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Old 23.07.2013, 14:14
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Importing NEW furniture by transport agent

Hello everyone,

I did an extensive research on EF but did not quite get to any post that would help me clarify my doubts.

Facts:
- I moved from EU to CH 22.08.2012, L permit now
- I plan to buy several newfurniture items in EU (just since my wife loves the brand which is not available in CH)
- I will not be transporting any other used personal effects etc
- I am not going to claim EU VAT back to make things simpler
- I just want to bring items over to CH and pay ~8% VAT as I am supposed to do
- Due to weight and sizes of packages, I'll need a small truck (transportation company, in fact) to deliver the goods from EU warehouse to my address in CH. I have no problem showing up at customs, shall that help.
- As it seems, this qualifies for "commercial goods traffic" - here http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
"Warning, the term "personal goods" does not refer to:
-Deliveries on behalf of a person for consideration (e.g. furniture)
"
-Transportation company will just deliver from A to B but have no experience with goods declaration

Question:
- is there anything else apart from declaration of goods import (form 18.44, listing new items, paying 8% VAT) that needs to be done, resulting from "commercial goods traffic" clause?

Anyone exercised similar situation?

I guess the alternative to avoid possible hassle could be getting the cargo delivered close to border, unload the lorry, load my private swiss car and perform a regular private import.

Thanks in advance for any hints!
kroger
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Old 23.07.2013, 14:35
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Re: Importing NEW furniture by transport agent

Quote:
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- I plan to buy several newfurniture items in EU (just since my wife loves the brand which is not available in CH)

- I am not going to claim EU VAT back to make things simpler

- I just want to bring items over to CH and pay ~8% VAT as I am supposed to do

-Transportation company will just deliver from A to B but have no experience with goods declaration

Question:
- is there anything else apart from declaration of goods import (form 18.44, listing new items, paying 8% VAT) that needs to be done, resulting from "commercial goods traffic" clause?

Thanks in advance for any hints!
kroger
Frankly, it would probably be worthwile to at least try claim back the foreign VAT - might just pay the import customs declaration.

As this is new, there is no need to even mentione personal effects/household goods, nor can you use an 18.44 - this is only for removal goods.
If your transporter ever did an international transport, they should be aware and capable to declare this at the border, there should be no reason for you to be present (unless you do it yourself, you could surely save a bundle!). It's a rather simple operation, usual charges CHF 80 - CHF 140 I'd say..plus Duty, VAT and transport charges. Alternatively, if they truly do not handle customs, simply hire a customs agent at the border, supplying them with documents, trucking company and truck registration - they will handle the declaration upon arrival - though for this you may have to prepay them or be present.

Just a few thoughts...
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Old 23.07.2013, 20:34
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Re: Importing NEW furniture by transport agent

I shipped a household of new goods from London to Switzerland after we bought a place and I left a UK licensed mover to handle everything, including certifying export to Habitat and John Lewis the stores where we bought the stuff. In due course I received VAT refunds.

The mover used a customs broker who had me sign documents regarding my move. I don't know exactly what was charged, but my recollection is that there was no tax, just fees.

It isn't my job to understand the Swiss tax law; that's what customs brokers are paid for. If they get me a good deal I am glad.

An anecdote: Once, when I was a diplomat in Abidjan I gave a businessmen's luncheon and one of the invitees was the manager of the embassy's customs broker. I commented with satisfaction that we as an embassy didn't have to pay any bribes. He laughed and said "It's all hidden in the fees. We pay what has to be paid."

He knew his job and I didn't. There was a scandal with the embassy there once when, as a result of a disagreement, a container was held at the port until all the stuff in it had spoiled. The moral: Don't try to outsmart the experts.

The moral risk in Switzerland is low; that was there and this is here.

But I have also used a shipper who advertises from time to time on this forum. He shipped new goods from London too and whereas he "lost" the tax papers and I never got the VAT refund I was expecting, neither did I have to pay any tax nor did I get any border documents from his driver. They told me a long story that their van was unloaded at the tunnel from Italy but they still didn't have to pay anything.
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