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Old 07.11.2019, 18:04
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Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

So today I was talking to my mother on the phone and she said she'd sent me a gift from the UK. I had mentioned to her in the past that it's often not worth the trouble but anyway it's done now.

So I asked whether she'd declared the cost of the item or anything like that and she said she hadn't. She didn't want me to know the cost


Anyway so after talking to some other family members I've deduced that it's some sort of perfume with a price of approx £70-£90. But inside the shipping box it's all nicely wrapped in wrapping paper with a birthday card etc.

What's the most likely outcome in terms of customs and other costs I'll incur?
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Old 07.11.2019, 19:12
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

About 16,- for handling and inspection depending on who handles it, and if they deem it above the threshold you'll also pay VAT.

Treshold and VAT is based on product including shipping costs.

Let's say they deem the product 100 chef,- and 15,- for shipping costs. (I have no clue about English shipping costs tbh)

That's 115,- value.

16,- for handling, and Vat of 7.7% over 131,- is 10.09,-

So roughly you'd pay let's say something in between 25,- and 30,-

Still a cheap perfume
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Old 07.11.2019, 19:48
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

We have just paid 42.- in tax on a 99.- order.
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Old 07.11.2019, 20:08
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

For actual gifts the threshold is CHF 100, shipping cost is excluded.
An item value up to around £ 77 would thus be o.k.

Tell your mother she better fills in government forms correctly and accurate, specially does relevant for tax such as the CN22

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We have just paid 42.- in tax on a 99.- order.
You paid only CHF 7.70 of actual import tax to the government.
All the rest is handling fees pocketed by the courier. And you got extra stiffed because the seller did not fill in the tax relevant CN22 correctly and accurate.
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Old 08.11.2019, 14:26
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

Quite surprisingly, the package actually arrived yesterday (only sent on Saturday I think).

The package seemed to be unopened. But on it there was a green sticker with the following:

Swiss Post - Customs
-BARCODE-
Abgabefrei/Exempt de redevances

So this leaves me wondering whether I escaped without a charge or is that forthcoming?
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Old 08.11.2019, 14:28
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

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Quite surprisingly, the package actually arrived yesterday (only sent on Saturday I think).

The package seemed to be unopened. But on it there was a green sticker with the following:

Swiss Post - Customs
-BARCODE-
Abgabefrei/Exempt de redevances

So this leaves me wondering whether I escaped without a charge or is that forthcoming?

Nothing forthcoming, it says Abgabefrei so nothing more to pay
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Old 08.11.2019, 14:31
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

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Nothing forthcoming, it says Abgabefrei so nothing more to pay
That's what I thought, but I'm usually not that lucky.

I'd say the perfume is more like £100 and the swiss price is 200Chf so they could've really bent me over.
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Old 08.11.2019, 15:18
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

You got away with it!!
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Old 08.11.2019, 19:24
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

If you do get charged, it's 16CHF admin, + 3% of the total value, including P&P, + MWST.

If they have to do any extra work - like ask you to prove the value - then the admin charge can go up.
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Old 08.11.2019, 23:35
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

I had once to pay 79 CHF of import duties for a package whose content was estimated around 150 CHF. I paid cash to the delivery man.

The actual content? Some good but used clothes (2 or 3 trousers, 5 shirts) sent by my mother. Problem was, she had carefully washed, ironed and even plastic-wrapped everything...
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Old 09.11.2019, 23:37
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

Hi SwissInUS
Nice work if you can get it! I have also been ripped off by these courier charges.What do they actually do for that money? Is there any was to avoid them, or at least pay less?
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Old 09.11.2019, 23:54
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

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What do they actually do for that money?
Document your incoming parcel according to some set of international goods transfer laws.
Put your parcel in a van.
Drive it over to your place.
A chunk more documentation.
Deliver the parcel.
More documentation about whether or not you were home.
Update their tracking system.
Store the parcel if it couldn't be delivered.
Maintain an infrastructure to store incoming and outgoing and to deal with "difficult" parcels (leaks, breakages, possible illegal or dangerous contents).
Pay for all the overhead costs of same.
Maintain and service their vehicle fleet.
Pay their staff.
Make a profit.

Whether or not we feel that all of these are actually useful to us or not is, of course, another matter.
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Old 10.11.2019, 16:16
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Re: Birthday present on it's way - but at what cost?!

This is standard stuff for couriers everywhere. The question was more about the extra cost of importing to Switzerland, and so what extra they do regarding customs procedures.



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Document your incoming parcel according to some set of international goods transfer laws.
Put your parcel in a van.
Drive it over to your place.
A chunk more documentation.
Deliver the parcel.
More documentation about whether or not you were home.
Update their tracking system.
Store the parcel if it couldn't be delivered.
Maintain an infrastructure to store incoming and outgoing and to deal with "difficult" parcels (leaks, breakages, possible illegal or dangerous contents).
Pay for all the overhead costs of same.
Maintain and service their vehicle fleet.
Pay their staff.
Make a profit.

Whether or not we feel that all of these are actually useful to us or not is, of course, another matter.
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