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Old 31.07.2011, 14:23
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Q about packages from the US

I just heard that stuff I have mailed/shipped (whether it be from ebay or from a friend) from the US to Geneva will cost me a tax that will be mailed to me later. Is this true?
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Old 31.07.2011, 14:56
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It depends on the delivery service. And it is inconsistent. Sometimes UPS and DHL will ask for a payment with delivery, either cash or credit card. sometimes i get a bill later, I have no idea why. Sometimes no payment is required. For packages delivered by the post, they require payment on delivery in cash, if payment is required. I got something yesterday with a declared value of $100, and it was sent USPS international express. But it was lost for a couple of weeks and when i got it, the box was worse for wear. Contents ok. No duty was charged. There's a little green sticker that they put on packages if no duty is charged and red if duty and taxes are charged.
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Old 31.07.2011, 14:57
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Re: Q about packages from the US

If you search the forum for duty and mail you will find ~100 threads that will answer your question. Look, I even did it for you.
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Old 31.07.2011, 14:59
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Re: Q about packages from the US

check out this thread

Duty on parcel from US
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Old 31.07.2011, 15:02
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Re: Q about packages from the US

You will have to pay tax plus admin fees if the contents of the package plus the shipping charges add up to more than CHF62-. It is important that the sender attaches the correct customs declaration, clearly stating the contents and value, as without this the customs officers will be forced to open the item and inspect it, for which you'll receive an additional admin charge.

You'll find everything you need on the Swiss Post website, but here are the most relevant bits:

Quote:
Above what value will I have to pay customs and/or value added tax (VAT) on import items?

In principle, every item sent from abroad is subject to customs duties and VAT.
There is no special exemption limit like that allowed for passengers carrying goods with them, only a duty-exemption limit.
Accordingly, customs duties and VAT are not charged if the amount calculated is less than CHF 5 for each customs declaration.
Furthermore, gifts mailed from individuals living abroad to individuals in Switzerland are duty-exempt up to a value of CHF 100. Goods purchased on the Internet do not satisfy these conditions and are subject to duty in accordance with the general provisions.

The maximum values for VAT-exempt imports are:
  • 8% VAT (the majority of items sent) => CHF 62
  • 2,5% VAT (e.g. books) => CHF 200
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Old 31.07.2011, 16:11
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Re: Q about packages from the US

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I just heard that stuff I have mailed/shipped (whether it be from ebay or from a friend) from the US to Geneva will cost me a tax that will be mailed to me later. Is this true?
I always had my family members to send my packages from US. For example, if I ordered something from a US website, I used their address. Then when they receive it they ship it to me and put the value less than $100.00. 95% of the time you won't have to pay anything through Swiss customs. Most of the time the value was less than $100.00 anyways for my packages. Household goods are usually never taxed at customs especially if they write that the items are used. They do at random open some packages to check but only if something looks suspicious. Like the package is very heavy but the value is $15.00.
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Old 31.07.2011, 16:28
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Re: Q about packages from the US

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Then when they receive it they ship it to me and put the value less than $100.00. 95% of the time you won't have to pay anything through Swiss customs.
Then you:

1) Broke the law and...
2) Were dumb about breaking the law, but got lucky

I'll leave you to your own moral compass about whether it's right to evade taxes & customs duties by under-declaring the value of the items. But if you decide that you're going to do this, at least have the common sense to check what the limit is.

A value of $90 on an item means that it should be subject to tax, and you should get a bill for the tax plus admin.

The limit is CHF62-, including the cost of the postage. So next time you want to sneak something in without paying the tax, make sure that the numbers add up to less than CHF62.
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Old 31.07.2011, 19:06
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Re: Q about packages from the US

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Then you:
A value of $90 on an item means that it should be subject to tax, and you should get a bill for the tax plus admin.
Unless it was marked as a gift, where up to $100 would be tax-free.
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Old 31.07.2011, 19:22
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Re: Q about packages from the US

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I just heard that stuff I have mailed/shipped (whether it be from ebay or from a friend) from the US to Geneva will cost me a tax that will be mailed to me later. Is this true?
So far I've ordered from Target twice, JCPenny once, and CVS once. Everything came to the post office. They sent me a notice that I had a package to pick up.

I went and got each package, and each time, it didn't cost me anything extra (other than international shipping charges).
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Old 31.07.2011, 22:41
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Re: Q about packages from the US

I thought the OP was also asking if he/she could get a bill later, and it does depend on the delivery service. For example, I order stuff from sierra trading post, and they use UPS. I've had three orders this summer. The first two just required a signature, the last one required a cash or credit card payment. I just got two separate bills fro the first two orders in the last week. Same with things delivered by DHL... sometimes you pay at delivery, sometimes you get a bill, sometimes you don't pay at all.

I think the don't pay at all shipments are things that I ordered from iherb.com, vitamins, taxed at the lower rate.
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