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Old 09.02.2011, 03:00
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Duty on gift?

I've heard about this administration fee plus tax thing for receiving packages from abroad. And I also experienced paying 200 sfr duty for my piano bought from Germany. In this case it was commercial.
But if I ask my relative in the US to send me my old guitar via express mail, do I still pay the duty? As there isn't any transaction going on here and he will of course mark it as gift, however, I would write its value (around 1000 us dollar) for package insurance, I guess I still can't avoid the duty? How much will the duty be?
Thanks!
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Old 09.02.2011, 07:15
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Re: Duty on gift?

I was busted yesterday in Zurich airport for bringing in a handmade chefs knife from Japan that was a present - they charged 8% for mwst and then 16% for the fine as I didnt declare it
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Old 09.02.2011, 08:25
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Re: Duty on gift?

I just received a package marked gift from Canada. It was marked as having a value of 300 dollars. I got stuck with 43 Sfr. duty. All it consisted of were a few clothes for my kids. At the post office they told me that they do "Stichprobe" and that not every package marked gift is charged duty !?!?
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Old 09.02.2011, 08:29
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Re: Duty on gift?

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I was busted yesterday in Zurich airport for bringing in a handmade chefs knife from Japan that was a present - they charged 8% for mwst and then 16% for the fine as I didnt declare it
Was it taken out of the original packaging when they found it ?

Last edited by grimmus; 09.02.2011 at 09:15.
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Old 09.02.2011, 09:13
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Re: Duty on gift?

Gifts are exempt up to a value of 100chf. Otherwise you are charged duty and VAT. In my experience, the VAT/TVA of 8% is typically more than the customs duty. Keep in mind many items are duty free, but not VAT free. Refer to the swiss customs site, here for details. http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Old 09.02.2011, 09:22
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Re: Duty on gift?

The processing fee is CHF 18 (regardless of value).

Any customs fee is generally much less than the 8% VAT (if there is one).

And, if you fail to declare something, the penalty is 2x VAT (plus the VAT itself).

Tom
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