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  #101  
Old 25.12.2010, 10:41
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Re: car import from USA

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I am currently helping my boss do a car import from the UK and the process has proved to be something of a nightmare.
Is it being imported along with personal effects (household goods) or is it just a straight-up import of the car for an existing CH resident?
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  #102  
Old 25.12.2010, 10:59
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Re: car import from USA

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Has anyone dealt with importing a car from the USA?

I know for some European countries, the regulatory requirements sometimes make the import meaningless (e.g. blinkers have to be yellow/orange and not red, the shape of the headlights beam - with different shape etc.).

I have a relatively new car in the USA, which I will have to sell with big loss (so cheap nowadays to buy a brand new one from a dealer :-), so I consider should I go through the trouble to ship it to CH and deal with all the taxes and regulations.

Thanks!
I imported a US Saab (it was actually the first 16-valve in the country) to Switzerland years ago. It was a snap. The speedo was already in kmh (and mph.I only needed to take it to the Kanton inspection for a noise test.

Easy-peasy.
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  #103  
Old 25.12.2010, 11:12
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Re: car import from USA

This is really helpful. My lovely little sports car is sitting stateside all alone I heard that if the car was owned LESS than 6 months, there is no VAT. One poster said the reverse.
But thanks for all the info. I might just bring it here!
Merry Christmas!
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  #104  
Old 25.12.2010, 15:32
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Re: car import from USA

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This is really helpful. My lovely little sports car is sitting stateside all alone I heard that if the car was owned LESS than 6 months, there is no VAT. One poster said the reverse.
But thanks for all the info. I might just bring it here!
Merry Christmas!
You have to have own it MORE than 6 months. If you own it less than 6 months it's considered new and thus subject to vat/duty.
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  #105  
Old 30.12.2010, 13:21
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Re: car import from USA

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I am currently helping my boss do a car import from the UK and the process has proved to be something of a nightmare. I'm in Lausanne and I wouldn't want to attempt this without excellent French is my first point. Luckily she has this, although the specialist vocabulary is even testing this level of language. But it is also turning out to be waaaaay more expensive than she thought it would. Thus far, by my reckoning, it has cost about CHF5K more than buying an equivalent car here (she was told it would save thousands to import it). And the process isn't over yet. Right now she's waiting on the test to prove it complies to Swiss import requirements, which must be done by the manufacturer (in this case Honda). And, she can't get it insured without the Swiss documentation - I am insured to drive it hence the help.

This may be an unusual example, I don't know, but having seen the process I wouldn't even attempt it honestly.
I just went through this process with a UK car, and doing so did save me thousands compared to if I sold my car in the UK and bought the equivalent here. Admittedly I didn't have to do any modifications as I could adjust the headlights, the speedo had km/h, and the reversing lights were on both sides. Probably the whole process, including the really expensive manufacturer checks & clean and CoC certificate order cost me about 8-900CHF.
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  #106  
Old 30.12.2010, 14:17
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Re: car import from USA

I just bought my Toyota Highlander Hybrid in March 2010, and the resell value would leave me just $4K upside down.

Looking at the cost of cars in CH, they sure do seem expensive and a comparable auto to my Toyota is about twice the cost.

I'm debating whether I should import my Toyota to CH (which I don't see that Toyota offers this model in CH), or if I should just try to liquidate it before moving and look for a new car when I arrive (certainly less stress!).

I gathered that since I've had my car for 6 months that it won't cost anything on duties, just on shipping. Which I'm also curious about. CH is landlocked so it doesn't exactly pull up on a ship. I imagine a train from Bremen?

I'm also curious about parking. It appears to come at a premium, and my American Toyota would probably be a bohemoth over there.
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  #107  
Old 30.12.2010, 19:46
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Re: car import from USA

My biggest fear with that Highlander would be getting it repaired here. Not having an equivalent EU model could make life very difficult if something breaks. You could have the world's biggest paperweight for a few weeks.
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  #108  
Old 25.03.2011, 17:57
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Re: car import from USA

quick question.. if i were to buy a porsche in us, and leave it there for 6 months.. would i then avoid all the taxes etc as i have owned it for that long...

or do i have to reside in the US first?

can import to france or switzerland if it makes any differnce..
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  #109  
Old 25.03.2011, 18:31
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Re: car import from USA

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quick question.. if i were to buy a porsche in us, and leave it there for 6 months.. would i then avoid all the taxes etc as i have owned it for that long...

or do i have to reside in the US first?

can import to france or switzerland if it makes any differnce..
Makes no difference. You need to have owned the car for six months before becoming resident in Switzerland. Once you're resident, it doesn't matter if you've owned the car for six minutes, six months, or six years.

The idea behind this is that incoming residents shouldn't be unduly taxed on goods they already own (similar to the importation exemption for your furniture & household possessions). It has nothing to do with the age of the car. But anything you acquire after you've moved to Switzerland doesn't benefit from the same exceptions -- for obvious reasons!
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  #110  
Old 25.03.2011, 18:48
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Re: car import from USA

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Makes no difference. You need to have owned the car for six months before becoming resident in Switzerland. Once you're resident, it doesn't matter if you've owned the car for six minutes, six months, or six years.

The idea behind this is that incoming residents shouldn't be unduly taxed on goods they already own (similar to the importation exemption for your furniture & household possessions). It has nothing to do with the age of the car. But anything you acquire after you've moved to Switzerland doesn't benefit from the same exceptions -- for obvious reasons!
thought so, but i now have an address in the us as a second home so was wondering if it was possible

cheers
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  #111  
Old 25.03.2011, 19:04
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Re: car import from USA

Are you a CH resident or not? If your a CH resident you will have to pay import duty.
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  #112  
Old 25.03.2011, 19:10
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Re: car import from USA

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Are you a CH resident or not? If your a CH resident you will have to pay import duty.
no, i live in france ..but i can register the car in switz through the company
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  #113  
Old 26.03.2011, 07:39
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Re: car import from USA

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no, i live in france ..but i can register the car in switz through the company
Companies have no right to relief of duty so you're stuffed there. Importing into any EU state is pretty much the same deal as Switzerland but most have much higher VAT.
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  #114  
Old 20.04.2011, 17:29
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Importing of a us car completed

Greetings all,
I have followed closely many of the threads related to importing a car to Switzerland. I got scared for a moment thinking that I had gotten myself into a big trouble by doing so.
However... My experience had been extremely good and I hope it will be for further people.

Here is what we did for a USA specification VW tiguan
  • Shipping the car door to door including insurance 2250 USD (owned the car for more than 6 months)
  • Insurance while on foreign plates, was regular cost about 80 CHF per month, No problem for having US plates, insurer did not mind.
  • For car registration:
    • We took the car to VW dealer, they did emissions test and car description documentation all for ~250 CHF
    • Car check/registration (including issuing of new plates (Aargau)), ~700 CHF. No modifications were required; the process took about 1 hr.
It seems a little expensive overall, but if we take in consideration that the same car model sales here for almost double the price, I think is more than worth it.


We did not find any issue at all and the entire process was quick, the only part that took long was the waiting for the appointment to check and register the car (about 4 weeks).
Everybody was extremely helpful and informed us about what was needed. The entire process took about 1.5-2 months from the time we received the car.
Now we have new Swiss plates, but I have to be honest, I miss being stared at the highway for having US plates.

Good luck for all of those who are in the same process. My only advice, be very careful and organized with your documentation, it seems that Swiss people like that...
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  #115  
Old 21.04.2011, 17:04
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Re: Importing of a us car completed

Great news


Did you import as part of your move to .CH? If not, did you have to get a EU certificate of conformance?


regards
Anwar
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  #116  
Old 21.04.2011, 18:35
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Re: Importing of a us car completed

Hey Pelu-us,
did you have to pay import tax? and have you just moved to CH?
cheers
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  #117  
Old 21.04.2011, 21:19
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Re: Importing of a us car completed

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Greetings all,
I have followed closely many of the threads related to importing a car to Switzerland. I got scared for a moment thinking that I had gotten myself into a big trouble by doing so.
However... My experience had been extremely good and I hope it will be for further people.
Thanks for sharing! I still need to change my US license plates and I hope everything will go smoothly. Did the Swiss take your American plates, or did you keep them?
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  #118  
Old 21.04.2011, 21:26
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Re: Importing of a us car completed

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Thanks for sharing! I still need to change my US license plates and I hope everything will go smoothly. Did the Swiss take your American plates, or did you keep them?
I would be careful about handing plates over. Some states require that you return them to their DMV. Check with the state where your plates were issued.
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  #119  
Old 21.04.2011, 22:58
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Re: Importing of a us car completed

You can keep your US plates, DMV does ask for it here.
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  #120  
Old 27.07.2011, 05:33
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Re: car import from USA

I saw a couple of comments regarding resale of a vehicle brought over to Switzerland being a losing proposition. Certainly this would not be the case with an Audi or BMW, right?
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