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Old 03.04.2014, 18:43
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Duty on shipping..

After moving house 3 months ago I was pleased to hear that the shippers pack all your boxes for you, and we didn't have to pack again and dismantle furniture!

My friend who moved to the US told me to stock up on toiletries. But she said the shippers also do a packing list so we wondered about customs. I've looked at threads and done some googling and I understand that all your stuff duty-free has to be used. But it's unclear if there are limits or what exact items this applies to So is it worth stocking up on toiletries or are unopened bottles/tubs subject to customs? Or are they exempt

I can't find anything that helps answer this. I always keep a spare of everything in the cabinet anyway (or 2 if there was a 3-for-2 offer on at tesco) I would like to know if I need to get everything used up before we move!
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Old 03.04.2014, 20:19
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Re: Duty on shipping..

You usually need to make a list of everything in each numbered box, eg,

Box 2 of 11 children's books, used children's clothes

Box 3 of 11 kitchen utensils, Tupperware with cereals

etc etc.

You will be charged duty on all alcohol, so don't mention already opened half empty bottles of vodka... otherwise personal imports are duty free.
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Old 03.04.2014, 20:21
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Re: Duty on shipping..

I stocked on lots of this sort of stuff and we had no problems. I even brought along a box (48 cans) of my favourite brand of baked beans
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Old 04.04.2014, 10:18
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Re: Duty on shipping..

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You will be charged duty on all alcohol, so don't mention already opened half empty bottles of vodka... otherwise personal imports are duty free.
It is not true that personal imports are duty free, ONLY items owned for more than 6 months before moving here they are free.

In practice of course, it's impossible to tell , eg a book bought 6 months ago looks the same as one bought last week. But for "big" things, eg a car they will look at the registration documents, or a fridge which is in its brand-new packaging ...they will notice.

Other things to watch out:
- You need to have an invertory (ie a printed list of contentns), which is neither too detailed (listing every single item), nor too vague (eg "household items").
- They normally open a box at random, and they expect to see something similar as what it's in the list.. Eg if you put pans and pots, they expect to see that.
- You need to fill also a customs form that you want to import duty-free items as you are moving/have recently moved to live in Switzerland
- Note you are only allowed "one go" at importing all your stuff, so you can only use the tax-free import once, you cannot split the shipment. (Probably not an issue for you, but can be an issue for people who want to import a car as well as household goods. In that case you have to declare with the goods that a car will follow later, and give the exact date that the car will be entering switzerland).
- I wouldn't risk bringing any alcohol.. although you can bring it and pay tax, not really worth it. It's not like they don't have vodka here. And of course not listing it on the forms is a big no-no.. (Actually I think the form warns about alcohol and tobacco). You dont want to be on the wrong side of the law, before you even land! Also, if they do spot an undeclared bottles, they are likely to search in detail all the boxes, and they can charge you (send you a bill) the the extra time they had to spend to inspect your stuff.- this will probably cost more than the alcohol!
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Old 04.04.2014, 10:36
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Re: Duty on shipping..

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...My friend who moved to the US told me to stock up on toiletries. ...
There's not many things that you can buy in England that are not available in Switzerland, or just across the border. In Germany and France the prices are also about the same as in the UK.

The only thing we stock up on when we come back from the UK is cheap OTC medication - paracetamol etc. My wife sometimes gets specialist make-up. The only items that customs are possibly going to be concerned about are new electronics/white goods and furniture. So, stock up if you like; consumables are most likely not an issue.
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Old 04.04.2014, 11:55
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Re: Duty on shipping..

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You usually need to make a list of everything in each numbered box, eg,

Box 2 of 11 children's books, used children's clothes

Box 3 of 11 kitchen utensils, Tupperware with cereals

etc etc.

You will be charged duty on all alcohol, so don't mention already opened half empty bottles of vodka... otherwise personal imports are duty free.
My friend said that when she moved they packed all the boxes, and did the packing list for them does this vary from one shipping company to another? Ought I to try to find out? If we are to do some of our own packing and listing I would like to make a head start soon!
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