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Old 23.02.2009, 16:28
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Imports into switzerland

HI, just wondering if anyone knows about the rules and regs. regarding imports into switzerland. Interested in finding out if one needs a licence to import and sell commecial goods, such as furniture! and if anyone knows the rules regarding the sell of furniture eg, are there laws stating the thats goods must be tested and approved? especially for things like fire protection etc.

any help is greatly appreciated, and even information on where to find information like this.

Thankyou
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Old 23.02.2009, 16:46
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Re: Imports into switzerland

I can't help you specifically to furniture, other than to say there is a law or regulation for almost everything. We import cheese from the UK and we have to have tarif codes for every type of cheese (cow, goat, sheep - blue and white - then different codes again for different fat levels).

We tried importing potato crisps and clotted cream last year and that was nightmare!

The one good bit of advice I can give you is find a good import agent over here who knows all the rules and who will fill in the relevant documents for you (for a fee of course). If you are a member of a trade body in the UK they may also have specific info regarding your field. The UK dept of industry (or trade, can't remember the name) may also be able to help, as could the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce over here.

Good luck!
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Last edited by grumpygrapefruit; 23.02.2009 at 16:49. Reason: typo etc
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Old 06.02.2010, 12:36
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Re: Imports into switzerland

can you name any swiss import agents which I could contact?
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Old 06.02.2010, 15:46
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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HI, just wondering if anyone knows about the rules and regs. regarding imports into switzerland. Interested in finding out if one needs a licence to import and sell commecial goods, such as furniture! and if anyone knows the rules regarding the sell of furniture eg, are there laws stating the thats goods must be tested and approved? especially for things like fire protection etc.

any help is greatly appreciated, and even information on where to find information like this.

Thankyou

A) Most stuff does NOT need an import licence. Furniture and personnel belonging definitely NOT.
B) You can look up the exact details under www.tares.ch
C) The cargo agent who does the export in the U.K. should nominate his agent in Switzerland as Consignee and you as "Notify", as this keeps up continuity. And that CH-agent then will do the customs-handling. And if you agree that agent also will arrange the trucking of the stuff to your domicile



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can you name any swiss import agents which I could contact?
C-2) All cargo agents can handle imports here in Switzerland. Simply stick to the CH-agent of the UK forwarder involved.

Last edited by Wollishofener; 06.02.2010 at 16:04.
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Old 06.02.2010, 15:54
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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if one needs a licence to import and sell commecial goods, such as furniture! and if anyone knows the rules regarding the sell of furniture
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A) Most stuff does NOT need an import licence. Furniture and personnel belonging definitely NOT.
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... that agent also will arrange the trucking of the stuff to your domicile


I think the guy is talking of a business venture, not his own goods and chattels.
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Old 06.02.2010, 16:01
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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I can't help you specifically to furniture, other than to say there is a law or regulation for almost everything. We import cheese from the UK and we have to have tarif codes for every type of cheese (cow, goat, sheep - blue and white - then different codes again for different fat levels).

We tried importing potato crisps and clotted cream last year and that was nightmare!

The one good bit of advice I can give you is find a good import agent over here who knows all the rules and who will fill in the relevant documents for you (for a fee of course). If you are a member of a trade body in the UK they may also have specific info regarding your field. The UK dept of industry (or trade, can't remember the name) may also be able to help, as could the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce over here.

Good luck!
I suppose the potato crisps were not the problem but the clotted cream. As the import of "fresh" food is subject to many restrictions and regulations. I mean cheese is under chapter 0406, but under a variety of different positions. But clotted cream most likely will run under
0403.9091




0403.9099



and so in case of doubt even be subject to "Kontingentierung"

However, if the material is used personal belongings you have to talk with customs about the "simplified procedure" for that, which means no VAT levied. Customs wants to see a comprehensive list of all your material.
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Old 23.02.2010, 09:43
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Re: Imports into switzerland

Anyone know anything about the import of stone to Switzerland? I know Italy is right there, and stone is used a lot in construction, but I was wondering about stone from South America. How hard would that be with transport and customs ect.?

I currently import stone to the US and was wondering how similar it would be in demand....seems like more remodel and less new construction?

edit: sorry if this is not on topic or in the right area of EF...
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Old 23.02.2010, 09:50
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Anyone know anything about the import of stone to Switzerland? I know Italy is right there, and stone is used a lot in construction, but I was wondering about stone from South America. How hard would that be with transport and customs ect.?

I currently import stone to the US and was wondering how similar it would be in demand....seems like more remodel and less new construction?

edit: sorry if this is not on topic or in the right area of EF...
Yeh, cause Switzerland being a real plains country we really lack in the stone department
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Old 23.02.2010, 09:53
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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I suppose the potato crisps were not the problem but the clotted cream. As the import of "fresh" food is subject to many restrictions and regulations. I mean cheese is under chapter 0406, but under a variety of different positions. But clotted cream most likely will run under
0403.9091 0403.9099
and so in case of doubt even be subject to "Kontingentierung"

However, if the material is used personal belongings you have to talk with customs about the "simplified procedure" for that, which means no VAT levied. Customs wants to see a comprehensive list of all your material.
Indeed - if you need to check the customs tariff number go to:
TARES possible to use in English, but for accuracy use French or German..
For the importation of personal effects you will need Form 18.44
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:07
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Yeh, cause Switzerland being a real plains country we really lack in the stone department

Where is all the mining in Switzerland? I was there for two weeks and did not see any quarries at all, while in Italy I saw many.

Stone is used in building in Switzerland and in greater Europe much more than in the US, as here(the US at the moment) we build for 10-30 years, there I think the average build life is much longer. (more like min. 30 to 100?)

Also the particular stone that I work with only is quarried in Brazil, India, and Canada.
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Old 23.02.2010, 10:57
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Where is all the mining in Switzerland? I was there for two weeks and did not see any quarries at all, while in Italy I saw many.
Well, if you spend the two weeks in cities and touristy places, you're not likely to see many quarries...

But amazingly enough, there's plenty of them - tuff, limestone, sandstone, slate, granite, basalt et caetera.

Good luck importing stone to Switzerland...
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Old 23.02.2010, 11:49
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Where is all the mining in Switzerland? I was there for two weeks and did not see any quarries at all, while in Italy I saw many.

Stone is used in building in Switzerland and in greater Europe much more than in the US, as here(the US at the moment) we build for 10-30 years, there I think the average build life is much longer. (more like min. 30 to 100?)

Also the particular stone that I work with only is quarried in Brazil, India, and Canada.
Where do you think granit blocks and paving slabs from Tessin comes from ?
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Old 23.02.2010, 22:21
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Where do you think granit blocks and paving slabs from Tessin comes from ?

Haha, like I said....two weeks, so not much of a chance to see the quarries in Switzerland. I will have to check it out though...sounds very interesting.
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Old 01.03.2010, 17:00
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Re: Imports into switzerland

As a new player in the import/export business, here's the question:

can you by yourself do all the paper work and the "dédouanement" OR do you absolutely need a custom broker for it?

If you do, can you guys recommend one with acceptable english speaking skills?

Thank you.
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Old 01.03.2010, 17:16
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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As a new player in the import/export business, here's the question:

can you by yourself do all the paper work and the "dédouanement" OR do you absolutely need a custom broker for it?

If you do, can you guys recommend one with acceptable english speaking skills?

Thank you.
Sure you can, but it will take a very long time and you'll need good communication skills, both written, reading and spoken.

The customs officials and the freight forwarders work together, see each other every day so if you think you'll get any help from this quarter i think you're going to be mistaken.

It's cheaper to pay somebody
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Old 01.03.2010, 17:28
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Re: Imports into switzerland

Ok silly question maybe but why if what I am importing I bring with me in my baggage? Do I just declare it at Douane at the airport or do I have to have a permission to import first? What I am bringing is clothes so it is cheaper for me to go get it than sending it by freight...Thanks guys!
BTW what about if I get the stuff by post?
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Old 01.03.2010, 17:34
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Ok silly question maybe but why if what I am importing I bring with me in my baggage? Do I just declare it at Douane at the airport or do I have to have a permission to import first? What I am bringing is clothes so it is cheaper for me to go get it than sending it by freight...Thanks guys!
BTW what about if I get the stuff by post?
Well, you only need a permit if the goods require it (Guns, Plants, live animals etc). If you want to bring stuff, it would be good to inquire at the Douane/customs beforehand, they may have forms set up already - otherwise you just go the the "to declare" counter upon arrival.
If you use post, you should have the sender fill out those customs notices with the correct HS tariff code - but I still don't trust those guys doing customs clearance for the post!
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Old 01.03.2010, 17:42
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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If you use post, you should have the sender fill out those customs notices with the correct HS tariff code - but I still don't trust those guys doing customs clearance for the post!
I think I will go and ask at the post office for this question, there are some nice people in the post office near my place. Thanks for the info!
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Old 01.03.2010, 19:41
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Re: Imports into switzerland

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Ok silly question maybe but why if what I am importing I bring with me in my baggage? Do I just declare it at Douane at the airport or do I have to have a permission to import first? What I am bringing is clothes so it is cheaper for me to go get it than sending it by freight...Thanks guys!
BTW what about if I get the stuff by post?
Never any silly questions, only silly answers.

The OP seem to want to do it as an import/export business you seem to be talking about a private level. Depending what it is, but you're probably best just walking straight through, they're not looking for us, they want importers of fake goods, drugs etc, the odd second bottle of scotch is not so important.
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Old 01.03.2010, 20:17
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Re: Imports into switzerland

Thank you very much Charlie! But I am planning of importing things for sale, not a lot but still...Will check with both Post office and Douane soon
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