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Old 17.02.2014, 22:53
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Customs Clearance of Household Effects

I will be arriving without much stuff. Then shipping stuff in a few moths time. I am moving into temporary accommodation and starting a new job.

Do I need to complete a "Customs clearance of household effects" the first time I enter the country. I will be carrying a camera, laptop, ipad, etc plus clothes lots of clothes.

Then in a few months I am sure I have to do the same again?
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Old 17.02.2014, 23:05
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

I didn't fill in an 18.44 when I came into the country on my own, with very few things - I'm not even sure who would check (go through the red gates at the airport?).

I did fill one out for the big shipment of stuff though, but it was a separate affair.
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Old 17.02.2014, 23:15
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

My reading of the instructions on the form are that you must:
  1. Transfer all goods within 2 years of your move.
  2. Document everything that you will eventually transfer when you bring in the first shipment.
(Form 18.44 linked to here: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en)

But yeah, if you are just traveling with normal luggage, you probably can import that as a visitor would and deal with the import forms later. Come to think of it, that is what I did. Maybe have the list ready just in case they stop you at the border, but it is unlikely.
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Old 18.02.2014, 11:00
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

when i moved here i basically had 4 giant check in bags, max amount of carry on (which included a playstation 3, don't ask) and a bike with me on the flight!!! Just walked - or ok, let's be real - dragged myself through the nothing to declare door in Züri airport. No problem…
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Old 18.02.2014, 14:50
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

I filled in the form when I moved here with my car (actually I think that paper is only necessary for the car) - they just stamped it without checking anything.. I just stated that I will bring other stuff later (just picked a random month). I thought that I absolutely must do it when I cross the border, so I arranged my trip so that I manage to get to Au during customs office opening hours - only then found out that you can do it later as well... (again it only probably makes sense for the car, maybe if you have piles of gold or very expensive jewelery or I don't know...)

I have imported another (personal) stuff (by car) a few times since then - when I brought my other bike, I drove across the Liechtenstein border. The officer was a bit amazed that I am crossing this one and not the big one in Au. I showed him my permit and the original customs clearance formular (didn't have a new one for the stuff I was carrying) and told him I have already imported something, and want to import additional stuff now. He had no idea what to do Went to talk to an older colleague, that one just shrug his shoulders.. I told him that I can write down another list if he wants, but he told me that it doesn't help since I can write anything on the list and he must let me import it. Then he saw a bike on the rack, wondered if it's the one that I already imported (I have 4 bicycles...) and wanted to persuade me that it's not older than 6 months (actually it was a 4 years old cyclocross bike, a bit bruised etc.). After that he let me go. Another time I just told the officer I am bringing another personal stuff again (the car was fully packed) and they just asked if I carry any alcohol as well, didn't check anything else (not even my papers)
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Old 18.02.2014, 15:53
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

Also came through with piles of luggage at the airport, more than once. One time, the customs officer helped me unload two heavy suitcases from the carousel and helped me wheel them out to where my (astonished) hubby was waiting.

Another time I got stopped by a customs official and all he asked is where I'm from. When I said I'm American he grinned and said, "Of course" and let me pass. He apparently figured I'm another clueless tourist with enough luggage to live for a year when I'm only staying for a week.
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Old 19.02.2014, 11:43
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

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I will be arriving without much stuff. Then shipping stuff in a few moths time. I am moving into temporary accommodation and starting a new job.

Do I need to complete a "Customs clearance of household effects" the first time I enter the country. I will be carrying a camera, laptop, ipad, etc plus clothes lots of clothes.

Then in a few months I am sure I have to do the same again?


You can only do 1 form like that for your move, as you are supposed to bring ALL your stuff in one go. (Only exception is when this is not possible, eg bringing here furniture and a car/plane which cannot enter at the same time, but even then you have to list everything on 1 form and write when the second shipment will arrive).


So you do the form when you use the shipping company and give it to them. Actually, most likely they wont agree to ship your stuff without the form.


For your arrival with a suitcase, I dont think anyone fills in the form unless you are carrying a Picasso painting..
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Old 19.02.2014, 11:49
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

I arrived with a very full Volvo - and have put together an full inventory of what I was bringing in (just in case there were questions). I wasn't even stopped
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Old 19.02.2014, 14:52
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

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You can only do 1 form like that for your move, as you are supposed to bring ALL your stuff in one go. (Only exception is when this is not possible, eg bringing here furniture and a car/plane which cannot enter at the same time, but even then you have to list everything on 1 form and write when the second shipment will arrive).
That's not true. You can fill in multiple 18.44s and you can bring several shipments over quite a long period of time (2 or 3 years iirc). You just need to tick "partial import" on the form and give a rough approximation on when the next one will be. Each shipment requires its own 18.44.
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Old 19.02.2014, 14:58
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

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That's not true. You can fill in multiple 18.44s and you can bring several shipments over quite a long period of time (2 or 3 years iirc). You just need to tick "partial import" on the form and give a rough approximation on when the next one will be. Each shipment requires its own 18.44.
Have to correct that slightly:

You can only use ONE 18.44 (and very important to tick the partial importation box) - any subsequent partial imports will depend on that one document. Once the final shipment has been cleared, this procedure/document will be closed.

You have a 2 year span from the date of legal transfer of domicile to complete this procedure. Upon request, customs can (but don't have to) extend this period.

HTH...

Last edited by herc82; 19.02.2014 at 17:29. Reason: schpelling
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Old 18.04.2014, 11:02
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

Sorry to revive but..

We're moving to Zurich in a couple of months and would prefer to come through the border at Basel on a Sunday when customs is closed.

We'll have a Transit van half full of stuff, no furniture, just boxes and suitcases. Do you think we can get through without being stopped, or by ticking the "partial importation" box and then going to the border some other time to finalise it?
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Old 18.04.2014, 12:13
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Re: Customs Clearance of Household Effects

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Sorry to revive but..



We're moving to Zurich in a couple of months and would prefer to come through the border at Basel on a Sunday when customs is closed.



We'll have a Transit van half full of stuff, no furniture, just boxes and suitcases. Do you think we can get through without being stopped, or by ticking the "partial importation" box and then going to the border some other time to finalise it?

If your stopped , they will take a quick look & you will be on your way in a few minutes.
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