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Old 16.10.2017, 22:42
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Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

Dear Forum

We are running a small electronics company making custom high-ish value test equipment for the electronics production industry.

We are doing a show in November, in Munich, and need to take demonstration equipment outside of Switzerland for a week, only to be returned back the following week. I have heard we need a Carnet ATA, for customs, which will cost 30% of the value of the equipment (so we are told), which could be 1) Hard to value as its only examples of our work 2) Expensive depending how we value the equipment.

I cannot see how we must pay such a charge if we will only return the equipment to Switzerland and then dismantle most items back to stock. I would of thought we only need to provide proof the equipment is returned, and if not pay.

Any advice, experience would be highly welcomed.

Many Regards

Tony Jay
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Old 16.10.2017, 23:47
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

When I take goods out of the country for exhibitions that will come back into the country, I take a proforma invoice with me and iirc one for the return.

But no one has ever looked at it and as i work for a company they have an account with customs.

I will see if I can find one of these invoices and i will ask logistics about it to see if they know anything about the 30% thing you wrote about.

Send me a message to remind me.
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Old 17.10.2017, 08:17
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

The Carnet ATA is done via the local Chamber of Commerce. Interlaken (I assume the company is there) is covered by the Bern Chamber of Commerce.

I have not done one in eons but a Carnet is the most simple way to handle your out/back in situation. Just make sure you have it stamped both ways.

Here is the BE website:https://app1401.webexpert.ch/?chamber=BHK

Here is the list of how much things cost - 6th line down is the fee schedule: https://app1401.webexpert.ch/help.aspx

EDIT: Forgot to add, the 30% number is a guarantee that you need to block based on declared value (via the CoC) until you come back with the items and the paperwork. From memory the DE customs are very professional but they like their paperwork so the Carnet is the way to go.
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Last edited by Verbier; 17.10.2017 at 14:43. Reason: Added info
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Old 17.10.2017, 11:43
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

Thanks miniMia and Verbier

I have done shows before but only taken smaller items and done exactly like miniMia has suggested. Last time I got stopped and explained my situation but the border guy was not so happy. I think given my very bad German and the heavy traffic, he let me by with a shake of his head.

This time I am taking much more and getting a little worried, I think getting out to Munich will be no issue but I may have issues on the return. This is why we are looking into the Carnet, as suggested by Verbier, but the 30% is a pain as we don't really know how to value the goods as it has no real commercial value (it cant be sold to anyone). I am assuming we get the 30% returned anyways on the return through the border, the question is also if we can only get the 'Stamp' on the Carnet if the Customs office is open or can any border guard do this.

I will call the Chamber of Commerce and see what they say as we will travel on a Sunday and return on a Saturday when the customs is normally closed.

Thanks again for the advise.

Tony
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Old 17.10.2017, 14:01
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

I haven't seen the logistics manager today.

I also travel on the weekends and no one looks or asks me anything and I'm almost positive that the invoice says 'no commercial value' even though the products are insured for their commercial value.

Let me see if I can find anything out after lunch.
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Old 17.10.2017, 14:04
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

Many thanks
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Old 17.10.2017, 14:42
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Re: Taking demonstration outside of Switzerland for Trade show

In the distant past I used Carnets and they can be a pain...

1. as you found out Carnets can be expensive, a deposit is paid into the customs fund to cover any taxes, plus there are fees.

2. the Swiss customs will inspect the equipment, and check it's value. They also insist on serial numbers engraved on the chassis, circuit boards, modules etc. This is to stop you exchanging parts with customer machines.

3. you receive a book of certificates, every border crossing requires a certificate with the serial numbers.

4. you have to bring the prototype back, you cannot sell it from the exhibition.

5. it remains a prototype, you cannot easily update it to follow your development: you would need another Carnet for the improved machine.

think about crossing the border with a "Pro Forma Rechnung" and paying the duty and tax if you are stopped. The value can be the sum of the spare parts to build it. If you are stopped by the Swiss on the way back you can show the Swiss the tax was paid, by producing receipts for the parts used to build it.
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