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Old 02.11.2014, 20:16
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Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

Hi all,

A friend of mine living here, is thinking about buying stuff on wholesale in Germany (textiles), then import them into Switzerland and sell them here on eBay or Ricardo. He doesn't have a company, but he plans to import goods valued not more 1.000 EUR each time.

He asked me if he is subject to the same taxes as the ones doing shopping in Konstanz (and paying 8% on goods valued >300 CHF), or if he is subject to other formalities and fees, as he is using the goods for profit.

I told him that since he doesn't have a company, he should be subject to the same treatment as the "weekend shoppers". However, he made me notice that trucks staying in the queue at the commercial customs are there for a reason, which is the same as his: making a profit.

Do you know something more about the legislation?

Thanks.
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Old 02.11.2014, 20:43
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

Commercial or not, it's still 8%.

Been there, done that (in the truck lane)

Tom
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Old 02.11.2014, 21:27
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

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Commercial or not, it's still 8%.

Been there, done that (in the truck lane)

Tom
Hi Tom, so you also wanted to import commercial goods and you stayed in the truck lane? When is the right time to find less trucks?

Because that way I'd recommend to rent a room or garage or something in Germany instead where to leave the goods...

Does anybody know where to look? What is the German word used for that?
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Old 03.11.2014, 01:51
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

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Does anybody know where to look? What is the German word used for that?
That would be called Garage (garage), Lagerraum (storage room), or Lagerhalle (hangar, shed) if that's what you mean.

He may be better off renting storage cubicle or box, just like people going abroad for some time do to store their furniture and stuff. Should be easy to change size as needed, and it's probably safer than a garage. That would be called storage box or selfstorage (same words in german), Möbellager (furniture storage), Kleinlager (small storage space), etc.

I'd use google as entry point, e.g. "lörrach self storage", or "lörrach garage mieten".
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Old 03.11.2014, 02:04
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

If it is a business then the CHF300 "import free of VAT" allowance does not apply.
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Old 03.11.2014, 08:36
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

Probably best to contact the Customs office to see what else he may need to pay duty on.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en
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Old 03.11.2014, 09:09
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Re: Import stuff from Germany to sell on eBay: what taxes to pay?

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If it is a business then the CHF300 "import free of VAT" allowance does not apply.
Further to this... if your "friend" wants to do this as a business he will need to account for his cost of sales in his accounts for any tax he might need to pay on profits. If his accounts are checked, he will need to show purchase invoices and if those haven't been submitted for import and MwsT paid, he will have some problems. He will at least get the 20% MwsT back from the EU sales.

If he's going to do this, do it properly. It won't really cost much more and will save him having to rent a warehouse!
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