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Old 23.10.2017, 11:08
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Declaring at customs

If you've something to import, and the customs post is deserted, you can pick up a form to fill in and pop it into their letter box. Then you get a bill in the post for the duty.

Does anyone know if there's an online version of this? It would be nice just to fill it in online and have it dealt with electronically. Or even just download. I did look at www.zoll.ch but couldn't find anything.

(I guess if you can't it might be to do with having to declare at the time of import).
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Old 23.10.2017, 21:13
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Re: Declaring at customs

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If you've something to import, and the customs post is deserted, you can pick up a form to fill in and pop it into their letter box. Then you get a bill in the post for the duty.....
Isn't that the one time one just takes stuff in without a bad conscious?
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Old 23.10.2017, 21:27
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Re: Declaring at customs

Usually my genius is the only thing I have to declare...
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Old 23.10.2017, 21:32
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Re: Declaring at customs

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Isn't that the one time one just takes stuff in without a bad conscious?
hmmm not if you want the French VAT refunded
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Old 23.10.2017, 21:58
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Re: Declaring at customs

Just fill in the form, and next time ask an officer at the border. I doubt an online form exists: if you fill in the form once you have left the border, you would be guilty of smuggling the goods you are trying to declare....!

Be aware there are mobile customs officers in Switzerland. They can stop you anywhere vaguely near the border, for a search. Surprisingly they have experienced men equipped with binoculars!
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Old 23.10.2017, 22:05
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Re: Declaring at customs

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hmmm not if you want the French VAT refunded
What is the relationship between a refund of the French VAT and paying duty/tax in Switzerland?
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Old 23.10.2017, 22:07
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Re: Declaring at customs

This is indeed the new tactic as from earlier this year - smaller border posts are only wo/manned 2 hours per day/night at random, but there are now patrols away from border (up to 30km) and all smaller roads are patrolled day and night. It is proving to be much more effective.
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Old 23.10.2017, 23:15
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Re: Declaring at customs

Im curious, what are you trying to import? because as far as i know if its under 300 chf it doesnt pay taxes...
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Old 23.10.2017, 23:50
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Re: Declaring at customs

You can get French VAT (20%) refunded and pay Swiss VAT (8%) instead.
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Old 24.10.2017, 01:43
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Re: Declaring at customs

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You can get French VAT (20%) refunded and pay Swiss VAT (8%) instead.
Getting the French VAT back, and paying Swiss VAT on import are two separated things,
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Old 24.10.2017, 08:36
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Re: Declaring at customs

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If you fill in the form once you have left the border, you would be guilty of smuggling the goods you are trying to declare....!
I thought it would be something like that.
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Old 24.10.2017, 12:40
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Re: Declaring at customs

If I buy a Rolex in Germany or in France, get the the stamp at the German/French border, but at the Swiss side there is no one at the customs check point. If some time later I am pulled over by the police, how they will know if I had or hadn't filled in the declaration form?
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Old 24.10.2017, 12:54
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Isn't that the one time one just takes stuff in without a bad conscious?
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hmmm not if you want the French VAT refunded
I've never refunded French VAT (since I have a house there and wouldn't want to get into any issues about what has or has not been refunded and imported into CH), but with the German system (which I'm assuming is similar in France) your refund takes place before you go into Switzerland, so there's nothing to stop you claiming it and then neglecting to declare it or even to actually export it at all.

I think you'd be in for a world of pain if you were caught deliberately doing either of those. Whether it be on the French or Swiss side of things it would, I'm sure, be viewed as a deliberate criminal act, much more serious than just bringing something over the border and forgetting to declare it. I'm just pointing out that there's no actual dependency.

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If I buy a Rolex in Germany or in France, get the the stamp at the German/French border, but at the Swiss side there is no one at the customs check point. If some time later I am pulled over by the police, how they will know if I had or hadn't filled in the declaration form?
Well if it were a high value item like that and the Swiss were investigating you, the emphasis would be on you to prove you'd bought it in CH or imported it legally (and in this case serial numbers could be used to easily prove where it was sold). If you can't produce a receipt or a stamped declaration form the item may be forfeit. Even in the country of purchase if you've brought the item back in, even if just on your wrist, you could be asked to prove that you'd completed the export as required.

Yes, for smaller items I'm sure you could get away with it should you feel so inclined, but messing with the customs men in that way is serious
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Last edited by Ace1; 24.10.2017 at 13:06. Reason: Merging successive replies
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Old 24.10.2017, 13:15
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Re: Declaring at customs

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If I buy a Rolex in Germany or in France, get the the stamp at the German/French border, but at the Swiss side there is no one at the customs check point. If some time later I am pulled over by the police, how they will know if I had or hadn't filled in the declaration form?
I don't think it's police pulling you over but the customs.
They can check everything (and will) and if they see box, packaging, brand new watch, documents, etc... they can investigate further*.

*Investigate further might imply a visit to the *happy place* where you rather be quiet, and where there is a big pile of plastic gloves sitting openly in the table.

I'd rather comply with the rules rather than risk an...erm...deep ...investigation.

Of course, im not even talking about the fine.
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Old 24.10.2017, 13:53
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Re: Declaring at customs

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Isn't that the one time one just takes stuff in without a bad conscious?
I used to buy wine from a merchant in France that had a special deal with French/Swiss customs that allowed them to sell their wine to Swiss customers free of French VAT. The wine had to be declared at the border, and if it wasn't, the merchant would have been left holding the bag. It works because most people are honest and follow the rules about declaring the wine.

The customs forms are multi-part, but wouldn't you guess? I was dumb enough to post the entire thing in the letterbox. I got stopped about 2km from the border by a mobile customs patrol, and luckily they were kind enough to go back to the customs box to verify my story (and stupidity!). They found the paperwork inside, agreed that I had been compliant, and sent me on my way.
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Old 24.10.2017, 14:53
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Re: Declaring at customs

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I used to buy wine from a merchant in France that had a special deal with French/Swiss customs that allowed them to sell their wine to Swiss customers free of French VAT. The wine had to be declared at the border, and if it wasn't, the merchant would have been left holding the bag. It works because most people are honest and follow the rules about declaring the wine.

The customs forms are multi-part, but wouldn't you guess? I was dumb enough to post the entire thing in the letterbox. I got stopped about 2km from the border by a mobile customs patrol, and luckily they were kind enough to go back to the customs box to verify my story (and stupidity!). They found the paperwork inside, agreed that I had been compliant, and sent me on my way.
So, basically you should have stopped with your car at the border to declare stuff, but you didn't?
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Old 24.10.2017, 15:00
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Re: Declaring at customs

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So, basically you should have stopped with your car at the border to declare stuff, but you didn't?
What do you think he put in what letterbox?
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Old 24.10.2017, 15:04
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Re: Declaring at customs

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So, basically you should have stopped with your car at the border to declare stuff, but you didn't?
I did stop at the border and declared everything, but I forgot to keep my copy of the form (posted it along with the others). When I was stopped by customs, they were able to verify that I was telling the truth and that I had declared everything appropriately, but had neglected to hang onto a copy as evidence.
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Old 24.10.2017, 15:16
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Re: Declaring at customs

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If I buy a Rolex in Germany or in France, get the the stamp at the German/French border, but at the Swiss side there is no one at the customs check point. If some time later I am pulled over by the police, how they will know if I had or hadn't filled in the declaration form?
They'll go through the paper work and find that no form has been filled in for your rolex, with your name and address. Quite simple.

Sometimes German customs notify Swiss customs of high value imports. Very important to declare and keep your copy of the declaration.
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Old 24.10.2017, 15:22
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Re: Declaring at customs

So, maybe a stupid questions, but i have never crossed by a car (since i dont have one), but do you have to stop every time at the border and declare? even if you dont have nothing and you went for a dinner to germany or france? or you have things less than the 300 chf that is allowed?
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