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Old 05.02.2010, 06:05
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Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

I searched the forum and couldn't find anything specifically related to my question.

I am organising a shipment of a few personal items that I am removing from our recently sold apartment in Sydney. The cost of shipping these items is high (almost as much as the value of the items) but they are of sentimental value so I am probably going to have to do it.

I thought I read on here somewhere that you had a time limit from arrival in CH to ship personal effects (was it 18 months?) before you will be hit with import duties. Am I remembering correctly? I can't find the thread where I saw this mentioned.

If I have to pay import duties, does anyone know how they will be calculated?

The items are some framed pictures (prints and photographs) and a retro easychair.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 05.02.2010, 06:21
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

Three years is the limit for Tax Free Imports of personal belongings.
You will have to pay import tax and VAT (IVA) when the goods enter Switzerland.
The tax will be calculated on the cost (if you have invoices) or value.

I would guess the easiest and cheapest way would be to find a friend in your country with a company (registered for your VAT) to produce an invoice for the item and then ship them out. The import and IVA will then be calculated on that more than likely.
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Old 05.02.2010, 13:05
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

Yes, I did the same about 5 years afterward for mostly family/sentimental items.

I didn't pay anything, but some special privileges may have been applicable, so don't rely on this as it likely won't be applicable to everyone.

What I do recall though which may be important for you, was that I had to prepare an inventory list for the moving company to use at the border. It was important to list everying as personal and used, and of low/no value. Thus, some old photos and papers have no resale value, only a personal value for me. Also, if you have any antiques or stuff very old, note this as very old things are generally exepmt from duty. Be aware of any odd/dangerous/prohibited items. I had more anxiety importing my grandmothers antique gun, which had to go to Federal police about (technically need a permit), but in the end it was no problem. Noting it as an antique, was better than a useable firearm, for example.
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Old 05.02.2010, 13:08
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

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Three years is the limit for Tax Free Imports of personal belongings.
You will have to pay import tax and VAT (IVA) when the goods enter Switzerland.
The tax will be calculated on the cost (if you have invoices) or value.
Bugger!!!!!!
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Old 05.02.2010, 13:14
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

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Bugger!!!!!!
The solution, might be to find someone on this forum that has become resident in Switzerland within the last 3 years that is willing to pretend your items are their homely goods and import them.
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Old 21.06.2010, 16:02
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

Hi,
I'm so glad to find out people with similar experience.
My husband and I lived in Canada just 6 months about 3 years ago and we want to bring our personal effects. (we moved to Zurich from UK in Sep 2008)

I've found a shipping company but this company is not taking care of any paper work so I had to dig up Swiss custom.
I know that I need to pay VAT as 18 months have passed by since we moved to CH but what I wasn't sure was custom.
Custom office in Zurich said that I need to present all the documents and pay VAT when the shipment arrives which is rather inconvenient as delivery date will not be fixed in advance.
Is this usual way to receive shipment with VAT? Please feel free to shed some light on this..

Thank you
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Old 01.10.2010, 10:54
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Re: Shipping personal effects - 3 years later

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Three years is the limit for Tax Free Imports of personal belongings.
You will have to pay import tax and VAT (IVA) when the goods enter Switzerland.
The tax will be calculated on the cost (if you have invoices) or value.

I would guess the easiest and cheapest way would be to find a friend in your country with a company (registered for your VAT) to produce an invoice for the item and then ship them out. The import and IVA will then be calculated on that more than likely.
I'm confused. Does that mean if it's under 3 years, that I don't have to pay anything. The first sentence says "Tax free imports of personal belongsings" and the second sentence says I have to pay import tax and VAT. Aren't they one and the same?
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