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Old 18.02.2008, 04:42
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What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

Hi all: I am just starting classes as a college student in Switzerland. My family, who lives in the US, wants to send some of my things to me. How do they need to declare these items on the custom forms? These are not things I'm buying - just stuff I couldn't fit into my suitcase.

Any advice/tips would be appreciated.
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Old 18.02.2008, 05:48
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

After having payed tax twice on an a watch I was merely returning to the store, I would suggest putting your things in as "non-descript" boxes as you possibly can.
My experience is if they think they can tax it, they will, and if they aren't sure they can tax it, they will, and if they're pretty sure they can't tax it, they will.

So, just put them in blank boxes, put "OLD CLOTHES", "OLD TEXTBOOKS"
I dunno, something that insinuates they are not new, not to be taxed, and not dangerous.
I guess depends on the size of what you are sending but be careful with Poste, they suck and you're likely to get slammed.
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Old 18.02.2008, 07:18
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

A friend and I lived in Dubai and sent some of our belongings with international shippers. The boxes arrived a few weeks after we got to Zurich and we didn't have to pay any customs. All of the boxes were marked as bedroom, living room, etc and a detailed list of items was written up for each box. We sent a wide selection of items, paintings, souvenir type things, clothing, pillows, perfume, etc.

On another note, after sending my stuff with the shippers, I still had too much for the plane, so I sent a suitcase cargo with Emirates. That also worked like a charm, no taxes. Good luck!!
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Old 18.02.2008, 10:01
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

If your folks live close to an airport, they can send the items by airfreight. Lufthansa Cargo gave me excellent rates when I moved here. Disadvantage - you have to pick the boxes up at Zurich airport yourself and fill out a customs form (but pay no tax or duties if the items are moving goods).
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Old 18.02.2008, 10:37
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

The customs check is semi-random. Sometimes you'll have to pay customs on a given shipment, sometimes not.
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Old 18.02.2008, 12:22
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

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After having payed tax twice on an a watch I was merely returning to the store, I would suggest putting your things in as "non-descript" boxes as you possibly can.
My experience is if they think they can tax it, they will, and if they aren't sure they can tax it, they will, and if they're pretty sure they can't tax it, they will.

So, just put them in blank boxes, put "OLD CLOTHES", "OLD TEXTBOOKS"
I dunno, something that insinuates they are not new, not to be taxed, and not dangerous.
I guess depends on the size of what you are sending but be careful with Poste, they suck and you're likely to get slammed.
Your opinion is based on how many packages that you've sent?
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Old 18.02.2008, 12:25
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

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Hi all: I am just starting classes as a college student in Switzerland. My family, who lives in the US, wants to send some of my things to me. How do they need to declare these items on the custom forms? These are not things I'm buying - just stuff I couldn't fit into my suitcase.

Any advice/tips would be appreciated.
You family should list the contents on the package "personal belongings". But then they should really BE personal belongings & not new stuff. If they are new items, then they need to list them as "gift" and the value. If they are new goods with a certain value (see the post website: www.poste.ch) then you may be asked to pay tax on it, but not on used personal belongings.

Also, us regular USPS as courier services often charge a fee for clearing customs which will not happen with USPS.
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Old 18.02.2008, 12:36
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Re: What is the best way to send personal items from US to CH

Importation of MOVING GOODS is free of tax or duty payments, as long as the items are not brand-new. In theory you must have had them in your possession for 6 months or longer.

Therefore I would NOT label the items as OLD WHATEVER but as MOVING GOODS and declare them as such when dealing with customs.

Been there, done that multiple times. Never paid a Fränkli.
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