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Old 07.05.2010, 18:11
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Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcase?

Hi!

I am moving to CH and am afraid that the Asian foods I like will not be readily available in CH so I am planning to pack my suitcases with food.

Will I be required to pay a sizeable customs duty on this stuff when I arrive?

Is there any way to estimate what kind of charge I will have to pay at the airport when I arrive?
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:18
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

Asian food is widely available in CH. For the rest: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:20
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

Yep, even regular supermarkets have them don;t worry too much really, part of the (at least first) enjoyable things you can do when you first arrive here is try the different foods and ingredients...after a while then going crazy is ok
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:39
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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I am moving to CH and am afraid that the Asian foods I like will not be readily available in CH
Tell us what you are afraid of not finding, and someone on the forum is sure to be able to put your mind at rest.
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:45
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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Hi!

I am moving to CH and am afraid that the Asian foods I like will not be readily available in CH so I am planning to pack my suitcases with food.

Will I be required to pay a sizeable customs duty on this stuff when I arrive?

Is there any way to estimate what kind of charge I will have to pay at the airport when I arrive?
Er...if you run into the misfortune of being stopped and checked, you might get taxed if its a huge amount, some might even get confiscated if its deemed too exotic. I know someone who got a whole load of bak kwa confiscated. Hardly exotic in my eyes but it was to the Swiss.

Not worth the hassle to get into trouble with the Swiss customs honestly. Not pretty either.

What kind of foods are you planning to bring?
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Old 07.05.2010, 18:56
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

Thanks for the responses.

I was just planning to bring about 1 kg total of the following:

green tea, dried seaweed (both nori and kombu), pickled plums, dried fish powder (bouillon).

Even if many of these items are available in some form in Switzerland, I am expecting it to be hard to find the particular brands I like and/or for these items to be very expensive.

I was hoping there was some guideline as to how to calcuate the customs taxes in advance, just in case I have to pay a duty.
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Old 07.05.2010, 19:03
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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Thanks for the responses.

I was just planning to bring about 1 kg total of the following:

green tea, dried seaweed (both nori and kombu), pickled plums, dried fish powder (bouillon).

Even if many of these items are available in some form in Switzerland, I am expecting it to be hard to find the particular brands I like and/or for these items to be very expensive.

I was hoping there was some guideline as to how to calcuate the customs taxes in advance, just in case I have to pay a duty.
Sorry I am going to have to be a little blunt as there will be no other way of saying this: if you are planning to live here, life will be rather difficult if you insist on sticking to certain brands from home. Those items that you have mentioned can be easily found in the Japanese shop here in Zürich as well as certain Asian supermarkets.

Price wise, everything here will be much more expensive than everywhere else, but seriously, contrary to popular belief, Asian foods here are not exhorbitantly priced at all.

My best advice to you is just to bring a small amount to help curb the homesickness a bit, if you really must. A fellow EF member does a "foods of the world" shopping trip once a month or so where she takes everyone who signed up around all the Asian shops here in Zürich. Sign up for that, and I am positive that you will be able to find the exact brand or similar.

Sorry I dont know the charges you can expect for custom duty. Just be prepared for the possibility of them being confiscated.
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Old 07.05.2010, 19:41
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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Sorry I am going to have to be a little blunt as there will be no other way of saying this: if you are planning to live here, life will be rather difficult if you insist on sticking to certain brands from home. Those items that you have mentioned can be easily found in the Japanese shop here in Zürich as well as certain Asian supermarkets.

Price wise, everything here will be much more expensive than everywhere else, but seriously, contrary to popular belief, Asian foods here are not exhorbitantly priced at all.

My best advice to you is just to bring a small amount to help curb the homesickness a bit, if you really must. A fellow EF member does a "foods of the world" shopping trip once a month or so where she takes everyone who signed up around all the Asian shops here in Zürich. Sign up for that, and I am positive that you will be able to find the exact brand or similar.

Sorry I dont know the charges you can expect for custom duty. Just be prepared for the possibility of them being confiscated.
Your recommendation makes sense. Thank you so much for your kind reply.

I will look for that "foods of the world" shopping trip after I arrive.
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Old 07.05.2010, 21:10
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

London isn't far away.

I was there at the weekend and brought back loads of food. My suitcase was full of tupperware boxes containing crispy pork and roast duck from Chinatown, some Chinese veg like Winter mellon and bitter gourd, Chinese sausages, huge pot of Northern Thai curry paste, some - don't know what it's called in English - http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/...ef-fiery-sauce with the numbing pepper, some - again don't know the English name - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuqi_feipian, some tea and, of course, my British staples of thick cut smoked bacon and salt&vinegar crisps.

Some of it could be bought here but I like the excitement of opening my suitcase late on a Sunday night back here in Basel and imagining my week's food. mmmmm.

I know, I know, I should buy it here or adapt my taste. But as I was going to London anyway and had a virtually empty suitcase, it seemed silly to pass up the chance!
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Old 07.05.2010, 22:02
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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...
I was just planning to bring about 1 kg total of the following:

green tea, dried seaweed (both nori and kombu), pickled plums, dried fish powder (bouillon)...
You're very unlikely to have any trouble with that, and there shouldn't be any duty at all - so long as it's all worth less than 300CHF.

Last edited by NotAllThere; 08.05.2010 at 07:13.
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Old 07.05.2010, 22:09
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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Thanks for the responses.

I was just planning to bring about 1 kg total of the following:

green tea, dried seaweed (both nori and kombu), pickled plums, dried fish powder (bouillon).

Even if many of these items are available in some form in Switzerland, I am expecting it to be hard to find the particular brands I like and/or for these items to be very expensive.

I was hoping there was some guideline as to how to calcuate the customs taxes in advance, just in case I have to pay a duty.
The customs regulations are here in german. Just my opinion but I don't see any problem for the quantities you mention so long as the food is for your consumption and didn't cost you more than CHF 300. I wouldn't hesitate to declare it if you have any doubts. I once declared 20Kg of east african snack food. The officials' only interest was to ask me if it tasted as good as it smelled.

Last edited by GJOOFR; 07.05.2010 at 22:11. Reason: To remove ambiguity
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Old 08.05.2010, 00:10
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

If you bring anything in that goes under animal food production it could be confiscated. I would suggest vacuum packing anything with a strong smell as customs may object to anything unidentifiable to them, even if it's perfectly legal.

Hope you have a good journey and a good start in Switzerland.
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Old 08.05.2010, 00:15
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

If you are migrating to CH then you are allowed to get along ALL your household stuff as long as it is not in a reselleable condition incl 200litres of wine and electronic goods which are older than 6months(i think it is 6mnths). Unless it contains animal products, drugs etc.
hope this helps
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Old 08.05.2010, 01:08
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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I know someone who got a whole load of bak kwa confiscated.
hey, do you know where can you get this in switzerland? i love this stuff
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Old 08.05.2010, 01:48
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

Don't think it's possible to get it in London so I'd guess it's unlikely to be available here. I've always known it as "rou gan" (肉干) if that helps your google-fu.
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Old 08.05.2010, 01:49
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

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Don't think it's possible to get it in London so I'd guess it's unlikely to be available here. I've always known it as "rou gan" (肉干) if that helps your google-fu.
yes, i know it as "yuhk gohn".
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Old 08.05.2010, 02:03
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Re: Will I have to pay a large customs charge for bringing lots of food in my suitcas

Do you give all your food a pet name?
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