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Old 06.08.2020, 18:51
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COVID Hour Strangeness - Import Duties from DE / FR ...

We have observed some strange behavior with regards to import stamps and duties charged since COVID started.

Before COVID>>>
  • Personal Import from DE: We could get any receipt stamped when crossing the border from DE regardless of value.
  • Personal Import from FR: We rarely go to France so have no personal experience but our friends told us that getting receipts stamped for items of any value pre-COVID was likewise not a problem.
  • Import via Carrier: Any packages delivered from DE or FR with value (including shipping) in excess of 62 CHF would trigger payment of duties and occasionally processing fees (especially in the case of DHL, FedEx, UPS).

After COVID>>>
  • Personal Import from DE: Border agents refused to stamp any individual receipt that was not more than 50 Euros (even if our total spend was 200+ Euros across multiple Amazon receipts).
  • Personal Import from FR: French border agents refused to stamp receipts if the value was less than 175 Euros.
  • Import via Carrier: Packages delivered from either DE or FR with values in excess of 62 CHF did not have the normal duties assessed and the typical processing fees often didn't materialize. We experienced this with many packages valued even 200-300 CHF. However we were assessed duties and processing fees for a package that was around 800 CHF.

Question: Whilst changing the limits certainly makes sense in order to limit COVID Hour cross-border travel... We have researched here on EnglishForum and on the English news sites ie Local etc but couldn't find anything related to the behavior we've experienced above. Does anyone know what's going on here?

Any clues or guidance greatly appreciated.
- John

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