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Old 22.09.2007, 01:24
salz88 salz88 is offline
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Re: New Business...importing things, clothing, food, misc things from the USA

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I am planning to live in Basel soon and I am interested in information on "the rules" about bringing items clothing, food, misc items in from the USA to sell there in Basel/Switzerland. Is this legal? Do I need a permit of some sort?

I would sell these items on my website, at the local flohmarkets and maybe on ebay/ricardo too?

Does anyone know the "rules" or can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks a bunch!!
Swiss Customs, Basel will be able to give you info you need. The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in Zürich also provide advice, for members.
You will have to declare goods imported for commercial sale and pay duty (variable for category and quantity).
Note: Swiss Customs do not recognise the concept "goods of no commercial value" e.g samples for demo or display. For Swiss Customs everything imported has a commercial value and the potential to be sold. So don't bother to have NCV written on delivery notes for goods as samples. A monetary value has to be included on the import docs.
Country of Origin also has to be explicitly stated on the import docs. If this is incorrectly declared it not only holds up goods but goods may be refused. Import tax is higher for goods imported from a country which is not the country of origin of the goods.
Value added tax (MWST) on consumer goods and services in Switzerland is at present 7.6% Your online shop needs to make it clear. MWST is usually paid when the total income reaches 75'000 + (quarterly or half-yearly). You can also opt for paying it voluntarily. A local accountant will be able to help sort out what you will be expected to pay, when. For some businesses this has advantages. Info can be obtained from the Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (ESTV) in Bern or go to
Assuming you will be self-employed.
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