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Old 27.12.2011, 21:15
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Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

Hello All,

I will be driving from UK to Zurich on Saturday with van load of personal possessions and was wondering if anyone can shed any light on what i am likely to face when crossing into Switzerland, in terms of the border crossing itself?

I will be bringing all of my electrical goods e.g. LED Television / Desktop PC / Laptop / IPAD / External monitors..... clothing, mattress, bedding etc etc etc

I am going to create a sheet with an itinerary of everything that the hire van contains to hopefully make the crossing easier.

Is there anything i am likely to have to prove e.g. date of purchase on electrical goods? are the border guards likely to want to search the whole van?

appreciate your advice
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Old 27.12.2011, 21:19
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Re: Border Crossing Advice

I think it is the 18.44 form:

erklarung fur libersiedlungsgur - Declaration of personal household goods???

Amending customs form 18.44 - forgot to add dog to list of household goods

Merging foreign households in Switzerland; implications for 18.44

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/dienstleistu...x.html?lang=de

Last edited by jrspet; 27.12.2011 at 21:40.
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Old 27.12.2011, 21:25
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Re: Border Crossing Advice

As long as you have your documents to hand and inform the customs dudes that you are declaring goods before them having to ask, there's no reason for a physical check unless they suspect that you are hiding something. Customs guys have their "boxes to check" and the obvious profiles are likely to get questioned more intensely than Joe and Jocelyn Average with their 2.2 kids.

Normally, anything that you have owned for years and is a possession rather than a recent purchase will be tax and VAT free. I haven't got the links to hand, but they're really not expecting receipts for mattresses or curtains. I'd just detail the electrical stuff with say a CHF 100 low limit.
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Old 27.12.2011, 21:39
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Re: Border Crossing Advice

thanks for the advice. I have printer the 1844 form off and filling it out, as well as creating the Itinerary of items that i am importing.

Also frantically trying to find receipts dont i wish i was more organised!
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Old 27.12.2011, 21:43
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Re: Border Crossing Advice

All good advice above. You don't need receipts, you won't be charged any tax or duties.

You will have to cross the border during customs opening hours (About 6am to 7 pm) make sure you get a customs stamp for everything.

They like to see a tabulated inventory,

Item 1. Box 1 of 32 curtains

Item 2. Child's bicycle

Item 3. Box 2 of 32 Cups & Plates

Item 4. Family car (basic details and a copy of log book)

Item 5. Motorcycle (basic details and a copy of log book)


After you have written the inventory make at least 3 photocopies. You need to show your passport, and offer of employment, or B Permit.
All these personal imports are tax and duty free, but you are not allowed to sell them for some time (is it 2 years?)
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Old 27.12.2011, 21:54
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

When I moved here, also with a van load of goods, in summer 2009, I actually had great difficulty finding someone at the border to stamp my forms etc.!

We arrived in opening hours, on a week day, we just couldn't find anyone on duty! We could have driven straight through, we had to park and I wandered around trying to find a human being who could officially let me and my worldly goods enter the country.

I had the forms filled out and a detailed list of everything I was bringing. The only recipts I provided were for items less than 6 months old, which I had to pay import duty on. This proved difficult as they were mainly resources for use in teaching and the customs officer couldn't grasp the concept of 'educational toys and games'. In the end they charged me the rate for books... but at least I'd done my very best to do everything 'right'.

I have to say the customs people seemed rather bewildered by the whole process - I felt I was taking it more seriously than they were. They didn't even bother to check the microchip on the cat! And this was Geneva, not some small border crossing.

Hope it goes well.
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Old 27.12.2011, 23:34
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

now i am slightly worried as i will not be arriving until at least 6pm on a good run. What if i was to arrive at 9pm? would they just deny my entry into the country?

This is new years eve aswell so possibly the worst time to turn up late
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Old 28.12.2011, 00:14
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

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now i am slightly worried as i will not be arriving until at least 6pm on a good run. What if i was to arrive at 9pm? would they just deny my entry into the country?

This is new years eve aswell so possibly the worst time to turn up late
You would have to wait until they opened on Tuesday 3rd January.
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Old 28.12.2011, 00:16
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

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now i am slightly worried as i will not be arriving until at least 6pm on a good run. What if i was to arrive at 9pm? would they just deny my entry into the country?

This is new years eve aswell so possibly the worst time to turn up late
no you would just drive through. we've been through the border endless times driving everything from a small car to a packed van and we have never ever been stopped beyond a cursory glance.

really, don't worry about it. You'll just swan through.
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Old 28.12.2011, 00:33
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

Yes, of course the customs police will not find a van with UK plates on the road late on New Years Eve at all suspicious.....

If you don't stop at the border and declare everything you could have problems later, and you will lose any advantages you had. You will also be a criminal smuggling a van full of goods. Leave earlier, or spend two nights in France.

There are many woeful threads here, many starting with "Importing a ...
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Old 28.12.2011, 00:44
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

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Yes, of course the customs police will not find a van with UK plates on the road late on New Years Eve at all suspicious.....

If you don't stop at the border and declare everything you could have problems later, and you will lose any advantages you had. You will also be a criminal smuggling a van full of goods. Leave earlier, or spend two nights in France.

There are many woeful threads here, many starting with "Importing a ...
how can I find out the opening times for new years eve?
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Old 28.12.2011, 01:05
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

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Yes, of course the customs police will not find a van with UK plates on the road late on New Years Eve at all suspicious.....

If you don't stop at the border and declare everything you could have problems later, and you will lose any advantages you had. You will also be a criminal smuggling a van full of goods. Leave earlier, or spend two nights in France.

There are many woeful threads here, many starting with "Importing a ...
yeah Yeah Yeah, whatever. If your bringing in your own stuff then there's no need to worry. It's this sort of scaremongering that has people needlessly worrying. We came in on UK plates, no problem at all.
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Old 28.12.2011, 01:07
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

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how can I find out the opening times for new years eve?
You can give them a call I'm sure but they will be open. Borders are not closed unless there is a serious reason.
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Old 28.12.2011, 02:04
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

List of opening times : http://www.ezv.admin.ch/dienstleistu...x.html?lang=en

You need to go through during opening hours (see the front page of the form 18.44 (downloadable from this webpage http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en). Make sure you fill 18.44 in advance attaching your inventory
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Old 28.12.2011, 03:52
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

Just recently I imported both my car and my wife's car into Switzerland, both times although the border was manned the administration office at the border was closed and were unable to process the import, instead what they did was issue me with transit papers allowing me to enter the country and giving me a number of days in which to report to a customs office close to where I live to declare the import and pay the duty on the cars.
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Old 28.12.2011, 09:00
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Re: Border Crossing Advice ( Importing personal stuff 18.44 )

It's not the same - we arrive by train - but what impresses me is that they are such a civilised country.

Of course, they did not go invading Afganistan Libya, Irag, etc, and they do not go around the world imposing democacy or anyhting like that.

Consequently no-one hates them and they have no hang-up about terrorism.

At the railway borders they just sit there in their room, fortunately we are pale-skinned and of an age where bomb-making would appear to be an unlikely occupation.

I can fully believe that the borders are largely unmanned - they are part of the schleningham agreement, of course.

Mind, my son lives there, and he is VERY careful not to speed on the motorways, to have fully-paid his TV and radio license fees, to have a local company insuring all his posessions, and NEVER to try and 'get-away' with anything.

So long as you abide by the rules, it seems a great place to live, - enjoy yourselves!!!
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