (no documents to translate).

I won't need a separate ticket, because the pup will be small enough to be carried in a transport box. It also solves the problem of wearing a muzzle.
http://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/zu...et/hunde.shtml
Looks like you are all set to go!
Have a great trip back and enjoy the new family member.
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:20
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

There is no problem with an undeclared dog and ANIS. Your vet will be able to handle everything whether you declared the dog or not.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:41
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

Waiting for the pics now!!!
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:33
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Re: Importing an animal and taxes

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Will the dog be old enough to have his/her rabies vaccination? If not they ask for a note from the vet declaring the pup has lived with the breeder/seller from birth.

We imported a 9 week old Lab last year, paid our German VAT and declared him and paid the Swiss 8% at the border. We did not get the German tax back either but...

The other requirements last year were that the dog of course needed to be chipped and have his EU pet passport, I have heard of people having been asked for proof of having taken their dog theory course, we were not.

I would expect however to do this by train as others have suggested you would need to get off do the paperwork and continue your journey later.

Good luck and all the best with the new puppy
I had a dog in CH and I'm bringing all the related paperwork with me (including courses certificates) in case the breeder wants to see it, so I'm good here.

Not many pics to post so far
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