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Old 30.11.2020, 19:19
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Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

I'm planning to order a custom-built mountain bike from the UK.

I was told by the UK bike shop that they can charge me a price excluding UK VAT.

My question is, what happens when the bike reaches Swiss customs? Do I need to somehow declare the bicycle before it gets there? Are there any additional fees (other than Swiss VAT) that I should be expecting?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 30.11.2020, 20:28
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

If you got an invoice in the shipment, the customs will act accordingly to the invoice, produce the invoice for the tariff.
You have to pay the invoice before you receive the shipment.
I think there are no further tariffs except the VAT and the handling.
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Old 01.12.2020, 00:26
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

I think there's a specific customs declaration form to fill for sending things from the UK and that might be better than simply having an invoice in the package.
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Old 01.12.2020, 11:37
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

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I think there's a specific customs declaration form to fill for sending things from the UK and that might be better than simply having an invoice in the package.
It depends on the shipping company used. If regular post than it is Form CN 22 or CN 23 which has to be used. This has to be filled in by the sender.

If is UPS/FHL/FedEx etc. have their own waybills which have to be filled in correctly. Once again this is done by the sender.

Swiss customs will usually do nothing. Declaration, collection of import VAT, and billing is done by the shipping provider once the shipment reaches the Swiss sorting center. For this service the shipping provider will charge a more or less considerable fee on top of the import VAT. If the waybill or form CN 22/23 is incomplete, missing information additional fees can incur.

In some instance Swiss customs might inspect the shipment. If all is good no additional charges. If there is something amiss, such as an incorrect, fraudulent waybill or From CN 22/23 additional charges can incur.
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Old 01.12.2020, 13:11
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

Many thanks for all your responses.

Any idea how much the additional Swiss customs handling charges may come to? Is it a set fee, or does is vary based on the value of the goods?
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Old 01.12.2020, 13:21
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

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Many thanks for all your responses.

Any idea how much the additional Swiss customs handling charges may come to? Is it a set fee, or does is vary based on the value of the goods?
7.7% VAT and a fixed fee for customs processing. Don't remember exactly, 20CHF?

Additional fees if the seller does not include the proper documents on the shipping box, and customs office have to additional work, another 20-30 CHF.
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Old 01.12.2020, 13:31
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

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Additional fees if the seller does not include the proper documents on the shipping box, and customs office have to additional work, another 20-30 CHF.
Once again, it is not the customs office which does the work. It is the shipping company. Accordingly prices vary by shipping company.
Here FAQ from the Swiss Post which will handle the import process if the consignment is shipped with Royal Mail:

https://www.post.ch/en/business-solu...ustoms-and-vat

For DHL see here:
https://www.dhl.ch/exp-en/express/cu...customers.html

For FedEx see here:
https://www.fedex.com/en-ch/billing/duty-tax.html

etc. etc.

A ball park figure for customs processing charged by the shipping company is CHF 20 plus 3% of the goods value.
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Old 01.12.2020, 16:53
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

Many thanks, that's really helpful.

...but darn, that 3% is daylight robbery! On a CHF 5,000 bike that would come to CHF 150!!! At the end of the day, it's no extra work for the courier to process a bike than a CHF 10 book.
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Old 01.12.2020, 17:06
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

You're saving on VAT and you have to grease the wheels along the way.
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Old 01.12.2020, 17:59
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Re: Paying VAT on imported bicycle - how does it work?

I asked this question to DHL for bike from Germany, Chf39 road and Chf19 air freight plus Mwst. Critical is who they ship with and ask direct beforehand.
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