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Old 31.12.2008, 12:38
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Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Hi All

I'm moving my family to Basel next week from Germany, and I need to arrange an overnight stop for us between moving out of our current house and moving in to our new apartment as our stuff will be 24 hours in transit

I've already booked a hotel room in Basel (company paid), but I've suddenly realised that this might not be suitable if we have to present ourselves at the border for checking on entry. I know the removal company will take the customs forms with them for clearing our possessions, but I'm also aware that we have to present passports, contracts, rental agreements etc at the border to begin the permit registration process.

I'm driving from Bayern to Basel so there are various alternative crossing points, However, I'm not expecting that we will not leave Bayern until late afternoon, which could mean we don't arrive in Basel until the late evening

Questions -

Are there only certain times that the border crossing offices will process these ?
Do I have to cross into Switzerland at the same point as my possessions ?
Can I come into Switzerland as a normal visitor on the first evening and then return to the border in office hours the following morning to do the paperwork ?
Are the any border crossings that should be avoided ?

I'd ring up the removal company to check, but they're closed for the holidays until next week (whose bright idea was it to move over Xmas !!)

Thanks
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Old 31.12.2008, 13:19
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

intersting ...
i thought that all that paperwork was done at your local community office where you are moving to , i guess you allready have permit to live here right ?
I would say just cross the border as normal , with the schengen system now in place there should be no personal control anymore .
simon
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Old 31.12.2008, 15:48
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

It's not actualy a guess , i cross the borders every week , yesterday i had to take equipment to austria , means processing ATA customs papers , so i know how that works...

but this is a question about themselves right and not the belongings , as he said the moving company is taking care of that.

so all they need to do is cross as normal and then on the following day go register with the local gemeinde .
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Old 31.12.2008, 16:28
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

We brought our belongings in by air freight in July....It's now December and the freight company are *still* stuffing around with 'customs wants this and that paperwork etc'. Also they charged us extra 250chf to do 'advance clearance' because our goods were cleared 'temporarily' in advance of the documents...

5 months later, they have just asked me to provide copies of my husband and children's birth certificates...on top of everything else...so yes, seems there is a 'method' for clearing your goods to avoid them sitting in customs for weeks waiting for the documents...but what a hassle!
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Old 31.12.2008, 17:00
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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We brought our belongings in by air freight in July....It's now December and the freight company are *still* stuffing around with 'customs wants this and that paperwork etc'. Also they charged us extra 250chf to do 'advance clearance' because our goods were cleared 'temporarily' in advance of the documents...

5 months later, they have just asked me to provide copies of my husband and children's birth certificates...on top of everything else...so yes, seems there is a 'method' for clearing your goods to avoid them sitting in customs for weeks waiting for the documents...but what a hassle!
Without knowing all the details that sounds seriously like your freight company screwed up big time. Bringing personal effects into Switzerland when relocating here has got to be one of the simplest things to do. Yes, they need some docs ahead of time, but once those are in place there really shouldn't be any more issues. And I have done this three times....
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Old 31.12.2008, 17:02
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Yes, our customs/freight company screwed up...and yes, I've given them a *really Hard* time about it...
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Old 31.12.2008, 17:05
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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Yes, our customs/freight company screwed up...and yes, I've given them a *really Hard* time about it...
In which case you have my hearfelt sympathy.... (also been there, seen it, done it)
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Old 31.12.2008, 17:34
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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It's not actualy a guess , i cross the borders every week , yesterday i had to take equipment to austria , means processing ATA customs papers , so i know how that works...

but this is a question about themselves right and not the belongings , as he said the moving company is taking care of that.

so all they need to do is cross as normal and then on the following day go register with the local gemeinde .
I think the change to the Schengen system is confusing everyone at the moment. My HR people were initially arranging a permit confirmation in advance, but were then told by the immigration authorities this was no longer needed, but I still had to present myself to the local gemeinden office with job contract, photos, passports etc for registration. When the removal company visited to quote in November, they said that I had to also stop at the border (as well as doing the customs declaration for them to present), but this might be the pre Schengen situation and could be no longer required (but I'm not sure if I want to risk it). HR admitted I'm the first person they've had to process post Schengen so I'm a bit of a guineapig. So if anyone else out there has gone through this since Schengen was introduced perhaps they can clarify.
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Old 31.12.2008, 20:15
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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Are there only certain times that the border crossing offices will process these ?
"admin" opening times are 7am until 5.30pm at most crossings - that's what the Basel.ch says. The motorway one (main) is probably open longer.
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Do I have to cross into Switzerland at the same point as my possessions ??
no, they can be sent any time before or after you. and it shouldn't cost you a thing by the way if they are your personal and used household goods.
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Can I come into Switzerland as a normal visitor on the first evening and then return to the border in office hours the following morning to do the paperwork ??
have you got a visa that needs stamping? I wouldn't think you need any paperwork done by them at all. simply arrive, and once you arrive at your new place, go to see the "Einwohnergemeinde". But I'm not entirely sure on that so maybe double check.
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Are the any border crossings that should be avoided ?
I'd go for the obvious one on the motorway - it's likely to be open the longest and usually staffed if you need to speak to someone.
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Old 17.05.2010, 12:34
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

I'll be entering Basel & Switzerland with a rented small van containing my possessions at the main motorway point en route to Zuerich on a Friday. Target time is to cross approx 19:00.

Will this be a problem if it is closed? It would be possible but inconvenient to cross on the Saturday.
My German isn't up to much. Does this mean the Autobahn customs checking is closed at Friday 17:30?

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/dienstleistu...tail.php?id=88


Also .... ..... how detailed does the inventory need to be ? Should I list how many socks and spoons are in the vehicle or just write 'personal cutlery' / 'personal socks' ?
Would you list each and every DVD individually? What about the 'unofficial' ones ? I see on the advice page it says to list boxes of books/CDs/DVDs. Boxes of books ? I'm thinking this means something like a packing case full of books or CDs or DVDS ........ rather than individual DVD cases.

Do I need to have an entry stamp put in my EU passport ?
http://zurich.angloinfo.com/countrie.../residency.asp

Last edited by Captcha; 17.05.2010 at 14:43. Reason: added link
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Old 17.05.2010, 16:03
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Hi Folks,
it's all kinda lies.... you do not need any permission or manifest to bring personal goods when moving here or entering switzerland.
Freight companies have to do this because they are a comercial concern.
You also do not have to "present" yourself to the border patrols.
You only have to go to the local concill office where you will become resident.
No entry stamp required any more... swiss law only requires you register for tax actually...
Have fun ...
Simon
been here years , helped loads of people move and get on here ....
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Old 17.05.2010, 16:08
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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Hi Folks,
it's all kinda lies.... you do not need any permission or manifest to bring personal goods when moving here or entering switzerland.
Freight companies have to do this because they are a comercial concern.
You also do not have to "present" yourself to the border patrols.
You only have to go to the local concill office where you will become resident.
No entry stamp required any more... swiss law only requires you register for tax actually...
Have fun ...
Simon
been here years , helped loads of people move and get on here ....
Sorry, this is rubbish. First of all, it's not a permission but a document allowing you to import your personal effects (owned for 6 months or longer) Duty and VAT free. If you move goods and customs is not in a giving mood, they simply type up your invoice for all the "new stuff" you're importing in the country. But hey, if you got the dosh, why not.

For everybody that wants to avoid the hassle, it is very easy to fill in that one document, or two if you have a car.
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Old 25.05.2010, 09:12
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Hi thank you for this information!! Good to know and help my friends!

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Hi Folks,
it's all kinda lies.... you do not need any permission or manifest to bring personal goods when moving here or entering switzerland.
Freight companies have to do this because they are a comercial concern.
You also do not have to "present" yourself to the border patrols.
You only have to go to the local concill office where you will become resident.
No entry stamp required any more... swiss law only requires you register for tax actually...
Have fun ...
Simon
been here years , helped loads of people move and get on here ....
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  #14  
Old 25.05.2010, 12:21
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

I'll be entering via Basel on Saturday.
Is this inventory appropriate ?

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...en&output=html
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Old 25.05.2010, 19:06
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Bump.

Is this format 'good enough'?

Thank you.
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Old 25.05.2010, 22:06
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

When we moved over (from the UK), each box had to be numbered, then matched to the statement of goods, ie, on the box would be 'Box 27 - kitchen items' and then the paperwork would give a little more detail, such as 'Box 27: kettle, toaster and saucepans'.

The idea is to tie up the boxes with the paperwork, so they can look down your list and say 'show me the digital camera'. In reality, this almost never actually happens and it's a rubber-stamping exercise.

Check the limits on the alcohol, and whether 'some more alcohol in the future' is an altogether wise thing to put - not sure if the usual import limits apply for relocation, but if they do then you look waaaay over. Wine is super cheap here, so don't go looking for trouble!

Otherwise, the amount of detail on your list looks just fine. Good luck for the move.
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Old 25.05.2010, 23:57
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Thanks.

I'm speculating that you had a removals company involved ?

Mine is definitely not a professional move. Got a whole load of supermarket carrier bags and filled them. Plan to throw the lot into the back of a rented car and self-drive. There won't be a professional Dewy system taxonomy on this drive !

I'll add some more details but it seems I don't need to record the values ?

It is all used stuff now and the value isn't much/tricky to estimate.
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Old 26.05.2010, 00:25
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Yep, big lorry and lots of paperwork completed on our behalf .

The trick seemed to be to make sure that there was a reasonable list, and that you could lay your hands on something promptly if the customs guys wanted to open up a bag or box for a spot check.

There was definitely a very official-looking form which had to be completed for customs - it had the same info as your spreadsheet, but have a quick Google to see if you need to copy it onto some form with a specific reference number - you know what sticklers the Swiss are for their paperwork.
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Old 20.02.2011, 01:15
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

Sorry to drag up this old thread but it seems to be relevant for the moving process. (In fact I can't believe there isn't a separate forum section for the "moving to Switzerland" topics - it's hardly what you'd call "daily life" now is it?)

Anyway. We've got a German moving company, and they're advising us which forms to fill in etc. We've got the 18.44 which seems easy enough but the inventory they need seems so way over the top. I mean, the number of boxes of books is odd enough but then comes the electronic stuff. The company insists we need to list every electrical thingy we've got, even toothbrushes and egg-cookers (if we had them). So I look on the admin.ch site just to check, and it even says there quite clearly:
Electrical household appliances ...and consumer electronics - Type, quantity and make

So not only list every radio and mobile phone but also the brand? I can't believe it! Are they also going to keep a copy of this list and enter it faithfully into a database of which foreign residents own which brand of camera and toaster?

I mean, things like laptops, mobile phones, cameras, anyone can bring them over the border any time they like without giving the border patrol an itemized list of goods. It's your property, it's not new, you probably brought it with you out of the country and back again and it's no problem. So I don't get this odd insistence for an itemized list of electronic stuff only when you're moving in.

What would happen if we just kept the list vague, would we risk running into trouble?
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Old 20.02.2011, 07:26
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Re: Border Checks on entering Switzerland and Opening Times at Customs

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Sorry to drag up this old thread
...
What would happen if we just kept the list vague, would we risk running into trouble?
Long Answer:
Feck me, mate - if you're having problems with such a trivial level of one-off bureauracy before you get here, you're gonna be toast on this side of the border in daily life

Short Answer:
No trouble except for you. You'll just have to pay tax and/or duty on all your possessions.
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