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Old 15.03.2019, 22:33
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Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

hello

i've seen some related threads searching in the forum archives but they're a little bit all over the place and i'm not sure how up to date they are .

i'm contemplating buying a bunch of items from a german online retailer. their prices are often much better than the equivalent swiss ones if i shop online in switzerland. the german retailer clearly states how much the shipping is to ch so it's still a good bargain.

the german retailer also says

- " All duties and VAT must be paid by the customer upon arrival in this country"
- "duty: Non-EU country. Goods are liable to customs duty."

so ..

- is the swiss import vat fixed and if so what is the *current* rate?
- if i know how much my total product costs are, can i just multiply it by the fixed rate above and be done with the calculation to determine whether it's worth it to order from germany or not or is there some other nonsense that might need to be accounted for?
- since my shipment is going to arrive at my mail box or the postoffice, where and how does the vat get deducted / how do i pay it since the retailer isn't deducting it?

third: it looks like the prices even with some kind of swiss vat is still going to be better than buying locally but i've also heard that i might still be able to get the vat back somehow here in ch. is that true and if so how and where do i do that on an online purchase since i'm not dragging it across the border through customs?

pasting relevant links is cool if it's easier

thanks

Last edited by countchochula; 15.03.2019 at 23:52.
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Old 15.03.2019, 23:12
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Re: Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

Hello This depends upon how and from which website you buy it.

Case 1 - From Amazon using Amazon seller.
You pay Swiss VAT(only 8%) Nothing extra and you do not pay German VAT.

Case 2. From other website.
You pay Swiss custom+customs clearance charges( depends on courier company ). In some cases you also pay German VAT.

Here are the charges from Swiss post
https://www.post.ch/en/business/a-z-...-zoll-mwst-htm
Charges might defer from other courier company.

In this case, I will order over the border in Germany and bring it with me. Pay swiss custom it this is necessary. This will still be cheaper than paying custom clearance charges.

You can register and order here.
https://www.swiss-paket.de/
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Old 16.03.2019, 00:10
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Re: Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

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Hello This depends upon how and from which website you buy it.

Case 1 - From Amazon using Amazon seller.
You pay Swiss VAT(only 8%) Nothing extra and you do not pay German VAT.

Case 2. From other website.
You pay Swiss custom+customs clearance charges( depends on courier company ). In some cases you also pay German VAT.

Here are the charges from Swiss post
https://www.post.ch/en/business/a-z-...-zoll-mwst-htm
Charges might defer from other courier company.

In this case, I will order over the border in Germany and bring it with me. Pay swiss custom it this is necessary. This will still be cheaper than paying custom clearance charges.

You can register and order here.
https://www.swiss-paket.de/
hey thanks for the info.

i'm almost 100% certain the site i'm ordering from is NOT charging german VAT. so based on what you're saying, i simply add a flat 8% swiss vat on top of the cost of goods (plus any shipping) to get my cost for comparison to buying locally.

well except for swiss customs clearance *charges*. from the swiss post link you sent, it looks like on average i'll need to pay an avg 11.50 chf on a shipment. BUT the confusing part is it looks like there are a bunch of *potential* *additional* costs which all personally read like legalease nonsense to me. the customs costs will apparently cap out at a max of 70 chf but without being able to reliably calculate those costs, it becomes a crapshoot trying to estimate the fees.

does anybody have *personal* experience with

- how much a *normal* person pays *on avg* for a *normal* order from an online retailer in germany for the customs costs excluding vat?
- if the retailer winds up shipping multiple boxes for a *single* order, are the customs costs applied to each parcel or for the entire order?
- how does the post office determine the value of the parcels : do they open the packages to inspect and read the paper work or are they supplied with a receipt from the retailer via the shipper? (from my perspective it would be simplest if the post is supplied with paper work from the shipper / retailer which should be legit and prevent opening boxes and having post personnel "improvise" )

i realize other's experience may not mirror mine if i go this route so i'm not holding anybody responsible for my experience i'm just trying to gather some personal first experiences from others to try and get an idea of how all this works.

finally i'm not really sure how the swiss packet things works or saves me any hassle for my particular case since i'm NOT driving over the border?

thanks for taking the time to help!
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Old 16.03.2019, 00:31
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Re: Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

Swiss VAT changed to 7.7% almost 1,5yr ago.

What you get charged when ordering goods is: Handling costs by your Swiss courier & VAT and any special duties that may apply to your goods.

Also small amounts upto 65,- chf (or such, to lazy to look it up) are free of VAT, but can still have handling costs if there is no clear bill on the outside.

And lol, the math is pretty simple.
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Old 16.03.2019, 13:41
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Re: Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

ok i *think* i have some answers to my own questions regarding the customs clearance fees.

- regarding multi shipment boxes as one invoice vs multiple boxes, what i *think* i'm reading from swiss post website is that you always get hit with that per box clearance fee of 11.50 chf the minute your order is divided, even if it is all on one invoice.

which i *think* means

- it's better for the retailer to get everything in the one box and pay the 11.50 chf clearance + 3% fees from germany ONCE on a single box

- bc even though i would NOT pay 7.5% vat on a box less than value 65 chf, i would pay that 11.50 chf + 3% charge on *every* box if divided up (regardless if it has paperwork on the outside or not and is part of a single invoice) which amounts to +20% charges on each box.

- since these are basic retail musical items, it appears none of the other clearance charges will apply IF the retailer puts the invoice / value declaration on the outside of the box so that nobody has to charge extra to open the box and inspect to calculate values.

does that all sound right?

the only online order outside of switzerland i've ever placed was with amazon.fr. looking back on it, per aviralsharma in the first reply above, they did not charge any clearance fees for whatever reason and i don't think vat either since for books it was under 200 chf in total value limit.

after reading through the swiss post faqs online, i think i now understand the details of what aviralsharma posted above. it just took awhile for my brain to process this as i'm not used to working with customs. thanks for the info aviral!
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Old 16.03.2019, 13:47
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Re: Online purchase from germany and swiss vat

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Swiss VAT changed to 7.7% almost 1,5yr ago.

What you get charged when ordering goods is: Handling costs by your Swiss courier & VAT and any special duties that may apply to your goods.

Also small amounts upto 65,- chf (or such, to lazy to look it up) are free of VAT, but can still have handling costs if there is no clear bill on the outside.

And lol, the math is pretty simple.

thanks for the info!

the math is indeed easy especially for the VAT. i wasn't too lazy to look it up. i was more or less unsure / confused about customs clearance fees and how they actually work especially with regards to invoices that are broken up into packages since i'm not a clearance expert and found the verbage on the site to be a little less than exact. for my personal liking anyway.
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