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Old 25.01.2011, 20:37
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Importing a car and the 6th month rule

I'll be moving to CH in April, and I'll need to bring a car from the UK. I've read that if you've owned a car for over 6 months, there's no duties to pay. My situation is as follows:

I ordered a car back in September, but it wasn't delivered until December. Which date counts?

If the car is considered to be mine from December, it will be under 6 months. Can I leave the car outside of CH until the summer, and import it at that time? Do they count the date it crosses the border, or the date of my arrival in CH?

When I arrive at the border, will I be stopped, and asked to fill in a form? Or can I park it in my garage in CH until the 6 months is up?

Finally, I'm getting married next month here in Britain, to my British fiancee. Can I use the marriage rule for anything?

Thanks
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:05
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

When we came here, you could import a new car and for up to 2 years from the date you entered Switzerland and drive on foreign export plates. Taxes were only paid after 2 years from your entry into Switzerland or when you want to register the car locally. You pay taxes at the car's value only at that time.

At least that's what we did in 2003. We read about it in the living and working and Switzerland book. You need to get a form completed at the boarder and pay an administration fee. We ordered a UK model and collected it from the European factory excl. UK VAT.

If you arrive at the boarder with a car full of stuff they will stop you for sure and ask you for the paperwork for everything. It would be need to be 6 months old (or in your possession for 6 months) for the car to be classes as personal effects.

I don't know of anything you can use the marriage rule for, but getting married will certainly increase your Swiss taxes.
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:15
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

Firstly please change your location from Zug to the UK. A bit anal I know but there's some anal people on the forum and if it isn't me someone else will mention it.

Did you try using the excellent search function on this forum try

"Importing a Car"

There's surely plenty of threads on the subject

I assume at a guess it would be the physical delivery date, but I could be wrong. Possibly this means you have a -2 month situation at worse case. Which is easily passable to import the car.

At the border you will be asked for nothing. Apart from to part with some cash for a vignette.

I've never been asked at a Swiss border if I am importing a car with a UK plated vehicle they just assume you're a tourist. Which technically you are until you register at the town hall. Up to you if you declare it, but as a hassle factor and in the short term I wouldn't, but as soon as you can declare it to the relevant authorities.

Your biggest problem is the insurance on a UK car in mainland Europe, believe me from experience most UK insurers will not want to touch a car outside the UK for more than x1 month. 3 months is the maximum but I've managed to find dodgy loopholes around it but it's not recommended.

I suggest "I'm travelling around Europe for a month" may buy you some time, but technically it's invalid as soon as you become a Swiss resident as you are no longer travelling.
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:20
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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Your biggest problem is the insurance on a UK car in mainland Europe, believe me from experience most UK insurers will not want to touch a car outside the UK for more than x1 month. 3 months is the maximum but I've managed to find dodgy loopholes around it but it's not recommended.
My experience was that Zurich insurance were happy to insure the car on foreign plates for a full year. I just needed to provide them with the reference number on the document we got at the boarder.
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:24
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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My experience was that Zurich insurance were happy to insure the car on foreign plates for a full year. I just needed to provide them with the reference number on the document we got at the boarder.
I meant UK based insurance companies
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:40
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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Do they count the date it crosses the border, or the date of my arrival in CH?
they count from your arrival date on your permit. I actually emailed the customs guys and confirmed this when I had the same question.
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:47
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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Finally, I'm getting married next month here in Britain, to my British fiancee. Can I use the marriage rule for anything?

Thanks
she is moving as well? then yes you can bring your car. Customs ordinance art 15: Household goods of immigrant married couples are treated as wedding trousseaux, if the marriage took place less than six months before the transfer of domicile. Importation must occur within three months of the transfer of domicile.

meaning - no prior ownership requirement. at least this is the way I read the law, but does not hurt to confirm again.
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Old 25.01.2011, 21:56
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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they count from your arrival date on your permit. I actually emailed the customs guys and confirmed this when I had the same question.
That is my experience too. When you import the car you will need to provide the V5 registration document and the date of acquisition on that form will need to be 6 months or more prior to the date of your arrival on your Auslander Ausweis (spelling?!).

If you want to import the car at the border you will need to actively ask the officials there to do it. We arrived late at night (with car packed full and asked only for money for the vignette) so I later went to the customs office at Embrach to do the paperwork.

I also searched this forum many times to find info before importing the car and tbh it can be confusing as everyone has different experiences. Our situation was that the car was in my husband's name and we bought it less than 6 months before he moved to Switzerland. However I kept it in the UK (insured for both of us to drive) for more than another year, and the customs office allowed me to import it under my name when I moved here.
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Old 25.01.2011, 22:06
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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she is moving as well? then yes you can bring your car. Customs ordinance art 15: Household goods of immigrant married couples are treated as wedding trousseaux, if the marriage took place less than six months before the transfer of domicile. Importation must occur within three months of the transfer of domicile.

meaning - no prior ownership requirement. at least this is the way I read the law, but does not hurt to confirm again.
Hey I made a topic about that:
Free Import Duty: "trousseau de marriage" (car)
You will see the links to the official text of law from Swiss customs.

I still don't know the exact requirements as for the wedding trousseau because the law thing was a bit "large"- but I am awaiting answer from the official office.

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Old 26.01.2011, 00:42
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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Hey I made a topic about that:
Free Import Duty: "trousseau de marriage" (car)
You will see the links to the official text of law from Swiss customs.

I still don't know the exact requirements as for the wedding trousseau because the law thing was a bit "large"- but I am awaiting answer from the official office.

How does one contact the official office?
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Old 26.01.2011, 01:04
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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I assume at a guess it would be the physical delivery date, but I could be wrong. Possibly this means you have a -2 month situation at worse case. Which is easily passable to import the car.
I don't quite understand. If I import it less than six months after the car was delivered, I'll have to pay VAT on it, won't I? Or are you suggesting I can simply drive it in, park it in the garage, and import the car/get Swiss plates after the 6 months have passed?
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Old 26.01.2011, 01:09
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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they count from your arrival date on your permit. I actually emailed the customs guys and confirmed this when I had the same question.
So, basically, I'm going to be done for VAT/import duty? What happens to people who buy a car abroad, leave it at their second home (abroad, for a year), and decide to bring it to Switzerland? They would always be buying a car that was delivered after they got their residence permit?

Can you point me in the right direction for the authorities? I think I'll need to email them.

Thanks. Btw, how do I mark your post as helpful?
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Old 26.01.2011, 01:10
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

It's not hard, you owned the car when it was delivered so that is the date the clock starts. I'm sure you won't be able to claim back the UK VAT as the car clearly has won't comply with the reg's for export. It will be liable for Swiss tax however as you will not have owned it for 6 months... simple. What would your getting married have to do with it?
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Old 26.01.2011, 05:46
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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So, basically, I'm going to be done for VAT/import duty? What happens to people who buy a car abroad, leave it at their second home (abroad, for a year), and decide to bring it to Switzerland? They would always be buying a car that was delivered after they got their residence permit?
You only have a certain time when you move to import your stuff tax free so you can't wait 2 years from the date you move to import a car (or anything else).

And it's not when the car was "delivered" as you say above. But how long you have owned the car. Normally you can import USED personal effects, ie at least 6 months old.

But you MAY have an out with the marriage thing. It's possible that you have 3 months to bring in goods tax free, including new goods, which may include the car. Take a look at the thread CorsebouTheReturn linked to above.

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What would your getting married have to do with it?
Apparently you can bring in NEW items tax free if you are marrying someone who is resident in CH and then you move to CH to be with them. It seems, but has not yet been confirmed, that this includes a car.
(see CorsebouTheReturn thread linked to above).
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Old 26.01.2011, 09:49
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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How does one contact the official office?
One click the link I gave and finds that one:

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=fr

Then on the bottow right it says "contact":
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/kontakt/0191...x.html?lang=fr

Also you can select english (top right).
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Old 26.01.2011, 11:00
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

As for the timing, I had understood that it is from the date of car registration.

Furthermore, to the marriage issue, if the car is already registered in your name, I don't think the Swiss customs are that incompentent to figure this out if you now try to now say it is your girlfriends car. I would be careful
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:09
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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Furthermore, to the marriage issue, if the car is already registered in your name, I don't think the Swiss customs are that incompentent to figure this out if you now try to now say it is your girlfriends car. I would be careful
As l mentioned above, according to the Customs Ordindance the Wedding regieme also applies when both partners are moving over to settle in Switzerland shortly after their marriage.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:19
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

According to this, I read it differently. One partner already has to be here, the other gets to import duty free.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

Marriage (wedding trousseaux)



If you are getting married and are moving to Switzerland to join your spouse, who is already resident in Switzerland, you may import your removal goods and the wedding gifts which you will receive abroad free of tax.

The completed application form 18.45 must be submitted to the entry-point customs office upon importation.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:53
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

I officially moved here 01/07/2010, I drove my 3 yr old car from the UK, got it registered (20sfr) no probs, can keep it upto 2 yrs after which I have to officially import it and pay import tax around 15% (i think).

If I want Swiss insurance I have to get SWISS plates which means changing my headlamps and doing a MOT(100-200sfr) type test and then still having to lean over to the passemger side to get my parking tickets out the machine making sure I don't slip the handbrake down esp as most car parks seem to have a slope.

Been driving 18 yrs never had a scuff on my car until 2 months ago when I miss-judged a car park turning angle.......

The car is going back to the UK over Easter unless someone here has a thing for British cars.
:-(
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Old 26.01.2011, 13:59
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Re: Importing a car and the 6th month rule

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According to this, I read it differently. One partner already has to be here, the other gets to import duty free.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

.
good link, now open the link on the right side of the same page named
Customs clearance of wedding trousseaux

that I have already copied here. And that states:
Household goods of immigrant married couples are treated as wedding trousseaux, if the marriage took place less than six months before the transfer of domicile.
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