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Old 31.05.2012, 19:47
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Importing a car from the UK

Hi all,

I was wondering if you could help me, and whilst I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, a tailored answer would be hugely appreciated.

I grew up in Switzerland, but have lived back in the UK since 2001. We are lucky enough to still have a house in GraubŁnden. I have just bought a car (Ferrari 360) in the UK which I want to export to Switzerland.

My questions are as follows:

1.) Is this possible, as I am not a resident, yet we have a house there?

2.) I have read that there is a duty & 20% VAT to pay, but these appear to be flexible if the car has/hasn't been owned for more than 6 months - which is it?

3.) As the car is UK spec, RHD, what modifications need to be done?

4.) What would the process be? I have read that the car can be driven to the border, where the process would start. As I have just bought the car, will it be sufficient to organise temporary insurance to drive the car out to Switzerland, rather than take out a years insurance in the UK?

Finally 5.) How does Swiss insurance work with a UK licence?


Apologies for all the questions. Any help/suggestions anyone can offer would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.
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  #2  
Old 31.05.2012, 20:22
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

You can't import a car if you are not resident in Swiss.

Insure it in the UK with European cover (LV do 180 days per trip Euro/Swiss cover, which means the car need to be back in the UK twice a year).

If you do get a residence permit and import it you will need to change the headlights and possibly move the fog light if you don't have them both sides.

If you have owned the car for more than 6 months there is no import tax to pay.

The process is along the lines of:
  • Get a residence permit
  • Drive to border (with reg documents) and get an import declaration form stamped
  • Take the import declaration form to the Zoll office (with your residence permit, reg docs, invoice and passport) and get import form 13:20A (costs 20chf)
  • Take form 13:20A to the police station and register the car (they can also do you a residents parking permit if you need one)

Then after 10 months they will send you an appointment for the MFK and you either take it out the country or get it tested and get your Swiss plates.

Also you need to change your driving licence within 12 months of getting residence permit so you may as well do it at the same time as getting the Swiss plates (you'll need an eye test for the driving licence).
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Old 03.07.2012, 16:43
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

Hi Cran, your reply to Ed1e is helpful. I was wondering whether you know if it is possible to defer the MFK by a couple of months when you are finally called up? I am hoping to purchase a right hand drive Ferrari from the UK, export it to Switzerland using your method, then export it from Switzerland to Australia. However in accordance with Australian laws I must have owned it in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 months.
I am a resident of Switzerland.
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Old 03.07.2012, 16:52
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

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Hi Cran, your reply to Ed1e is helpful. I was wondering whether you know if it is possible to defer the MFK by a couple of months when you are finally called up? I am hoping to purchase a right hand drive Ferrari from the UK, export it to Switzerland using your method, then export it from Switzerland to Australia. However in accordance with Australian laws I must have owned it in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 months.
I am a resident of Switzerland.
You can only defer the MFK upto the time that the car has to be legally imported and matriculated onto Swiss plates... otherwise you have customs issues. You also have insurance issues if it is not on Swiss plates, unless you still have a residence in the UK and can get cover from there.
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Old 03.07.2012, 16:57
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

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Hi all,

I was wondering if you could help me, and whilst I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, a tailored answer would be hugely appreciated.

I grew up in Switzerland, but have lived back in the UK since 2001. We are lucky enough to still have a house in GraubŁnden. I have just bought a car (Ferrari 360) in the UK which I want to export to Switzerland.

My questions are as follows:

1.) Is this possible, as I am not a resident, yet we have a house there?

2.) I have read that there is a duty & 20% VAT to pay, but these appear to be flexible if the car has/hasn't been owned for more than 6 months - which is it?

3.) As the car is UK spec, RHD, what modifications need to be done?

4.) What would the process be? I have read that the car can be driven to the border, where the process would start. As I have just bought the car, will it be sufficient to organise temporary insurance to drive the car out to Switzerland, rather than take out a years insurance in the UK?

Finally 5.) How does Swiss insurance work with a UK licence?


Apologies for all the questions. Any help/suggestions anyone can offer would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.
As Cran correctly says above...plus... you can get the insurance on your Swiss address but with it coming from the UK it must be imported and on Swiss plates to do so or it gets complex.
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Old 03.07.2012, 17:10
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

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Hi Cran, your reply to Ed1e is helpful. I was wondering whether you know if it is possible to defer the MFK by a couple of months when you are finally called up? I am hoping to purchase a right hand drive Ferrari from the UK, export it to Switzerland using your method, then export it from Switzerland to Australia. However in accordance with Australian laws I must have owned it in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 months.
I am a resident of Switzerland.
You'll need to get the MFK _before_ you get Swiss papers/plates for it, so I suspect that the 12 months you need to export to Oz would only start at that point.

Also note that the 12 months import grace period is only for when you first move to CH. If you're already resident you'll have to start the process straight away and turn up for the MFK as soon as they ask you (which may be some time, depending on Kanton and capacity).
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Old 03.07.2012, 17:22
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

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You can't import a car if you are not resident in Swiss.

Insure it in the UK with European cover (LV do 180 days per trip Euro/Swiss cover, which means the car need to be back in the UK twice a year).

If you do get a residence permit and import it you will need to change the headlights and possibly move the fog light if you don't have them both sides.

If you have owned the car for more than 6 months there is no import tax to pay.

The process is along the lines of:
  • Get a residence permit
  • Drive to border (with reg documents) and get an import declaration form stamped
  • Take the import declaration form to the Zoll office (with your residence permit, reg docs, invoice and passport) and get import form 13:20A (costs 20chf)
  • Take form 13:20A to the police station and register the car (they can also do you a residents parking permit if you need one)
Then after 10 months they will send you an appointment for the MFK and you either take it out the country or get it tested and get your Swiss plates.

Also you need to change your driving licence within 12 months of getting residence permit so you may as well do it at the same time as getting the Swiss plates (you'll need an eye test for the driving licence).
I just drove my UK car over here (the residence permit had not been issued at that time).
Change the headlights.
Drove up until it was time to put it onto Swiss plates. Headed to Zoll office to sort the paperwork 13.20 etc. Then sorted the insurance ready for the MFK.
Never went to the Police station or Border.

This was my thread on how I did it.
How I imported my car from the UK
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Old 03.07.2012, 18:17
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

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I am hoping to purchase a right hand drive Ferrari from the UK, export it to Switzerland using your method, then export it from Switzerland to Australia. However in accordance with Australian laws I must have owned it in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 months.
You will have to register and insure the car in Switzerland. 12 month rule for tax-free personal imports to Oz is only in play if the car is registered in your country of residence and available for your use at all times. The 12 months starts from when the car is officially registered here in your name, and the 3 months on the boat don't count either!

You'll be well up s__t creek if you try to get around this.
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Old 14.07.2012, 12:01
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

Sorry, but I'm going to hijack this thread slightly, although this is related to the above thread. I have been living in CH for a year now, but still own a place back in London. I would like to purchase my dream car prom the 80s (Porsche 928 GT). My questions, related to previous thread:
If I keep the car in London for 6 months (while it undergoes restoration) can I forego the duty/tax? Is duty/ tax less for classic cars?
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Old 14.07.2012, 15:15
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Re: Importing a car from the UK

As you've already been living here for a year, the window to import any personal possessions tax-free is closed. You certainly cannot buy a car in the UK and import it to Switzerland without paying the 8% VAT & 4% Duty. Sorry!
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