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-   -   Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF (https://www.englishforum.ch/daily-life/254123-swiss-post-just-tried-charge-me-25-chf-customs-something-worth-60chf.html)

KatieCM 13.05.2016 10:15

Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Hi team,

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I ordered some cosmetics online with a combined total of 60.22 CHF (including shipping). I ordered this specific amount because I knew 62 CHF is the limit for importing without customs duty. However today, the post guy tried to charge me 25 CHF in import tax!!! How is this possible? Has the limit changed?

I sent the goods back with him as I told him I wasn't paying it. I also have researched on a few websites and it seems the 62CHF limit is still in place.

So what should I do now? I want to fight this because I find it totally unfair. The customs duties in Switzerland are already absolutely crazy, and now they are trying to charge me even when I'm under the limit??

Thanks for your help!

Chuff 13.05.2016 10:21

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieCM (Post 2587736)
Hi team,

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I ordered some cosmetics online with a combined total of 60.22 CHF (including shipping). I ordered this specific amount because I knew 62 CHF is the limit for importing without customs duty. However today, the post guy tried to charge me 25 CHF in import tax!!! How is this possible? Has the limit changed?

I sent the goods back with him as I told him I wasn't paying it. I also have researched on a few websites and it seems the 62CHF limit is still in place.

So what should I do now? I want to fight this because I find it totally unfair. The customs duties in Switzerland are already absolutely crazy, and now they are trying to charge me even when I'm under the limit??

Thanks for your help!

Have you, you know, called them to ask and explain?

aSwissInTheUS 13.05.2016 10:22

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Maybe the papers were not in order?
Maybe it was selected for random inspection by customs?
Maybe customs uses an other exchange rate as you did? (See here http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=en)

As you did not check what is wrong with the actual bill we do not know more than you.

SFORelo 13.05.2016 10:24

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieCM (Post 2587736)
Hi team,

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I ordered some cosmetics online with a combined total of 60.22 CHF (including shipping). I ordered this specific amount because I knew 62 CHF is the limit for importing without customs duty. However today, the post guy tried to charge me 25 CHF in import tax!!! How is this possible? Has the limit changed?

I sent the goods back with him as I told him I wasn't paying it. I also have researched on a few websites and it seems the 62CHF limit is still in place.

So what should I do now? I want to fight this because I find it totally unfair. The customs duties in Switzerland are already absolutely crazy, and now they are trying to charge me even when I'm under the limit??

Thanks for your help!

Fight the power! Get Gloria Allred on the phone! Take it all the way to city hall! ...........or just go to the Post office and kindly inquire as to why they wish to charge you 25 CHF.

KatieCM 13.05.2016 10:27

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
The goods were purchased in CHF so there should be no confusion with the exchange rate. And when I looked at the packaging document it clearly stated the goods worth as 60 CHF. Unfortunately I had to give the document back and didn't have my phone on me to take a photo. I have sent an email to the post and am waiting for a reply. While my German is ok, I do struggle to have these types of conversations over the phone. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had a similar issue and how they resolved it.

roegner 13.05.2016 10:31

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Wasn“t it CHF 62 including postage?

st2lemans 13.05.2016 10:33

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieCM (Post 2587736)
The customs duties in Switzerland are already absolutely crazy

No, they are usually 0.

VAT is 8%.

Processing charges on the other hand...

But processing charges are NOT customs duties. ;)

And it's the value that counts, NOT the price paid. If they decide that the value should be higher than declared, that's what counts.

Tom

KatieCM 13.05.2016 10:34

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
It was 60.22 CHF including postage. So definitely under the 62CHF limit. And you're right, it's the administration fees charged by Swiss Post and DHL and other carriers that are absolutely crazy, not so much the VAT.

Chuff 13.05.2016 10:36

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieCM (Post 2587751)
The goods were purchased in CHF so there should be no confusion with the exchange rate. And when I looked at the packaging document it clearly stated the goods worth as 60 CHF. Unfortunately I had to give the document back and didn't have my phone on me to take a photo. I have sent an email to the post and am waiting for a reply. While my German is ok, I do struggle to have these types of conversations over the phone. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had a similar issue and how they resolved it.

The post speak English, it's a language on their website.

KatieCM 13.05.2016 10:40

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Tom, you're right again. But the value of 60CHF (so even 0.22 under what I actually paid) was listed on the document stating the charges. So I "assume" that's what they assessed the value as? Or could this potentially be stated elsewhere? It's a bit of a pain i didn't take a photo of the document so I could upload a copy. Thanks for all your help but I suppose I'll just have to see what the reply from Swiss Post is. I'll keep you all updated.

roegner 13.05.2016 10:44

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
They probably assumed CHF 60 without postage. As mentioned by others, next time simply ask at the post office

st2lemans 13.05.2016 10:45

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieCM (Post 2587769)
Tom, you're right again. But the value of 60CHF (so even 0.22 under what I actually paid) was listed on the document stating the charges. So I "assume" that's what they assessed the value as? Or could this potentially be stated elsewhere? It's a bit of a pain i didn't take a photo of the document so I could upload a copy. Thanks for all your help but I suppose I'll just have to see what the reply from Swiss Post is. I'll keep you all updated.

That sounds weird. Pity you didn't take a photo. Perhaps they calculated an addition shipping charge to add the the CHF value of the goods, I've heard of that happening.

Tom

adrianlondon 13.05.2016 10:53

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
If the cost of the items was close to 60Fr, and it wasn't made very clear that postage was included (or was free) then they will add on a notional postage amount (which will take it over 62Fr) and bill you appropriately.

If there's an invoice inside that clearly shows free or included postage (English is fine) you can go back to the post office and show them the invoice. Once convinced it's all OK you won't have to pay the VAT. However, if you refused the item it's probably on its way back to where it came from now, so it's too late.

KatieCM 13.05.2016 11:05

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Thank you Adrian, Tom and Roegner, that's probably what happened and I do have an invoice that clearly states the shipping fee. So hopefully I can get it sorted out. The post is keeping it at the post office for the time being. I appreciate everyone's help!

swissnyc 13.05.2016 12:47

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
I must say I have been lucky.

I was wrongfully charged by the Swiss customs a tax an an package, whose value had been incorrectly declared on the package. They had included the shipping cost in the value.
So the customs added it again and the whole amount went over the CHF 62 limit.

As I could prove everything, they return me the tax money.

I must say I was pretty amazed that this happened!!!!

Crispibus 13.05.2016 14:53

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
I'm in the same situation. For a pair of sandals, 52.49 chf + 8.49 chf shipping (60.89 chf in total), they want to charge me 39.95 chf!

I wil have to check the itemization or not of the shipping costs in the invoice, but still, this is crazy, almost 2/3 the price of the frigging sandals. I will go this afternoon to the post office.

The thing that amazes me the most is that if you order on iHerb for example, no matter the amount (i paid even almost 90 chf once), they never charge the tax.

I hope this is my lucky day.

Guest 13.05.2016 15:08

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
If customs opens your package, you're also screwed. I ordered something last week, it was chf 57 including shipping, but because customs had to inspect it, I also paid chf 13 for their amusement. Nothing post can do about that. I just paid.

Iherb does not incur a charge because those items are usually taxed at 2.5%

st2lemans 13.05.2016 15:22

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

If customs opens your package, you're also screwed.
Not if the value is below CHF 62.

I've had them checked, if no VAT is due, there is no inspection charge to pay.

Tom

KatieCM 13.05.2016 15:45

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Update on my situation: I've sent my invoice to them to show everything itemized but they want to go back and check all of the original shipping documents. If the shipping isn't listed on these documents, I have to pay. This seems a bit unfair. I have no control over how the documents are filled out, as I'm not the one shipping the parcel. Fingers crossed it's listed in the docs and it was all just a big misunderstanding.

KatieCM 13.05.2016 15:46

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 2587939)
Not if the value is below CHF 62.

I've had them checked, if no VAT is due, there is no inspection charge to pay.

Tom

This is good to know! It seems a bit rough to pay the fee when everything is in order!

KatieCM 13.05.2016 15:50

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crispibus (Post 2587923)
I'm in the same situation. For a pair of sandals, 52.49 chf + 8.49 chf shipping (60.89 chf in total), they want to charge me 39.95 chf!

I wil have to check the itemization or not of the shipping costs in the invoice, but still, this is crazy, almost 2/3 the price of the frigging sandals. I will go this afternoon to the post office.

The thing that amazes me the most is that if you order on iHerb for example, no matter the amount (i paid even almost 90 chf once), they never charge the tax.

I hope this is my lucky day.

Good luck to you! Let's hope it's a lucky day for both of us. CHF39.95 seems a bit steep, was it sent through Swiss Post?

peternieder 13.05.2016 16:14

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Any values under CHF62 gets rounded up to the nearest CHF5 in Switzerland (i.e., CHF65).

pilatus1 13.05.2016 16:28

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peternieder (Post 2587974)
Any values under CHF62 gets rounded up to the nearest CHF5 in Switzerland (i.e., CHF65).

Then why not just make the limit CHF 65.-?:confused:

herc82 13.05.2016 16:42

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peternieder (Post 2587974)
Any values under CHF62 gets rounded up to the nearest CHF5 in Switzerland (i.e., CHF65).

You wouldn't have a link to that particular information, by any chance?

peternieder 13.05.2016 16:45

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by herc82 (Post 2587992)
You wouldn't have a link to that particular information, by any chance?

I just made it up, based on the OPs information.

swissnyc 14.05.2016 14:33

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crispibus (Post 2587923)
The thing that amazes me the most is that if you order on iHerb for example, no matter the amount (i paid even almost 90 chf once), they never charge the tax.

I hope this is my lucky day.

The limit is different for nutritional supplements. It is around CHF 200.-

That is why you don't pay taxes with iherb.

Belgianmum 14.05.2016 16:25

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 2587939)
Not if the value is below CHF 62.

I've had them checked, if no VAT is due, there is no inspection charge to pay.

Tom

You got lucky. They can charge 13chf if they decide to randomly inspect a package even if the value is below the VAT limit. You pay for the privilege of having been chosen for inspection.

st2lemans 14.05.2016 18:17

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pilatus1 (Post 2587979)
Then why not just make the limit CHF 65.-?:confused:

Because the limit isn't CHF 62, it's a minimum VAT of CHF 5. ;)

Thus CHF 62 for 8% VAT stuff, CHF 200 for 2.5% VAT stuff, and somewhere in-between for a mix.

Tom

pilatus1 14.05.2016 18:28

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 2588352)
Because the limit isn't CHF 62, it's a minimum VAT of CHF 5. ;)

Thus CHF 62 for 8% VAT stuff, CHF 200 for 2.5% VAT stuff, and somewhere in-between for a mix.

Tom

ok, I get it. It's just that the post about rounding up to the nearest 5 frank amount is pure BS.

axman 23.05.2016 21:35

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
KatieCM,

Did you get it sorted out?

I have a similar situation: In the itemised billing, it says Goods Subtotal GBP39, and Shipping Cost: zero.

I was still charged Fr.24 by the post office because they say the postage is GBP9. I have no idea where they get this GBP9 from. Had they assumed GBP8, I would have been below the threshold.

jivegirl 23.05.2016 21:48

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
The exact same thing has happened to me a number of times... where they've included the shipping in the value and I just paid the bill to get my item. :mad:

eireann 23.05.2016 21:59

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
I guess in CH where nothing is free and posting a parcel costs a small fortune, "free shipping" must seem peculiar to them :msnsarcastic:

Phil_MCR 23.05.2016 22:07

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
I've been pretty lucky with customs. I got one parcel and was expecting a huge fee for it, but it went through without charge. Not sure if they couldn't be bothered converting the currency since it was in JPY on the package.

Sbrinz 23.05.2016 22:11

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
For me, in the future, if the Post demands money, they can send it straight back at their cost, and I will buy it elsewhere.

adrianlondon 23.05.2016 23:09

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eireann (Post 2592997)
I guess in CH where nothing is free and posting a parcel costs a small fortune, "free shipping" must seem peculiar to them :msnsarcastic:

Not the case. I've bought bike parts from the UK costing the equivalent of 60fr with free postage. When the parcel arrived it had been opened and resealed (with tape saying customs inspected).

The "value" on the outside of the package stated £42 and inside, on the invoice they had opened, it stated "Goods: £42, Delivery: Free" and the parcel arrived with no charges.

JamesTr 23.05.2016 23:31

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eireann (Post 2592997)
I guess in CH where nothing is free and posting a parcel costs a small fortune, "free shipping" must seem peculiar to them :msnsarcastic:

Nothing like shipping is free anywhere. Just because you cannot see it on your bill means not it's free. Also receiving things from abroad, custom fees and VAT is not included in "free shipping" in the US or UK.

peternieder 23.05.2016 23:45

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JamesTr (Post 2593054)
Nothing like shipping is free anywhere. Just because you cannot see it on your bill means not it's free. Also receiving things from abroad, custom fees and VAT is not included in "free shipping" in the US or UK.

Regarding the UK (or anywhere in the EU), you don't get any VAT or customs fees anywhere. I think it is a particularly primitive aspect to living in CH and you only miss it if you are used to living in the EU from before living in CH, and ordering from any EU country for delivery to another EU country - VAT, customs and most of the time delivery charges are simply not a feature.

If you then move to CH from an EU country (for now that includes the UK!), it feels like an online shopping prison or some sort of pre-1980s blackhole of ordering. Suddenly many companies from DE who ship so easily to UK, NL, wherever in the EU and they might not sell at all to CH, etc.,. Just a fact of life....

The US is different of course..

baboon 24.05.2016 08:06

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peternieder (Post 2593057)
Regarding the UK (or anywhere in the EU), you don't get any VAT or customs fees anywhere......

The US is different of course..

Oh you get VAT. Charged (iirc) by the country of shipment at whatever rate applies for that country; typically around 18-20% for most countries and goods. You might not percieve it as it will be included in the price you pay. But it's there. Although no customs fees.


Try to order in the US from the EU and you will be in a Switzerland position. Although I guess the fees might be lower and I've no idea what the limits might be.

daffy99 24.05.2016 08:28

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by peternieder (Post 2593057)
If you then move to CH from an EU country (for now that includes the UK!), it feels like an online shopping prison or some sort of pre-1980s blackhole of ordering. Suddenly many companies from DE who ship so easily to UK, NL, wherever in the EU and they might not sell at all to CH, etc.,. Just a fact of life....

Back when the European (Economic) Community was established, one of the critical goals was to enable the free movement of goods and services. And thus was born the Single Market.

Switzerland elected to not join the EEC, so the old cross-border ways still apply. Much the same as with, say, goods being shipped between Asia or the USA and any member of the European Union.

To that extent your posting boils down to a single request: Switzerland should join the EU.

daffy99 24.05.2016 08:37

Re: Swiss Post just tried to charge me 25 CHF in customs for something worth 60CHF
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by baboon (Post 2593097)
Oh you get VAT. Charged (iirc) by the country of shipment at whatever rate applies for that country

VAT and EU is complex relationship.

At the moment, when one partner to a trade does not have a VAT number, VAT is charged at the rate of the destination country. It used to be the other way round (VAT charged based on originator country). The EU is a customs union, so nothing exciting here.

VAT, customs and Switzerland is simple - Switzerland is a non-member country, so every export into Switzerland up to the border is, in principle, without any VAT and customs charges. At the border "someone" will have to do these declarations, and just behind that border fence normal delivery ensues. For smooth cross-border trade for consumers VAT and customs declaration services are a massive simplification as they put the effort into the hands of those who are best qualified and make the whole routine very predictable for pricing (e.g. delivery of furniture across the border, to not use online sales as an example, for once)


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