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Old 24.10.2011, 02:59
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Importing goods from UK

Hi,

I am looking to buy some computer hardware costing around 3000.

If i bought it and had it shipped here i don't want to pay random fees which could end up being quite high given the cost of the box.

Are there any couriers who you can call up and order a shipment to be made and they quote you the cost of everythng up front?

I am happy to pay VAT coming in to CH and whatever fees are needed, i just want to get a quote before ordering!

I am also happy to do whatever paperwork is needed, just don't know what that is.

I heard a story i think somewhere where you get the shipment to stop at the airport or something. Then you go and pick it up from a guy, fill in a form, go to another person and pay VAT, and you've just imported it yourself. Is this possible in switzerland?
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Old 24.10.2011, 03:08
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Re: Importing goods from UK

pay VAT?

You should be claiming the VAT back!

Whenever my GF buys stuff in the UK (or France/Germany) she gets a VAT form from them, then she takes that to customs (motorway border) with the item and gets them to stamp it, then she sends it back to the seller and they refund her the VAT.

Last edited by cran; 24.10.2011 at 03:10. Reason: edited
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Old 24.10.2011, 03:17
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Re: Importing goods from UK

Yeah but i would rather just pay 0% vat in uk and 8% vat coming in to ch.

I have thought about shipping the box to somewhere in france (paying 20% uk vat), then just driving it over the border to do the paperwork. But the hmrc website says you have to fill in the vat form in front of the person when you buy it in uk.
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Old 24.10.2011, 04:00
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Re: Importing goods from UK

Make sure that the retailer is part of the VAT Retail Export Scheme. PC World / Currys are for example. Buy the goods in person and ask for a Global Blue receipt before you part with your cash.

Assuming that you did not just buy a mainframe, pack it well, pay for hold luggage, and insurance, and take it through the airport yourself. Present it to the HMRC VAT office BEFORE you go through security, where they will look for some proof of residence in Switzerland, stamp your Global Blue receipt, and give you an envelope to post it off. (Maybe don't post it off yet as you might need to show the receipt in Switzerland).

Then check in and declare your oversized luggage. Then take it to the the oversized luggage belt, making sure it's well packed and labelled. (I promise you it will be kicked around a lot before you see it again).

Enjoy your flight.

When you get to Switzerland go through the Red channel and declare any goods over CHF300, and pay the 8% TVA.

Not sure how long it takes Global Blue to refund you. But they take a cut / fee I think.


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Old 24.10.2011, 10:20
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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I have thought about shipping the box to somewhere in france (paying 20% uk vat), then just driving it over the border to do the paperwork. But the hmrc website says you have to fill in the vat form in front of the person when you buy it in uk.
I think the issue there is the question of who's refunding the VAT. If it's been paid in the UK you can't expect the French to refund it for you... although it'd be a good way to claw back some of the EC budget if you could.
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Old 24.10.2011, 11:51
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Re: Importing goods from UK

I bought hi-fi equipment from the UK. They don't charge me the UK VAT up front. The trick is to find a company that will deliver to Switzerland and not charge the UK VAT.

Once it arrives, the courier, DPD, charged me the 8% Swiss Tax and a smaller amount of duty according to the weight, and around Fr.18 service charge. ( I received an orange invoice for it afterwards).

What I bought cost around Fr.1000. So I don't know what will happen in your case as the amount is much higher.
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:17
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Re: Importing goods from UK

Quote:
I think the issue there is the question of who's refunding the VAT. If it's been paid in the UK you can't expect the French to refund it for you... although it'd be a good way to claw back some of the EC budget if you could.
i think the idea is that you get proof that you paid swiss import and post it back to the uk to get vat back
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:23
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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I bought hi-fi equipment from the UK. They don't charge me the UK VAT up front. The trick is to find a company that will deliver to Switzerland and not charge the UK VAT.

Once it arrives, the courier, DPD, charged me the 8% Swiss Tax and a smaller amount of duty according to the weight, and around Fr.18 service charge. ( I received an orange invoice for it afterwards).

What I bought cost around Fr.1000. So I don't know what will happen in your case as the amount is much higher.
Thing is that how much is the duty and how do you work it out before shipping? And is it different depending on what type of thing it is?

If the charge is only something like 20CHF and i can work out the duty then it is cool.

Just that I have had stuff from Germany and paid ~80CHF on something worth ~300CHf. If I am going to import something worth ~3000CHF and the bill ends up being ~800CHF then that's not cool!

Maybe I will just ring UPS/FEDEX/DHL and ask if they can quote for an import before shipping?
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:33
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Re: Importing goods from UK

On a few 1000 CHF of stuff, handling fee is maybe CHF 100, plus 8% VAT.

This is my personal experience importing motorcycle parts for up to CHF 10k (EUR 7k at the time).

Tom
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:48
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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On a few 1000 CHF of stuff, handling fee is maybe CHF 100, plus 8% VAT.

This is my personal experience importing motorcycle parts for up to CHF 10k (EUR 7k at the time).

Tom
who is that through?

i just spoke with UPS and Swiss Post.

UPS would quote for the shipping charge but not how much the bill would be when it arrives in switzerland. they said that was was a question for customs.

Swiss post said it would just be 18CHF or 35CHF depending on ? plus 8% VAT. I asked if he was really sure and that there wasn't anything to do with weight or anything and he said no.

He said all royal mail and parcelforce hand over to swiss post.

So yeah, who do you believe?

If I get sent by post and it is more than 35CHF plus 8% VAT then it's pretty sure that I would be able to talk to the post office and say "but your guys said that's how much it would be!"
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:56
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who is that through?

i just spoke with UPS and Swiss Post.

UPS would quote for the shipping charge but not how much the bill would be when it arrives in switzerland. they said that was was a question for customs.

Swiss post said it would just be 18CHF or 35CHF depending on ? plus 8% VAT. I asked if he was really sure and that there wasn't anything to do with weight or anything and he said no.

He said all royal mail and parcelforce hand over to swiss post.

So yeah, who do you believe?

If I get sent by post and it is more than 35CHF plus 8% VAT then it's pretty sure that I would be able to talk to the post office and say "but your guys said that's how much it would be!"
Handling fee to Die Post is 18 chf when the value is below 500 chf and 35 if above.

And as you know already 8 % VAT.

If you use DHL the fee varies after unknown criteria. I have seen big differences on packages with the same value.

However, in any case your fee will be insignificant compared to what you paid for your gear and the VAT so no worries.
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Old 28.10.2011, 15:10
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Re: Importing goods from UK

ok,

so now i feel more positive about the whole thing!

i guess guy above with motorcycle parts was using a courier?

anyone know how to send with royal mail or parcelforce and take out third party insurance? i think they will only do up to 500.
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Old 28.10.2011, 15:15
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ok,

so now i feel more positive about the whole thing!

i guess guy above with motorcycle parts was using a courier?

anyone know how to send with royal mail or parcelforce and take out third party insurance? i think they will only do up to 500.
Is this not senders problem? I would think that the sale have not been fully closed before delivery has taken place.
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Old 28.10.2011, 15:16
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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If I get sent by post and it is more than 35CHF plus 8% VAT then it's pretty sure that I would be able to talk to the post office and say "but your guys said that's how much it would be!"
The Post has this information listed on their website, in plain English:

http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit...verzollung.htm

http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit...ernational.htm
Quote:
Postal customs clearance

Postal items sent from abroad will be processed through customs in accordance with the following procedure:
Simplified customs clearance for:

  • Letters which are not subject to any non-customs regulations.
  • Parcels with values up to CHF 500 which are not subject to any non-customs regulations.
Standard customs clearance for:

  • Letters which are subject to any non-customs regulations.
  • Parcels with values of more than CHF 500 and items which are subject to non-customs regulations.
  • EMS courier consignments.
For what qualifies for custom regulations, get your information here (also in English):
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

This in general concerns mostly imports of alcohol, tobacco and foodstuffs.
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Old 28.10.2011, 15:23
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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Is this not senders problem? I would think that the sale have not been fully closed before delivery has taken place.
technically yes.

in practice no.

if i spend 3000+ on a specialist box that i need for work (it's not like you can just go to interdiscount or something) and it arrives damaged, or doesn't arrive, then of course it will be my problem to sort it out even if the sender is legally responsible!
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Old 28.10.2011, 15:26
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Re: Importing goods from UK

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The Post has this information listed on their website, in plain English:

http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit...verzollung.htm

http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit...ernational.htm
For what qualifies for custom regulations, get your information here (also in English):
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

This in general concerns mostly imports of alcohol, tobacco and foodstuffs.
thanks this is useful.

in the past i have sent microphones which is guess most people don't understand and so that's why i thought was charged extra because it was 'special tools' or something.

this would be even more special gear that 99+% of the population don't understand and so again expect some random fee.

if it really is just food and drugs that they're worried about then i guess that's easier!
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