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Old 03.01.2019, 12:48
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Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

As we know, from Jan. 01, 2019 amazon.de imposes the swiss VAT for orders shipped to Switzerland (sources #1, #2). How does this affect now orders bigger than 65.- CHF?


Previously, such orders would get withheld at customs to impose the 7.7% VAT, which incurred additional customs fees. Since the VAT is now imposed by amazon.de...
  • Will orders bigger than 65.- CHF + tax be withheld at customs?
  • If so, will any additional charges be imposed?
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Old 03.01.2019, 12:59
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Previously, such orders would get withheld at customs to impose the 7.7% VAT, which incurred additional customs fees. Since the VAT is now imposed by amazon.de...
For many years now Amazon imposed tax on all orders above 65 CHF in value. Shipments from Amazon were never withheld at customs as they took care of the taxation and the great advantage was that there were no extra fees except of tax.
Orders below 65 CHF were tax free.

As of today the price you see on checkout is recalculated, with no German tax, but Swiss tax added instead, transparently. Order value makes no difference. Still no processing fees and no parcels withheld at customs. What you see is what you get.
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Old 03.01.2019, 13:17
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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For many years now Amazon imposed tax on all orders above 65 CHF in value. Shipments from Amazon were never withheld at customs as they took care of the taxation and the great advantage was that there were no extra fees except of tax.
Orders below 65 CHF were tax free.
Not always, you had to select the amazon global option for that to be the case it wasnít automatic. Third party sellers on amazon didnít usually offer this option although many of them also didnít ship to Switzerland.
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Old 03.01.2019, 13:54
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

Now that the VAT exemption threshold has disappeared, are we really going to be invoiced by Swiss customs for the VAT on even very low-value orders from foreign suppliers which don't exceed CHF 100,000 turnover? (Or from suppliers that do, but who didn't put a Swiss VAT number on the address label). If so, I would expect that there will be an administrative charge as well, which is likely to substantially exceed the VAT due.
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Old 03.01.2019, 13:58
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Now that the VAT exemption threshold has disappeared, are we really going to be invoiced by Swiss customs for the VAT on even very low-value orders from foreign suppliers which don't exceed CHF 100,000 turnover? (Or from suppliers that do, but who didn't put a Swiss VAT number on the address label). If so, I would expect that there will be an administrative charge as well, which is likely to substantially exceed the VAT due.
No, the VAT exption thrshold DID NOT disappear. It is still the same CHF 5 tax free limit for sellers with a turnover of less than CHF 100k.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...089/index.html
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Old 03.01.2019, 14:01
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

I wonder if you can still 'reclaim' that German tax. i.e. ship from Amazon.de to a German address, collect and have stamped at the border...

I assume yes, as they charged the German tax which is refundable...
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Old 03.01.2019, 14:12
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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No, the VAT exption thrshold DID NOT disappear. It is still the same CHF 5 tax free limit for sellers with a turnover of less than CHF 100k.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...089/index.html
Isn' t that prescription superseded by the new rule? Press articles like this one say that "from now on, the Swiss must pay the VAT for every order, even the smallest".
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Old 03.01.2019, 14:42
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Isn' t that prescription superseded by the new rule? Press articles like this one say that "from now on, the Swiss must pay the VAT for every order, even the smallest".
I linked to the actual and current law and regulation as it is in force right now published on the official Swiss government website. I think I will trust that. If a parcel or post services charges VAT bellow of CHF 5 I will contest it to the fullest.

But further, also the Swiss post mentions, non suprisingly, the CHF 5 limit.
https://www.post.ch/en/private/a-z-o...ustoms-and-vat
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Old 03.01.2019, 14:56
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

I'm glad that common sense prevails.
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Old 03.01.2019, 16:16
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

Thank you all for the feedback. However, I still don't get what happens with the customs duties:
  • Basic fee CHF 11.50 from FR, DE, A, IT; CHF 16.- otherwise
  • 3% surcharge
According to the Swiss Post FAQ, this duty is imposed on all consignments, except if the VAT is less than CHF 5.-
I understand that VAT under CHF 5.- is exempt, but what happens otherwise? In particular:
  1. Until 31.12.2018, was a customs duty imposed on consignments from Amazon.de with a value grater than CHF 65.- ?
  2. Does anything change from 01.01.2019? Is a customs duty now imposed on such consignments from Amazon.de?
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Old 03.01.2019, 16:29
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

I think this new ruling will require a YouTube like explanation from the Swiss Gov and Die Post to fully understand where you stand with VAT & Custom Charges and handling fees.
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Old 03.01.2019, 16:56
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Thank you all for the feedback. However, I still don't get what happens with the customs duties:
Duties are duties and VAT is VAT.

Two separate things. But for each there is a CHF 5 limit. The limit applies independently from each other.

If something is subject to duty depends on its country of origin (correctly where it was manufactured, but often it is wrongly declared so the country where it is shipped from is used)
Most duty is levied by piece or by weight. You can look it up on the Tares website: https://xtares.admin.ch

Stuff from most countries are duty free. Most notable exemption is the USA.

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  • Basic fee CHF 11.50 from FR, DE, A, IT; CHF 16.- otherwise
  • 3% surcharge
This is not duty. This is the customs processing and handling fee charged by the post in case a shipment is subject to either to duty or VAT above the CHF 5 limit.

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Until 31.12.2018, was a customs duty imposed on consignments from Amazon.de with a value grater than CHF 65.- ?
No. Because most stuff is not subject to duty and if it was subject to duty it still so today. Also the handling and processing fee was not charged by Post in case you ordered and item which was subject to import VAT from Amazon.de proper (vs. an Amazon Market Place dealer) as Amazon already showed the all inclusive price including VAT plus a small custom handling charge (actually a bit higher to address fluctuating currencies, in case the exchange rate was lower you even got a small refund!)
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 03.01.2019 at 17:59.
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Old 03.01.2019, 20:12
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Thank you all for the feedback. However, I still don't get what happens with the customs duties:
  • Basic fee CHF 11.50 from FR, DE, A, IT; CHF 16.- otherwise
  • 3% surcharge
According to the Swiss Post FAQ, this duty is imposed on all consignments, except if the VAT is less than CHF 5.-
I understand that VAT under CHF 5.- is exempt, but what happens otherwise? In particular:
  1. Until 31.12.2018, was a customs duty imposed on consignments from Amazon.de with a value grater than CHF 65.- ?
  2. Does anything change from 01.01.2019? Is a customs duty now imposed on such consignments from Amazon.de?
No, there will be no additional fees or charges on what you order with Amazon Global shipping. Amazon does the tax processing and it is free of charge. You effectively only pay the VAT and it is all transparent to you.
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Old 13.01.2019, 10:24
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

Some extra info from the Tagi (German):

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtsch...story/17833754
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Old 13.01.2019, 12:18
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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Some extra info from the Tagi (German):

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtsch...story/17833754
Behind a paywall. But when you look at the page source you can still read it But they also imply that now for any delivery VAT is charged.

That can not be true:

Art. 4a VAT Ordinance https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a4a (English wording matches with German)
Quote:
1 Where goods supplied from abroad onto Swiss territory are exempt from import tax because of the negligible amount of tax due, the place of supply is deemed to be abroad until the end of the month in which the supplier reaches the turnover threshold of 100 000 francs from such supplies.

2 From the following month the place of supply for all supplies made by the supplier from abroad onto Swiss territory is deemed to be on Swiss territory. From this time, the supplier must import the goods in its own name.

3 The place of supply remains on Swiss territory until the end of any calendar year in which the supplier fails to reach the turnover threshold of 100 000 francs from supplies in accordance with paragraph 1.

4 If the supplier fails to reach the turnover threshold but does not notify the FTA of this fact in writing, the supplier is deemed to be subject to the VAT Act in accordance with Article 7 paragraph 3 letter a.
Seel also Art. 7 https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi.../index.html#a7 and Art. 53 https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...index.html#a53 of the VAT Act.

The "negligible amount" is still CHF 5 of VAT https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...089/index.html

But there is another interesting information in the article (subject it is accurate):
Quote:
If the turnover is higher, the foreign supplier invoices the customer directly for VAT. Suppliers with higher turnover must now mention their VAT number on the recipient's address label. This is important. If this information is missing, the parcel delivery services collect the VAT from the buyer and transfer it to the federal government. If the notice is accidentally forgotten, the buyer pays the VAT twice, as it has already been credited to him by the seller.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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Old 13.01.2019, 13:48
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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As of today the price you see on checkout is recalculated, with no German tax, but Swiss tax added instead
Amazon parcels did not contain any German tax even before the change.
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I wonder if you can still 'reclaim' that German tax. i.e. ship from Amazon.de to a German address, collect and have stamped at the border...
I assume yes, as they charged the German tax which is refundable...
The VAT (both German and Swiss) can still be avoided altogether for parcels delivered to addresses in Germany close to the border with Switzerland.
When bringing the goods into Switzerland, get the Germans to stamp the invoices. Send the invoices to Amazon for a full tax refund.
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:50
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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you had to select the amazon global option for that to be the case it wasnít automatic. Third party sellers on amazon didnít usually offer this option although many of them also didnít ship to Switzerland.
And since then the options have been altered again.
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If the turnover is higher, the foreign supplier invoices the customer directly for VAT.
Most third party sellers on Amazon don't qualify for Swiss VAT collection and Amazon have since altered their system again for sellers who invoice via Amazon so that at least those ones are compliant and as such it is entirely possible to get orders shipped in with no VAT again. I have ordered something from Germany with delivery to Switzerland and the order has been zero-rated for VAT. I paid the price advertised on Amazon minus the German VAT. The deduction happens after choosing the Swiss delivery address. The Swiss VAT is not added back on at any point.
Depending on price, it may now well be preferable to opt for third party sellers rather than Amazon themselves, as I'll happily pay no VAT rather than the Swiss VAT for imports.
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Old 12.09.2019, 15:28
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

Hmm so if I am reading the latest info correctly, is it now the case that Amazon UK/EU DON'T automatically remove the VAT for Swiss buyers? I tried making book purchases from the UK and the prices just seem the same as the UK ones even though my shipping address is Switzerland.
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Old 12.09.2019, 15:32
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

The UK VAT rate on books (as well as magazines, newspapers and many other items) is 0%.
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Old 12.09.2019, 15:38
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Re: Additional charges for deliveries through Amazon.de

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The UK VAT rate on books (as well as magazines, newspapers and many other items) is 0%.
Ahhhhh thanks, so basically I am seeing the price without VAT anyway. I didn't realise/notice that before and haven't bought books from there in ages!
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