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Old 04.03.2009, 10:56
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Tax on things posted

Ok, so maybe I am being extra dim...I KNOW that if I order books from Amazon.co.uk that I need to keep it under £25 inorder not to be taxed - but what about other stuff and is there a site somewhere that can help me calculate what I will be charged?
Thanks
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Old 04.03.2009, 11:24
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Re: Tax on things posted

Two things:

1. I always order from amazon.de - postage is normally free and I have never yet had a VAT (MwST) charge applied. I stopped ordering from the co.uk Amazon several years back after paying lots of postage and also VAT. The amazon.de has a separate English book section

2. The charges are generally now applied by the Swiss Post after some changes last year (rather than the customs group) more details here:

http://www.post.ch/en/index/uk-gesch...wst-import.htm

and, this might help:

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Old 04.03.2009, 21:24
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Re: Tax on things posted

We ordered from both co.uk (things not available on .de) and .de recently. The .de package cost us 9.25 in tax, no shipping. The co.uk. cost us shipping, 18.00 in tax PLUS 11.00 for the Post to assess the charge.

It's even worse if co.uk decides to break up a shipment. The shipping isn't extra, but the 11.00 is charged for each shipment.

I definitely recommend using .de vs. .co.uk. If you have problems with the German site, find your item on the English one, then search on the German site with the ISBN number.
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Old 04.03.2009, 21:27
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Re: Tax on things posted

For a minute there I thought this was a fund raising effort for EF!
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Old 04.03.2009, 22:50
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Re: Tax on things posted

In my experience, books are not charged Mwst (up to a certain amount) while DVDs and CDs are. You may wish to keep your book purchases in separate orders from other items.
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Old 04.03.2009, 22:54
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Re: Tax on things posted

I've usually bought via .de. But with the current exchange rate .co.uk has come out better.

I've never been charged for single purchases that are under CHF 50.

Why not have them sent to a UK address and then have them shipped on as gift. Or, better, send them to German/Swiss/Italian/Austrian resident friend and take advantage of the €200 limit?
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Old 04.03.2009, 23:50
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Re: Tax on things posted

My understanding is that the trigger point is whether the TVA due is more than 5 CHFs. With books, the trigger purchase price is around 200 CHFs, as the tax is only 2.something, whereas for other goods, the trigger is about 65 CHFs due to the higher rate of 7.6%.

If you hit the trigger point, it gets expensive as it's not only tax but also handling charges - it usually pans out at 30 CHFs minimum every time I've got snared (mostly due to helpful relatives sending parcels for the kids, grrrr).

If you order books from the UK, use www.bookdepository.co.uk - there's free worldwide shipping and each book is sent separately in its own Jiffy Bag with its own paperwork attached. I've NEVER got a Book Depository order snagged due to this, even when I've ordered a dozen books at once. And I also get lots of post, which makes me happy .

kodokan
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Old 05.03.2009, 00:06
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Re: Tax on things posted

Today. Post Office. 3 DVDs.

8CHF MwsT.
18 CHF handling fees.

It's ferkin crazy .
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Old 07.03.2009, 12:25
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Re: Tax on things posted

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Today. Post Office. 3 DVDs.

8CHF MwsT.
18 CHF handling fees.

It's ferkin crazy .
Last week the customs office and "La Poste" sent me one too for 30chf. They opened the package (a set of David Attenborough DVD's bought secondhand on ebay from the UK), and since they didn't know the price (NEW, even though I bought it second hand...), they even went through the trouble to look on the internet for a price (Copy of website selling the set put in package as 'proof')....
If there is any possibility to make some money on you, they will.
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Old 07.03.2009, 17:32
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Re: Tax on things posted

The trouble I always have is we are often sent parcels from Hong Kong but the Swiss post always read the value as US Dollars not Hong Kong Dollars!!
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Old 07.03.2009, 18:48
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Re: Tax on things posted

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Last week the customs office and "La Poste" sent me one too for 30chf. They opened the package (a set of David Attenborough DVD's bought secondhand on ebay from the UK), and since they didn't know the price (NEW, even though I bought it second hand...), they even went through the trouble to look on the internet for a price (Copy of website selling the set put in package as 'proof')....
If there is any possibility to make some money on you, they will.
A couple of times in the last sellers have sent me packages without invoices or evidence of value. Swiss Customs sent me a note asking for proof of value, eg. ebay page for the item bought, or emails exchanged between buyer and seller.

And there's an additional charge if they have to request this information from you. So I always ask sellers to include an invoice or customs declaration.
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Old 07.03.2009, 19:00
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Re: Tax on things posted

Just to let you know - it's the same for EU customers ordering from Switzerland. When Swiss companies export to EU countries, tax/duties can be charged on the border by the EU countries. And sometimes, the customer even has to drive to their local customs office to pick up their package. At least Swiss Post delivers it to your door!
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Old 08.03.2009, 12:00
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Re: Tax on things posted

And they should, considering their "handling charge" of 18 or so francs! ;-)
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Old 08.03.2009, 13:33
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Re: Tax on things posted

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And they should, considering their "handling charge" of 18 or so francs! ;-)
You don't think the Germans/French/Italians etc charge that too ?
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Old 14.03.2009, 20:13
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Re: Tax on things posted

Does anyone know what the tax is like for yarn/fibres (wool or wool blends)? I plan to bring in about 1 to 3 kg of yarn from either Canada, US or Hong Kong and would like to know what to expect in terms of VAT, and duties. Or should I just email Swiss post to ask them about this and/or bring in like over 5 kg just to compensate for the tax (since I'll end up getting charged anyway)?
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Old 14.03.2009, 20:38
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Re: Tax on things posted

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Does anyone know what the tax is like for yarn/fibres (wool or wool blends)? I plan to bring in about 1 to 3 kg of yarn from either Canada, US or Hong Kong and would like to know what to expect in terms of VAT, and duties. Or should I just email Swiss post to ask them about this and/or bring in like over 5 kg just to compensate for the tax (since I'll end up getting charged anyway)?
The import duty for 5kg is not likely to make much of a difference. You can find out the % /100kg on the Tares website.
The same goes for VAT, 7.6%.

What does make a difference is the handling charge which varies upon the carrier and the border at which the shipment crosses into Switzerland (e.g. airport Zurich, Geneva). This you cannot influence as it's in the hands of the sender and the sender's choice of forwarder. But you can try to find out if by contacting Swiss Post directly. With Swiss Post you could be looking at just CHF 18.00 (the cheapest I have ever come across) or CHF 35.00 if it goes via an airport, or more if another carrier is used. Plus import duty, plus VAT.
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Old 14.03.2009, 20:43
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Re: Tax on things posted

Cool!!!! Many thanks for the advice!
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Old 11.05.2009, 23:22
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Re: Tax on things posted

Hi
Just imported a musical instrument from France, through Chronopost. The item is being held at customs (Hesingue-FR) for more than one week now, according to Chronopost French customs clearence was ok, but Swiss customs is retaining the item for unknown reasons (they are trying to find that out). I haven't received any note from Swiss post to pay the taxes for the clearence, which is probably the reason why the package is still there, does it take so long?? Anyone with a similar experience? Thanks!
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Old 12.05.2009, 00:17
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Re: Tax on things posted

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I haven't received any note from Swiss post to pay the taxes for the clearence, which is probably the reason why the package is still there, does it take so long?? Anyone with a similar experience?
no specific experience re musical instruments, but i would expect at least a week to ten days delay, while they figure out the details.
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Old 17.06.2009, 11:31
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Re: Tax on things posted

hi all,
unknown to the fact of tax being put on parcels, I have asked a friend to post some over the counter available emollients (for eczema) for my daughter (parcel was sent from UK). Will I be asked to pay tax on this!!
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