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Old 15.01.2019, 10:44
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Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

I have registered an Einzelfirma in Switzerland to sell handmade products online (My own website) and I would like to sell not only in Switzerland but possibly in the EU as well...
My understanding is that I don't have to charge VAT here in Switzerland as long as I am making less than 100,000 a year, but how does it work if I want to sell to the EU?
Searching online I found that every EU country has a different threshold for online selling, so as long as I am not reaching that threshold I don't need to register for VAT in that country and charge VAT to customers buying from those EU countries??

Thanks a lot.
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Old 15.01.2019, 11:09
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

VAT and CE marking is the problem of person importing the goods into the EU. In your case that would be most the buyer if you send the stuff from Switzerland.
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:33
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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Searching online I found that every EU country has a different threshold for online selling, so as long as I am not reaching that threshold I don't need to register for VAT in that country and charge VAT to customers buying from those EU countries??
You don't need to register in every EU country as you are already based in Switzerland. You can ship items from Switzerland, but it is more expensive and more complicated as customs are involved. If you ship from Germany you will save time, money and hassle.
Of course it all depends on how much stuff you are actually selling to people in the EU, if it is a couple of parcels a day of low value items, this shouldn't be a problem. If you are going across the border daily in a van packed full of parcels, this is another matter.
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:36
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

Sorry to post again, forgot to mention VAT. You do not need to charge VAT on items you sell and ship from Switzerland to the EU, nor if you ship them intra-EU (since you're based in CH).
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:39
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

You have to register for MWST when your turnover reaches the threshold. Not when you "make" 100K - which some would interpret as 100K profit.
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:42
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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Of course it all depends on how much stuff you are actually selling to people in the EU, if it is a couple of parcels a day of low value items, this shouldn't be a problem.
Except that it is considered smuggling, tax and customs fraud if you import commercial goods into the EU w/o declaring them.

If you do illegal shit go bold and large. Petty stuff is not worth the risk.
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:46
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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Except that it is considered smuggling, tax and customs fraud if you import commercial goods into the EU w/o declaring them.
If you do illegal shit go bold and large. Petty stuff is not worth the risk.
As mentioned, we don't know the quantities involved. If there are no documents/invoices in or on the parcels, and if there only a few parcels at a time, then I doubt there is going to be an issue as it wouldn't really be assumed to be commercial (even though effectively it is).
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:49
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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As mentioned, we don't know the quantities involved. If there are no documents/invoices in or on the parcels, and if there only a few parcels at a time, then I doubt there is going to be an issue as it wouldn't really be assumed to be commercial (even though effectively it is).
It is commercial, what else should it be . The limit for commercial stuff is EUR 0, which means any quantity whatsoever is an issue. So, yes you are effectively promoting illegal activities
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Old 15.01.2019, 12:57
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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VAT and CE marking is the problem of person importing the goods into the EU. In your case that would be most the buyer if you send the stuff from Switzerland.
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It is commercial, what else should it be . The limit for commercial stuff is EUR 0, which means any quantity whatsoever is an issue. So, yes you are effectively promoting illegal activities
I'm not promoting it at all. It was merely a follow up from your earlier post where you wrote if you send the stuff from Switzerland - if the seller doesn't ship from Switzerland (or the Swiss customs territory) then surely it will be shipped from the EU (EU customs territory).
But now it seems you don't want the seller (OP) to have a choice.
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Old 15.01.2019, 13:07
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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I'm not promoting it at all. It was merely a follow up from your earlier post where you wrote if you send the stuff from Switzerland - if the seller doesn't ship from Switzerland (or the Swiss customs territory) then surely it will be shipped from the EU (EU customs territory).
But now it seems you don't want the seller (OP) to have a choice.
The only choice the seller has is to ship from CH to the EU (without adding VAT) or export the goods to the EU himself declaring them as commercial imports and then posting from there. But to sneak the parcels through and then post them is breaking the law.

OP. As mentioned above, you don't need to charge VAT when exporting to the EU and you only need to request to register for VAT here when your sales reach 100,00.00.
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Old 15.01.2019, 13:21
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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to sneak the parcels through and then post them is breaking the law.
Correct.

The OP would need to evaluate which is less hassle and cost.
The postage intra-EU will be less expensive, but as you say they should be declared as commercial goods, - how much that is going to cost(?) is key.
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Old 15.01.2019, 13:28
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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The only choice the seller has is to ship from CH to the EU (without adding VAT) or export the goods to the EU himself declaring them as commercial imports and then posting from there. But to sneak the parcels through and then post them is breaking the law.
Shipping is so incredibly expensive in CH. How can I legally post from Germany either to the EU or the other countries outside of Europe? I live near Basel so If I could ship from Germany it would be better, but only if I can do it without breaking the law, Im not interested in smuggling a few parcels and get in trouble for that.
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Old 15.01.2019, 13:29
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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But now it seems you don't want the seller (OP) to have a choice.
Sure the seller has also the choice to properly import into the EU themselves and then send it from there.

But that might come with lot of extra work on top of that. Like the need of an Importer of Record and other local representative, an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number, a German or French VAT Number, and compliance with EU products rules (CE Mark) as well as EU and local packaging and recycling rules. Suddenly shipping from Switzerland becomes much more attractive.
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Old 15.01.2019, 13:41
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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Sure the seller has also the choice to properly import into the EU themselves and then send it from there.

But that might come with lot of extra work on top of that. Like the need of an Importer of Record and other local representative, an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number, a German or French VAT Number, and compliance with EU products rules (CE Mark) as well as EU and local packaging and recycling rules. Suddenly shipping from Switzerland becomes much more attractive.
omg ok. yeah, Switzerland it is.
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Old 15.01.2019, 22:33
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

it is complicated, but also not THAT complicated,finally you have to do some research by yourself:
sending from Switzerland is your friend

1. research different ways of sending packages, large letters ARE NOT that expensive, and they can go to 1 (2) kg

2. CE marking: this is self declaration and NOT needed for every product
3. VAT i(in EU): depends of the country, but it will go similar way as things are coming here, just write f...ng CN22
4. maybe join platforms like Etsy
good luck and start searching for some real info, I mean just google:
"online selling EU" "swiss post international letter" "EU custom declaration" "Etsy EU" "CE marking"
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Old 15.01.2019, 23:48
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

As far as I know the rules for sales into the EU changed 2019.


It is now necessary to register a VAT number for each country you want to post stuff to, doesn't matter from where. Even from China or from within the EU to another EU country.


Reason for the change was too many Amazon-Dropshipper shipping their stuff from China not paying any VAT, or lowering VAT to the lowest possible EU rate by shipping (or billing) from Luxembourg.


There are specialised agents out there helping in this matter; such as http://taxfba.de/ (I´m not affiliated or anything)


Considering the significantly cheaper postal rates from Germany, I would try to find a legal setup to somehow pay the VAT and ship from Germany. It might involve a stop at the border post to get custom's clearance, but depending on the volume of stuff it might be well worth it.
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Old 16.01.2019, 07:34
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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Shipping is so incredibly expensive in CH. How can I legally post from Germany either to the EU or the other countries outside of Europe?
Presumably by doing it as a private individual and not as a company.
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Old 22.01.2019, 00:44
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

I have similar questions. I am importing goods to Switzerland from eu. I am interested in selling them to Switzerland or other eu conuntries.

- do I have to pay Swiss vat when I import the goods?
- do i have to charge vat when I sell to Switzerland?
- do i have to charge vat when I sell to eu?
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Old 22.01.2019, 05:32
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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I have similar questions. I am importing goods to Switzerland from eu. I am interested in selling them to Switzerland or other eu conuntries.

A - do I have to pay Swiss vat when I import the goods?
B - do i have to charge vat when I sell to Switzerland?
C - do i have to charge vat when I sell to eu?
A - yes
B - you only apply to register for VAT after your sales reach 100,000.00 in a year and then yes.
C - no.
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Old 22.01.2019, 06:53
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Re: Selling good to the EU - Charge VAT?

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- do I have to pay Swiss vat when I import the goods?
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yes
Although small, non-commercial quantities of goods brought into Switzerland by private individuals are exempt from VAT. So it will depend on whether this is actually a company or just one person bringing in (having sent in) a few items and then reselling them online for example.
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