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Old 26.06.2011, 16:04
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Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

I am in Canada.
I move to Lausanne in early August.
I will have to ship 4 or 5 boxes (postal mail or UPS, not sure yet).
I can't bring the stuff with me in the plane because I'm spending July traveling throughout Scandinavia.
What good is that Form 18.44? The boxes will be traveling without me!
Surely some of you have moved to Switzerland and have had boxes shipped to you to Switzerland. Does customs intercept the boxes and charge all sorts of fees?
Suggestions please!
Thanks

One more thing.
I called the Swiss customs for info. They spoke German (which I don't). I told them I spoke French and English. They spoke English to me. A VERY BAD English. It was incomprehensible for the most part.

Last edited by jrspet; 26.06.2011 at 16:22. Reason: Mering of successive posts
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Old 26.06.2011, 18:56
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

A great deal will depend on what your shipping & the value, you can try to get the boxes imported as personal effects however if your Greman is not that good then I wish you luck. UPS pay be able to help however they will charge.
If the Boxes are just used (second hand) clothes the market value is low so the taxes payable will be minimial.
In witzerland there are always charges to pay, it's just one of those things.

Edit,

Think about this more go with UPS, they will charge I handling fee mabe 20 chf, where Swiss Post could charge upto 35 chf per parcel, which is usually more than the tax.


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I am in Canada.
I move to Lausanne in early August.
I will have to ship 4 or 5 boxes (postal mail or UPS, not sure yet).
I can't bring the stuff with me in the plane because I'm spending July traveling throughout Scandinavia.
What good is that Form 18.44? The boxes will be traveling without me!
Surely some of you have moved to Switzerland and have had boxes shipped to you to Switzerland. Does customs intercept the boxes and charge all sorts of fees?
Suggestions please!
Thanks

One more thing.
I called the Swiss customs for info. They spoke German (which I don't). I told them I spoke French and English. They spoke English to me. A VERY BAD English. It was incomprehensible for the most part.

Last edited by fatmanfilms; 26.06.2011 at 19:07.
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Old 26.06.2011, 19:10
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

FM, that is not true... if you are moving in here, as part of your moving shipment you are tax-free; and you can bring in whatever with you, as long as it is yours for more than 6 months (this is valid for cars and valuable items). For that you need a moving out paper from your previous residence, and a moving in paper for your new residence, plus a visa that will allow you to stay as a permanent (B or C work, the others I don't know. Student visa should as it is a sub-set of B).

Moving out of Switzerland, and in the US is quite a different story...
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Old 26.06.2011, 19:20
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

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FM, that is not true... if you are moving in here, as part of your moving shipment you are tax-free; and you can bring in whatever with you, as long as it is yours for more than 6 months (this is valid for cars and valuable items). For that you need a moving out paper from your previous residence, and a moving in paper for your new residence, plus a visa that will allow you to stay as a permanent (B or C work, the others I don't know. Student visa should as it is a sub-set of B).

Moving out of Switzerland, and in the US is quite a different story...
I know it's possible tax free, however as the OP doe not speak English , my idea may well be the cheapest. I doubt he will be shipping a car or any valuables by post!

He could do it my way & waste 50 CHF or he could do it your way & waste a lot of time.
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Old 26.06.2011, 20:06
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

fatmanfilms is correct: I plan on shipping 3 to 5 small (1.5 cu ft) U-Haul boxes containing personal items (shoes, clothes, a few work documents, possibly an old portable computer). Average weight of the boxes: under 20 lbs. If I were entering Switzerland carrying the boxes with me, it would be quite simple. But, as I said, I leave Canada on July 4 and I arrive in Switzerland August 5. I don't want to carry with me all this stuff during my five weeks of travel throughout Scandinavia. I could ship via UPS, about 200$ per box for a 5 day delivery time, or via the Canadian postal service at about 100$ per box for "ground shipping", which must mean by boat, for a 5 to 6 week delivery time. Of course I could buy clothes in Switzerland, but then I would have to pay for the clothes whereas shipping will probably be paid by my employer!

I'll print and fill the 18.44 forms and I'll see if Canada post knows what to do with it. Of course, this is assuming that the Canada post workers will be back to work this week. They have been on strike for 2 weeks or so. Yesterday the Harper government passed a special law ordering them back to work. The Senate (if they're not all gone fishing) will approve the law today.
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Old 26.06.2011, 20:49
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

Fill in the paperwork & hope it's tax free! as long as the value is low it won't be too bad regardless. FWIW they add the value of shippng before calculation the tax & administration charge. Good luck.

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fatmanfilms is correct: I plan on shipping 3 to 5 small (1.5 cu ft) U-Haul boxes containing personal items (shoes, clothes, a few work documents, possibly an old portable computer). Average weight of the boxes: under 20 lbs. If I were entering Switzerland carrying the boxes with me, it would be quite simple. But, as I said, I leave Canada on July 4 and I arrive in Switzerland August 5. I don't want to carry with me all this stuff during my five weeks of travel throughout Scandinavia. I could ship via UPS, about 200$ per box for a 5 day delivery time, or via the Canadian postal service at about 100$ per box for "ground shipping", which must mean by boat, for a 5 to 6 week delivery time. Of course I could buy clothes in Switzerland, but then I would have to pay for the clothes whereas shipping will probably be paid by my employer!

I'll print and fill the 18.44 forms and I'll see if Canada post knows what to do with it. Of course, this is assuming that the Canada post workers will be back to work this week. They have been on strike for 2 weeks or so. Yesterday the Harper government passed a special law ordering them back to work. The Senate (if they're not all gone fishing) will approve the law today.
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Old 26.06.2011, 21:30
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

My understanding is that you get one chance to declare and bring in your household effects. They can arrive in multiple shipments, but a full inventory of the effects must be included with the first shipment. So if I were using UPS for this, I'd make sure that each box had a full inventory, with a clear indication of what was in each box.
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Old 20.08.2011, 11:38
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

Update.

I shipped my 5 boxes with Canada Post on June 29.
I used their slowest and least expensive option: ground shipping.
They said it would take about 7 weeks.
On the Canada Post form glued to each box, I wrote "Personal items listed on form 18.44". I figured I would present Form 18.44 upon entry into Switzerland. When I entered Switzerland (on a August 5 flight from Copenhagen to Geneva), I never saw any customs desk. The boxes were delivered to my home in Lausanne on August 12 and I never had to pay anything.
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Old 20.08.2011, 12:21
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

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Update.

I shipped my 5 boxes with Canada Post on June 29.
I used their slowest and least expensive option: ground shipping.
They said it would take about 7 weeks.
On the Canada Post form glued to each box, I wrote "Personal items listed on form 18.44". I figured I would present Form 18.44 upon entry into Switzerland. When I entered Switzerland (on a August 5 flight from Copenhagen to Geneva), I never saw any customs desk. The boxes were delivered to my home in Lausanne on August 12 and I never had to pay anything.
Any update about what you asked me on PM?
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Old 20.08.2011, 12:27
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

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Update.

I shipped my 5 boxes with Canada Post on June 29.
I used their slowest and least expensive option: ground shipping.
They said it would take about 7 weeks.
On the Canada Post form glued to each box, I wrote "Personal items listed on form 18.44". I figured I would present Form 18.44 upon entry into Switzerland. When I entered Switzerland (on a August 5 flight from Copenhagen to Geneva), I never saw any customs desk. The boxes were delivered to my home in Lausanne on August 12 and I never had to pay anything.
Did you sign for the delivery? If so there is a very good chance that you will receive a bill in a month or so. Welcome to Switzerland!
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Old 20.08.2011, 13:17
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

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Did you sign for the delivery? If so there is a very good chance that you will receive a bill in a month or so. Welcome to Switzerland!
Yikes!
I'll post another update in a month or so!
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Old 20.08.2011, 13:31
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Re: Confused about shipping boxes to Switzerland

I sent 5 boxes, slightly heavier than yours with a cargo company - air frieght to Basel, with me picking up from the airport. I paid about 35chf for getting everything out of the airport customs/ freight area. It did take me about 90 minutes, including mime tie, but everyone tried to be helpful. I had to got get bits of paper staped in about 3 different places around the complex before getting the release. ..... at which point you do need a vehicle to take the boxes back into town. ( taxi or friend?)
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