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  #21  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:13
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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This was at the weil borders wasnt it....?
Yep!

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Does this mean that if you happened to ride your shiny new bike to the border, then they could refuse to stamp your form if they were feeling that way out?
I don't understand that question/sentence.
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  #22  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:35
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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I don't understand that question/sentence.
Sorry. If you rode the bike from the shop to the border, then you'd have used it in EU. Tom's post implied that an item should not have been used in EU for you to be able to reclaim VAT.

Now common sense might say it's clear that you're exporting the bike, but could a jobsworth say "Sorry dude, you've used that in EU. No refund for you, you attempted fraudster" (as he phones his Swiss mate to tell him about your impending import)?
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  #23  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:49
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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Yes, unless it's food. Then the limit is CHF 300 per vehicle, period (though you are allowed 5x500g meat, etc.).

Tom
So that would mean if you make the kids or the wife walk across the border with a sausage necklace and a leg of lamb in the backpack then each person could have Chf300 of meat tax free?
Smelly, but the dog will love you when you get home!!
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  #24  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:50
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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Does this mean that if you happened to ride your shiny new bike to the border, then they could refuse to stamp your form if they were feeling that way out?
Tricky. Technically, you have used your purchase in the EU if you do that. However, you're stilll taking the thing out of the EU, unlike (for example) a kilo of sausages that you and your mates munch on in the car on the way from Marktkauf back to the Swiss border (no VAT refund on these ). For cars however, there are "export plates" that allow you to drive your car for a (rather limited) time in the EU, then export it and still claim VAT back. This is something that you should ask Hauptzollamt Lorrach.
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  #25  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:54
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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So that would mean if you make the kids or the wife walk across the border with a sausage necklace and a leg of lamb in the backpack then each person could have Chf300 of meat tax free?
No, because meat has a weight limit of 0.5Kg per person

(removing sausages from the equation).

If the meat was 600CHF per kilo then you'd be correct.
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  #26  
Old 10.10.2011, 12:56
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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No, because meat has a weight limit of 0.5Kg per person

(removing sausages from the occasion).

If the meat was 600CHF per kilo then you'd be correct.
I'm sure you know this Tom, but in case RTN doesn't, there are different classifications between processed and unprocessed meat (e.g. sausage vs. steak).
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  #27  
Old 10.10.2011, 13:00
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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So that would mean if you make the kids or the wife walk across the border with a sausage necklace and a leg of lamb in the backpack then each person could have Chf300 of meat tax free?
Smelly, but the dog will love you when you get home!!
They wouldn't have to pay import tax, but the'd have to pay the special duty for meat or meat products (CHF 20 per kilo of meat in excess of 500g each up to a maximum of 20 kgs per person, and CHF 13 per kilo for poultry or meat products, e.g. sausages, up to 3.5 kgs and up to a maximum of 20 kgs per person). More than 20 kgs requires an inspection by a vet = commercial import.

Parents: bear in mind that the limit for baby formula and baby food is 2 kgs per person, I' ve seen Swiss customs in Laufenburg specifically check for those in cars w/ babys or toddlers.
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  #28  
Old 10.10.2011, 13:18
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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... Adding together (accumulation) of the tax-free limit for several persons is forbidden...
Seems clear. If you're crossing together, then no clubbing together your allowances. I've checked in French, English and German - all says the same. However:

1. In practice, my wife and I were many times stopped, handed over receipts for +300 (less than 600) for general shopping, and were never asked to pay duty.
2. All the other text on the website indicates that allowances are per person.

I suspect that the meaning has become obfusticated by legalese. The only way to be sure would be to look at the actual legislation, assuming that isn't equally ambiguous.
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  #29  
Old 10.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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1. In practice, my wife and I were many times stopped, handed over receipts for +300 (less than 600) for general shopping, and were never asked to pay duty.
As long as no single receipt is for an amount in excess of CHF 300, you're fine. Otherwise, it depends on whether there is an item which customs consider "one unit" and which is over CHF 300 (the notorious example is the set of tyres = one unit at CHF 1000 cannot be split among you and three mates to make one tyre at CHF 250 each).
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  #30  
Old 10.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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Seems clear. If you're crossing together, then no clubbing together your allowances. I've checked in French, English and German - all says the same. However:

1. In practice, my wife and I were many times stopped, handed over receipts for +300 (less than 600) for general shopping, and were never asked to pay duty.
2. All the other text on the website indicates that allowances are per person.

I suspect that the meaning has become obfusticated by legalese. The only way to be sure would be to look at the actual legislation, assuming that isn't equally ambiguous.
So far as the border guard explained it if, for example, I buy a leather jacket for 600chf then it is not within the 2*300chf limits for me & my wife.

If we buy 2*leather jackets @ 300chf each then we are within the 2*300chf limits for me & my wife.
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  #31  
Old 10.10.2011, 13:48
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

Now, if there are four of you in the car, and each bought one tire on your own credit card, how would that go?

As regards meat, we've often bought single pieces of fresh meat or hams that exceed the weight limit of a single person, but not that of us collectively, and have never had a problem at customs (1kg t-bone steak, a whole parma ham, etc.).

Tom
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  #32  
Old 10.10.2011, 14:37
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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Sorry. If you rode the bike from the shop to the border, then you'd have used it in EU. Tom's post implied that an item should not have been used in EU for you to be able to reclaim VAT.
I don't know what the oficial rules are, but I was told you're alllowed 6 months to export (non food) items and claim the tax back. Yes, it's meant to be unused but if the item purchased is part of the transport itself then it appears they use common sense.

In my case it was more complex as I bought the bike one weekend in Stuttgart and brought it back by train. Then a couple of days later I cycled over to Germany, turned around, and cycled back to present my form at the border. Not really allowed, but it worked out ok.
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  #33  
Old 12.12.2011, 22:56
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

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As long as no single receipt is for an amount in excess of CHF 300, you're fine. Otherwise, it depends on whether there is an item which customs consider "one unit" and which is over CHF 300 (the notorious example is the set of tyres = one unit at CHF 1000 cannot be split among you and three mates to make one tyre at CHF 250 each).
once I had a receipt from IKEA for ~2000CHF in total and some stuff in the list were definitively >300CHF, Swiss customs inspector just deducted 2*300CHF from the total before calculation a tax
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  #34  
Old 12.12.2011, 23:29
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Re: Tax free shopping limit when 5 in car

Is the search function broken, again, or have the rules changed?
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