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Old 13.07.2011, 13:47
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Bringing wine with you over the border

I have tried to find information on the Swiss customs' pages, but my French and German abilities are severely lacking, and I am not sure I understand everything....hoping someone with experience in the matter can help me out:

We are going on a week-long driving holiday to some of France's fabulous wine areas, and want to bring more than our individual allowances of 2l pp of bottled wine back with us. Can anyone tell me what the duty/taxes would be for import of wine for personal consumption? From what I gather, there is a weight charge (?) up to 20l, and then on top of that goes the 8% VAT. Is that right? Could I also get any French VAT refunded as I cross the border?

Thanks much for any help!
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Old 29.07.2011, 08:31
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Re: Bringing wine with you over the border

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I have tried to find information on the Swiss customs' pages, but my French and German abilities are severely lacking, and I am not sure I understand everything....hoping someone with experience in the matter can help me out:

We are going on a week-long driving holiday to some of France's fabulous wine areas, and want to bring more than our individual allowances of 2l pp of bottled wine back with us. Can anyone tell me what the duty/taxes would be for import of wine for personal consumption? From what I gather, there is a weight charge (?) up to 20l, and then on top of that goes the 8% VAT. Is that right? Could I also get any French VAT refunded as I cross the border?

Thanks much for any help!
The weight charge is used when shipping, so you only need to worry about those charges if you ship some wine back. For your trip, since you will be driving and I assume bringing it back yourself, there are different rules. You can bring in 2L of wine duty free. If you go over this, the charge is .60 / L for up to 20L. If you go over the 20L limit, then the cost is 3chf/L for the amount over the 20L limit.

Note that these figures are for red and white wines only. If you bring back Champagne, then the duty is higher.

Here is a link (in English) to the above information.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Old 29.07.2011, 09:22
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Re: Bringing wine with you over the border

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Could I also get any French VAT refunded as I cross the border?
In theory, the answer is yes; in practice, it's tougher than it should be. Most French shops won't go through the hassle of filling out the required paperwork unless you've spent more than EUR100-, and even then they often take a commission for processing the paperwork. You don't get the refund at the border in any case -- you need to send the paperwork back to the shop and they'll eventually send you a cheque or refund your credit card.

There are a few wine merchants near the border (like Freund & Fils in Hegenheim) that have special arrangements with the customs office and can sell you wine ex-VAT for export, but these are few and far between.

The advice given by the previous poster is correct -- you're allowed two litres of wine duty-free per person (also worth noting that in practice, they allow 3 x 70cl bottles per person duty free rather than strictly enforcing the 2L limit), then CHF 0.60- per litre up to 20L, then CHF3- per litre afterwards. Plus the Swiss VAT, of course.

As tariffs go, the taxes on importing wine are pretty generous. Even with the extra tax and duty, it's still far cheaper to buy wine in France than to buy its equivalent in Switzerland.

Santé!
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Old 13.09.2019, 22:43
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Re: Bringing wine with you over the border

Since we’re in Tuscany and planning on bringing some wine back, I looked up the limit on alcohol and it would seem to have gone up—5 litres of wine/beer a person and one litre of over 18% alcohol.

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...d-tobacco.html
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Old 13.09.2019, 22:46
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Re: Bringing wine with you over the border

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Since we’re in Tuscany and planning on bringing some wine back, I looked up the limit on alcohol and it would seem to have gone up—5 litres of wine/beer a person and one litre of over 18% alcohol.

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...d-tobacco.html
You'd be better off declaring it and getting back the 18% Italian VAT.

Unless it's just cheap plonk.

Tom
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Old 14.09.2019, 08:46
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You'd be better off declaring it and getting back the 18% Italian VAT.

Unless it's just cheap plonk.

Tom
How easy is the declaring process?

We’re not huge wine drinkers but will be visiting a small winery and want of course to purchase some from them.
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Old 14.09.2019, 09:26
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Re: Bringing wine with you over the border

Simple, go to the customs office, tell them how much you are importing, show them the invoice. Sometimes they want to see the merchandise and pay whatever due.
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