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Old 22.11.2011, 18:46
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VAT question for UK furniture purchases

Hello,

I know this subject is covered in other posts, but I can't seem to find an exact answer to my question.

We plan on ordering some new furniture from the UK to be shipped to Switzerland. The furniture/shipping company can't give us a VAT estimate. Before we make the decision, we want an idea of what it could be.

Does anyone know if there is a standard VAT amount for furniture purchases from the UK? The total purchase with shipping will be anywhere from 2000 CHF to 3000 CHF.

Also, the furniture company stated they will provide a refund of the UK tax after we pay the Swiss VAT. Is this correct?

Thank-you so much!
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Old 22.11.2011, 18:52
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

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Hello,

I know this subject is covered in other posts, but I can't seem to find an exact answer to my question.

We plan on ordering some new furniture from the UK to be shipped to Switzerland. The furniture/shipping company can't give us a VAT estimate. Before we make the decision, we want an idea of what it could be.

Does anyone know if there is a standard VAT amount for furniture purchases from the UK? The total purchase with shipping will be anywhere from 2000 CHF to 3000 CHF.

Also, the furniture company stated they will provide a refund of the UK tax after we pay the Swiss VAT. Is this correct?

Thank-you so much!
Swiss VAT is 8%, they should refund the UK VAT after proof of export from the UK is provided.
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Old 22.11.2011, 18:56
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

Swiss VAT tax is 8% for furniture. There might be duty to pay, calculated on the weight.

If you are using a professional remover they should be able to get the UK VAT back for you. But you have to present all the correct paperwork for stamping at the Swiss border. You can't go back with paperwork after the importation. If you are importing furniture as a personal item with your move here, you will escape Swiss tax.
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Old 22.11.2011, 19:07
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

Hello, from past experience, UK stores will not be able to provide you with a Swiss Vat quotation as it has nothing to do with them... We had our wedding gift list with John Lewis Oxford street. The UK vat value was deducted from each gift item, which we then put towards transport costs (DHL). The gifts arrived via DHL and the swiss post office (some broken so take warning as to confirm for all items to be delivered by DHL and not half - half as DHL did with us. We live in an alpine village; and DHL only, we later learned, delivered as far as the airport, and the rest by the swiss post, much to ours and John Lewis' annoyance... Between 3-4 weeks later, we received an invoice from customs for the Swiss VAT amount on the importation on the value of the goods. Swiss VAT is 8% and there are also customs admin fees ontop of that. They even tried to charge us for broken items that were sent back. If you want an accurate quote, perhaps try contacting swiss customs or Swiss DHL/ your Swiss receiver transport company. Good Luck!
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Old 22.11.2011, 19:17
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

Are the customs administrative fees high? I could deal with 8% but not any higher than that...thanks!
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Old 22.11.2011, 19:23
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

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Are the customs administrative fees high? I could deal with 8% but not any higher than that...thanks!
Usually a fee of 35chf per shipment.
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Old 22.11.2011, 19:44
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

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You can't go back with paperwork after the importation.
You can if you take the furniture out of Swiss and then come back in with it again. It just has to be with you when you get the paperwork done.

You would have to do that if you imported them on a Sunday and no one was there to do the paperwork for example.

But much easier to do it when you first bring it in.

I'm not saying you are allowed to or supposed to do it this way, just from experience I know that you can.
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Old 22.11.2011, 20:37
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

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You can if you take the furniture out of Swiss and then come back in with it again. It just has to be with you when you get the paperwork done.

You would have to do that if you imported them on a Sunday and no one was there to do the paperwork for example.

But much easier to do it when you first bring it in.

I'm not saying you are allowed to or supposed to do it this way, just from experience I know that you can.
You should cross a manned border, if not leave the paperwork in the box after filling in a form. You will get a bill in a couple of weeks along with all the original recipts & a zoll stamp on them.
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Old 22.11.2011, 20:59
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

You can use the services of a 'Customs Agency', you provide them with all the details, invoices etc. They provide you with a quotation of the import duties payable along with what I reckon is a very small fee for their work on your behalf.

You can then pay the calculated taxes beforehand or at the time of crossing, they ask for their fees to be paid beforehand of course. Yourself or whoever is transporting the goods can just get the paperwork stamped as you cross the border, they keep one copy if you pre-paid.

We used one company that is located right on the border crossing, they are used to dealing with imports of all, types and really helpful. As we are not far from the border we went there and asked a couple of companies in person. Use www.local.ch and put 'Customs Agency and duty payments' in 'What' and the place or post code of preferably where the goods will cross the border. (Does not have to be but much easier if there is a query to deal with).

Would not bother with small value items, but once it is above a few thousand CHF then worth doings. Also proved useful when being stopped by German police/customs on our journey (think they were looking for smuggled goods).
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Old 28.11.2011, 18:02
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Re: VAT question for UK furniture purchases

We have bought furniture in the EU as well (Germany, Holland, France).

It's easiest if you let the seller arrange transport, for example with an international moving company who will handle all the paperwork at the border.

Furniture shop then gives you a bill excl. VAT and incl. transport. Shipping company declares the goods at the border, customs will send you an invoice for 8% Swiss VAT + handling fee (less than 50 CHF).

We have never paid any duties or other fees, and our deliveries were also 2000-3000 CHF worth of heavy, solid wood furniture.

It's very straightforward, no hassle at all
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