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Old 22.03.2018, 11:42
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Delays receiving legal documents due to Swiss Customs

Hi all,

This is a special case, which I am experiencing for the first time in Switzerland after a decade of living here and couldn't find anything similar in the forum!

I am expecting personal official government documents, which were sent to me from the Middle East on 3 March 2018. The parcel (documents only) took 5 days to get to the Switzerland and reached the Swiss Customs on 8 March 2018.

The Swiss Customs are holding on to the parcel to check the documents (Dokumentenkontrolle). The documents have been with the Swiss Customs for 2 weeks now. DHL can not do anything nor give an estimate.

After many calls with DHL I managed to get a contact number of the Swiss Customs, and they told me they can not give an estimate nor do anything to influence/help the checking process and duration!

I find it ridiculous that I managed to get new official documents from multiple departments in the Middle East in less time than it takes the Swiss Customs (one department!) to check papers and refusing any information regarding those documents.

I've never heard of such procedure in the past. Like most government offices, the Swiss Customs work like a robot, just give standard answers (Yes, No, Can not compute). So, while feeling stuck and due to pure desperation, I would like to ask people out there:

1. Has anyone had a similar experience?

2. How long does this usually take?

Thank you for your input in advance!

Last edited by amadeus; 22.03.2018 at 12:00.
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Old 22.03.2018, 12:09
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Re: Delays receiving legal documents due to Swiss Customs

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The Swiss Customs are holding on to the parcel to check the documents (Dokumentenkontrolle). The documents have been with the Swiss Customs for 2 weeks now. DHL can not do anything nor give an estimate.
Dokumentkontrolle does not mean checking the documents IN the package but the custom declaration documents ON the package.

Are you sure the sender filled in the CN22 or CN23 truthfully, correct, and attached it securely to the shipment? If the customs declaration is missing or incomplete you can blame the sender. If it is complete, correct, and present you can blame Swiss customs/DHL.
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Old 22.03.2018, 13:05
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Re: Delays receiving legal documents due to Swiss Customs

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Dokumentkontrolle does not mean checking the documents IN the package but the custom declaration documents ON the package.

Are you sure the sender filled in the CN22 or CN23 truthfully, correct, and attached it securely to the shipment? If the customs declaration is missing or incomplete you can blame the sender. If it is complete, correct, and present you can blame Swiss customs/DHL.
thank you for the input, aSwissInTheUS!

there is nothing to hide or be untruthful about, it's literally a few pieces of paper.
but you make a good your point, a missing paper or an inaccurate description might've caused a confusion and made them suspicious. i am checking these details with the sender.

DHL usually asks for all the required information. Of course there is the possibility that they could've messed up from the other side, but they usually have a good protocol. But in such case, the agent from the Swiss Customs could've been a little bit more helpful and said something about it. The guy was literally just trying to shut me down with "there's nothing you can do, you just have to wait" every time I tried to understand the situation or try to help by proving him with information that might help speed/clarify things up.

Thanks for the tip though, I'll check what was done from the other side.
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