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Old 15.08.2020, 15:41
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Unboxing before passing through customs

Let's say I go to a border country and purchase some goods (PC parts, gadgets, electronics, etc.).

Can I get any discount on the customs if I unbox the products before entering Switzerland? Without a doubt this is lowering the value of the products (as I can no longer sell them as new, not really). Essentially making them "used".

This is kinda equivalent to purchasing a camera during a trip aboard, using it for the vacation and then returning to Switzerland. I assume in this case you will not pay custom for the full price of the camera (right?).

Just to be clear I'm looking for a legal perspective, I'm not trying to disobey the laws.

Thanks!
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Old 15.08.2020, 15:47
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

As long as you do it at least six months before bringing them here, you are fine!

Tom
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Old 15.08.2020, 19:03
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

Unless we are speaking about spending really a lot of time abroad using that item (as st2lemans mentioned), it does not really matter: you declare how much you paid for it and VAT is calculated on top of that.

If there is no invoice, the market value is estimated. So I think that, in perfect theory, if you have a clearly used item you can declare that you bought it not a full price and see if the agents buy it: but it's not really the point, there are customs where 99% there are even no agents at all. The point is, you would still need to lie for that - and what you probably don't want to do though is to leave a paper trail behind with false declarations.

To be honest I'm a bit confused by this question: it seems that you are trying to cheat the system: people usually do it by simply unboxing stuff and bringing it as "already owned personal items" (committing a crime). If you want to do it - your risk and your decision, but I'm confused by this attempt to "half ass" the cheating

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Without a doubt this is lowering the value of the products (as I can no longer sell them as new, not really)
If you are crossing a tourist traffic customs (the "normal" one), you are not supposed to be intending to sell that items in the first place - these are meant for personal use or to be given away as gifts. So, whatever you decide to do, my advice would be not to talk about selling stuff at all
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Old 16.08.2020, 11:42
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

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Let's say I go to a border country and purchase some goods (PC parts, gadgets, electronics, etc.).

Can I get any discount on the customs if I unbox the products before entering Switzerland? Without a doubt this is lowering the value of the products (as I can no longer sell them as new, not really). Essentially making them "used".

This is kinda equivalent to purchasing a camera during a trip aboard, using it for the vacation and then returning to Switzerland. I assume in this case you will not pay custom for the full price of the camera (right?).

Just to be clear I'm looking for a legal perspective, I'm not trying to disobey the laws.

Thanks!
You realise that these sorts of items are cheaper in CH?
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Old 19.08.2020, 16:02
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

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You realise that these sorts of items are cheaper in CH?
indeed
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Old 19.08.2020, 18:35
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

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Let's say I go to a border country and purchase some goods (PC parts, gadgets, electronics, etc.).

Can I get any discount on the customs if I unbox the products before entering Switzerland? Without a doubt this is lowering the value of the products (as I can no longer sell them as new, not really). Essentially making them "used".

This is kinda equivalent to purchasing a camera during a trip aboard, using it for the vacation and then returning to Switzerland. I assume in this case you will not pay custom for the full price of the camera (right?).

Just to be clear I'm looking for a legal perspective, I'm not trying to disobey the laws.

Thanks!
Let's assume you buy a 1000 CHF laptop in Mulhouse, you unbox it and come back to CH. In first place, no one cares if you bring a laptop with you. 5 laptops may be a different story.

For the sake of legal perspective let's continue....you get to the border and tell the guards you bring a 500 CHF laptop since it's used (unboxed). If they're tired you pay 7.7% VAT for 500CHF, if they just had a coffee a receipt for 500 CHF will be asked.

Quote:
The assessment basis is generally the consideration payable or paid for the goods in question. This also applies for goods purchased online that are picked up abroad. The invoice, receipt or contract of sale forms the basis.
https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...le-to-vat.html

Since there's no receipt for 500 CHF.....

Quote:
If there is doubt concerning the accuracy of the customs declaration or if data is missing, we can estimate the assessment basis and set it ex officio.
https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...ent-basis.html

Guards can just put the laptop model on toppreise.ch and call it a day and there's no way to dispute their assessment. Also, a lot of unboxed things without supporting receipts could make a guard think they're fakes/piracy. It would be really fun trying to prove the legitimacy of the products after telling the guards "no receipts".....sorry, I do have the invoices but I was trying to fool you a few minutes ago.

Finally, as HickvonFrick mentioned above, there's no motivation for this for personal consumption.
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Old 19.08.2020, 19:18
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Re: Unboxing before passing through customs

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Can I get any discount on the customs if I unbox the products before entering Switzerland? Without a doubt this is lowering the value of the products (as I can no longer sell them as new, not really). Essentially making them "used".

This is kinda equivalent to purchasing a camera during a trip aboard, using it for the vacation and then returning to Switzerland. I assume in this case you will not pay custom for the full price of the camera (right?)!
Nope, but they will charge you an addition 'commission' for catching you and for your attempt to deceive them.
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