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  #21  
Old 20.05.2009, 16:38
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Re: DHL and customs on gift?

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If they didn't, then everybody would send TVs and high dollar stereo
equipment with a price of $3.85. If the Swiss or any other country didn't
check, then the Customs office would not have any income!

BTW, don't know for sure, but can imagine that most countries on this
planet do exactly the same thing!
I understand that people can't just receive regular imports of electronics and other high value items just because they are cheaper in another country. However aren't our children allowed to received gifts from their grandparents in America, without having to pay a load (sometimes the equivalent to the value) just to receive it?

I can also understand if a sender declares an unreasonable amount for goods - like $3.85 for a big new tv or $5.00 for a large box of new Ralph Lauren baby clothes. However if the pricetags are on the items (or even if they're not), how can they challenge the price/value declared, especially if they seem like reasonable prices? Because that item costs more in the shop in Zurich???

I order large amounts of children's books from Scholastic in the States, and I fully expect to pay duty, VAT, or whatever. When I order things from an educational shop in the States (even if it is for my personal use and not for my classroom), again I expect to pay duty, etc.

I don't even have a problem with paying duty on the packages of baby items my mom sends my son, if that is what the law states. But if my mom declares the value at $65 for the items in the package, then the Swiss customs officials should not be re-declaring the value of baby clothes bought in the States to what they think it ought to be, according to what it would cost at the baby shop in Zurich. IMO, that is ridiculous.
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  #22  
Old 20.05.2009, 16:51
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Re: DHL and customs on gift?

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snip That and for example, my parents were visiting here in Switzerland - they didn't see a parking meter sign in a Migros parking lot...ran in, bought 1 thing, came back out in 5 minutes and had a 90CHF parking ticket. The fee for the actual ticket? 40CHF...with a 50CHF administration fee. That's Switzerland.
.

Yep, sadly that's Switzerland - that's also one of the reasons that I'm off to pastures new. I'm sick of this place and I find the anal adherence to rules nauseating - almost as bad as the defence of this practice by some. The complete lack of laissez-faire is depressing.

back on topic, I found the same hassle using couriers, getting stuff sent snail-mail was OK though, no rip-off BS "Handling or Admin" charges being levied.
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  #23  
Old 21.05.2009, 14:03
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Re: DHL and customs on gift?

Lot of annoyed distressed posts! My explanation of why Swiss and other customs behave the way they do:
  1. Reciprocity between countries: You tax may stuff, then I tax your stuff. Unless the countries have mutual free trade agreements.
  2. Revenue: Every country needs tax revenue. At 7.6% VAT, Switzerland has a very low rate.
  3. Spot checks: The customs cannot open every packet just like they cannot inspect every one arriving at the airport. Those who get caught are hit. Many go undetected free.
  4. Valuation: The Swiss customs officer have no idea what goods cost elsewhere. Hence they use a table based on Swiss prices.
  5. Carrier: Certain carriers are cheaper. Others charge heavily. The recipient pays when the shipper tells the courier to collect from recipient.
  6. Protection: Most countries protect certain domestic industries and inland vendors. Is that bad? Some of us work for these inland producers and vendors. All of us benefit from the tax revenues. Without this protection all the jobs and manufacturing will disappear to China.
You now the rules. Play the game. No use crying.
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  #24  
Old 05.06.2009, 09:44
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Re: DHL and customs on gift?

Can we bill the courier company for spending our time to sign for the package, check the package, etc.? We can invoice them as handling fee too!
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  #25  
Old 05.06.2009, 17:39
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Re: DHL and customs on gift?

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Can we bill the courier company for spending our time to sign for the package, check the package, etc.? We can invoice them as handling fee too!
Great idea. Let us know how you succeed. I need a source of income...
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