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Old 12.06.2018, 11:44
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How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

I intend to buy a laptop next time I am in the UK (because I want a UK keyboard, I know it's more expensive). I will have limited time to catch the last train from Zurich airport, and worried about the time I need to declare and pay the taxes (I want to do it properly).

- Anyone have experience of going through Zurich airport customs declaration?
- Is it manned late at night? (they say yes on their website, but what if I can't find anyone, do I just walk through?)
- Has anyone used the online app (www.quickzoll.admin.ch) for this?

Thanks in advance.

p.s. Links I perused already (in case they help someone else):
Info re import taxes/duties to pay: https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html
Info re Zurich Airport customs procedures: https://www.zurich-airport.com/passe...ms-regulations.
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Old 12.06.2018, 11:49
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

5 minutes if anyone is there.

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I intend to buy a laptop next time I am in the UK (because I want a UK keyboard, I know it's more expensive). I will have limited time to catch the last train from Zurich airport, and worried about the time I need to declare and pay the taxes (I want to do it properly).

- Anyone have experience of going through Zurich airport customs declaration?
- Is it manned late at night? (they say yes on their website, but what if I can't find anyone, do I just walk through?)
- Has anyone used the online app (www.quickzoll.admin.ch) for this?

Thanks in advance.

p.s. Links I perused already (in case they help someone else):
Info re import taxes/duties to pay: https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html
Info re Zurich Airport customs procedures: https://www.zurich-airport.com/passe...ms-regulations.
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Old 12.06.2018, 12:11
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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5 minutes if anyone is there.
...not always the case (at least not immediately visible) late at night, though.
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Old 12.06.2018, 12:14
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

First step: Sort recipes. Those subject to 2.5% VAT and those to 7.7% VAT. Be aware that if you are liable to VAT you are liable to VAT for everything you will bring in. No exemptions. Declaring only a laptop might look suspicious.

Second step: Walk through the red gate. Wait.

The rest is simple.


Never used the App as I was not aware it actually existed. Cool thing. Why not use that?

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5 minutes if anyone is there.
My experience as well.
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Old 12.06.2018, 12:48
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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First step: Sort recipes. Those subject to 2.5% VAT and those to 7.7% VAT. Be aware that if you are liable to VAT you are liable to VAT for everything you will bring in. No exemptions. Declaring only a laptop might look suspicious.
Not sure why it would look suspicious. I will just have a small hand luggage for the weekend. But I take your point, I shouldn't forget if I bought anything else small over the weekend, and chuck it in my bag like I normally would. Thanks.
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Old 12.06.2018, 16:23
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

If you want a UK keyboard on a MacBook you can order this from the Apple store in CH directly - no need to go to UK.
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Old 12.06.2018, 16:50
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

Hi,

not sure why you would want a uk keyboard as I am sure your work laptop has a swiss german layout but also you can buy non mac laptops with uk Layouts online and save the cost of the flight.

Have fun
Martin
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Old 12.06.2018, 16:58
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

Or you can have mine. Switches itself from Swiss keyboard to English every couple of weeks whether I want it to or not.

Of course you do have to remember where the keys are....
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Old 12.06.2018, 17:20
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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First step: Sort recipes. Those subject to 2.5% VAT and those to 7.7% VAT. Be aware that if you are liable to VAT you are liable to VAT for everything you will bring in. No exemptions. Declaring only a laptop might look suspicious.

Second step: Walk through the red gate. Wait.

The rest is simple.


Never used the App as I was not aware it actually existed. Cool thing. Why not use that?



My experience as well.
I'm not sure why it will look suspicious...it's a laptop which is a perfectly normal 'expensive' single item to purchase abroad? Or have I perhaps missed the point!?

OP - I've done this recently flying back from the UK for my wife's iPhone...Swiss side = no issue, no wait...but Heathrow airport was a nightmare and all in all the effort was hardly worth the saving.
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Old 12.06.2018, 17:21
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

Don't forget to get a UK tax refund form and receipt from where you bought the computer, you'll get the UK tax back at the airport you leave. You need to have the computer with box and receipt.

https://www.heathrow.com/airport-gui...es/vat-refunds

Otherwise I would just ditch the packaging and walk through the green lane at customs here, its a personal laptop who's really going to check whether you just bought it.
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Old 12.06.2018, 17:31
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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I intend to buy a laptop next time I am in the UK (because I want a UK keyboard, I know it's more expensive). I will have limited time to catch the last train from Zurich airport, and worried about the time I need to declare and pay the taxes (I want to do it properly).

- Anyone have experience of going through Zurich airport customs declaration?
- Is it manned late at night? (they say yes on their website, but what if I can't find anyone, do I just walk through?)
- Has anyone used the online app (www.quickzoll.admin.ch) for this?

Thanks in advance.

p.s. Links I perused already (in case they help someone else):
Info re import taxes/duties to pay: https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html
Info re Zurich Airport customs procedures: https://www.zurich-airport.com/passe...ms-regulations.
Why would you declare a laptop? Throw all the packaging, put the manuals in those lateral pockets of your bag, and put it in the carry-on. If you are stopped at customs just say it's your 6-month old British personal laptop...
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Old 12.06.2018, 18:04
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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Why would you declare a laptop? Throw all the packaging, put the manuals in those lateral pockets of your bag, and put it in the carry-on. If you are stopped at customs just say it's your 6-month old British personal laptop...
If your a Swiss resident, you still need to declare a 6 month old item on first import assuming it's worth over 300chf ex vat.
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Old 12.06.2018, 18:29
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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Why would you declare a laptop?
Why declare anything, why not bring in "baby powder", "oregano", and this stuff billard balls were made of?
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Old 12.06.2018, 18:30
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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not sure why you would want a uk keyboard as I am sure your work laptop has a swiss german layout but also you can buy non mac laptops with uk Layouts online and save the cost of the flight.
Amazingly, I've always had UK keyboards on my work laptops, in both jobs here, and only occasionally used a German one. Never used a Swiss one though and find it confusing to switch between different keyboards in the same day. I integrate into Switzerland in other ways The trip is booked to see friends and family, not for shopping! Whether they are worth the cost of the flight, is another matter...

Also I do like the consumer protection law in the UK (Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Contract Terms Act, Distance Selling rules) rather than relying on manufacturer warranty. My experience so far in CH is that consumers have less rights, although it could just be that I am less able to quote legislation at people here.

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Why would you declare a laptop? Throw all the packaging, put the manuals in those lateral pockets of your bag, and put it in the carry-on. If you are stopped at customs just say it's your 6-month old British personal laptop...
Because I'm a law abiding taxpayer! And if it later breaks, I'll want the original packaging. But seriously, it's not that much hassle to comply with the law.

And fatmanfilms makes a good point that any laptop, old or new, that clearly is from the UK (UK keyboard!) should be declared. I've been here 3 years and the laptop model will no doubt be newer than that. In theory it should be more cost effective to reclaim 20% UK VAT and pay 7.7%, but often the airport queues to reclaim UK VAT are too long to bother.

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Or you can have mine. Switches itself from Swiss keyboard to English every couple of weeks whether I want it to or not.
Of course you do have to remember where the keys are....
I had this all week at work, since the latest Windows Update. Somewhere deep in settings is an option to set keys to toggle between language input (CTRL+something+something). Switch this OFF. Even if you never pressed the keys, it's magic... Mine was changing mid sentence every 10 minutes, was driving me mad. Hence I want a UK laptop with none of these teething problems (I don't have a corporate IT department on hand at home!)
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Old 12.06.2018, 18:59
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

I bought in a SKY decoder and two Freeview boxes, total about £600. I literally had nothing else to declare. No problem, they asked if I had anything else, then VAT quickly calculated on the net amount (ie. less the UK VAT which I claimed back) and paid by debit card. Took just under 10 minutes as I explained what the boxes were for. Very straightforward and despite having both a case and a carry on (in which the boxes were packed) they did not take my baggage apart.

It actually took longer at London City security as they pulled my case over and proceeded to dust every item for explosive residues!
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Old 12.06.2018, 19:05
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

Depends on how much class "A" drugs you got hidden in your suitcase
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Old 12.06.2018, 22:25
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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Hi,

not sure why you would want a uk keyboard as I am sure your work laptop has a swiss german layout but also you can buy non mac laptops with uk Layouts online and save the cost of the flight.

Have fun
Martin
Exactly. I was able to touch type on a UK keyboard before I came here. Within a few months I was able to touch type on Swiss keyboard. Now I can switch as easily between the two as I can switch from left to right hand drive in a car.

It isn't dfficult.
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Old 12.06.2018, 22:33
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

My weekly flight regularly comes in at 10, 10.30pm. There is always a customs man there.


BUT. Now I never have done what you are planning (importing something new) but when I first moved over I did bring lots of pre-owned stuff. Often in the original box (because I keep them).


In 3 years of weekly travel I have never been asked to show what I have in my roll on or suitcase.


They will probably be pleased to see you!



Regards




Ian
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Old 13.06.2018, 09:00
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

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Exactly. I was able to touch type on a UK keyboard before I came here. Within a few months I was able to touch type on Swiss keyboard. Now I can switch as easily between the two as I can switch from left to right hand drive in a car.

It isn't dfficult.
Thanks for sharing your achievements and making us all feel stupid, I love it when people do that.
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Old 13.06.2018, 10:11
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Re: How long does customs at Zurich Airport take

OP, its usually fast. Unless a flight from a "target country" has just come in, and the customs guys are busy pulling apart each of the 10 bags that those passengers travel with.


I've had to declare things multiple times, and given I'm always armed with receipts and other appropriate paperwork, they usually get my payment processed in under 10 minutes.


However, I also remember coming in on a Sunday night, having just been married abroad, and hadn't unpacked the suitcase of wedding presents I'd received on that trip. I marched up to the customs guys, told them I didn't know contents or values, but was pretty certain there would be booze in some of the boxes, and I'd be significantly over the alcohol limit. The chaps smiled, wished me luck and showed me the exit route.


Another time, I'd received a bunch of wrapped presents from family who gifted them to me at the departure airport. Again, I marched up to the Swiss customs guys, 'fessed up that I had no idea of content other than it was likely to be food and booze and over the CH limits ("but please when you unwrap it could you not tell me the contents as I'm not supposed to open them until my birthday next week"), and they once more kept me walking through.


Yet another time, I'd bought a piece of jewellery abroad that was definitely over the Swiss customs value limit. Straight into the red zone, offered it up, the chap yawned, closed his little paper pad, and wished me a good night.


Go figure....
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