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Old 29.06.2012, 08:54
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How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Nice thread from Mahmed How to Import a car but this is if you buy from a dealer, and they do all the legwork / paperwork for you.

What about if you buy a car from a private seller?

I recently bought a car privately in the UK, and imported it to CH myself, thought this might be a helpful story.

I bought a 2005 Jaguar XJR, in London, via eBay. Yes it's a RHD but I have my reasons for needing RHD, i won't go into it now.

Before I left I called my insurer & told them what I was doing, gave them the details of the car (make, model, VIN, UK Reg) and they opened a temporary coverage for me. I got an email from them confirming the coverage for the drive from England to Switzerland, and "a few weeks" in Switzerland while waiting to get it registered here.

So, flew to London, paid the guy, got the car. The only documents I got from him were the V5 registration paper, the last MOT cert, and a type-written invoice with the sellers name/address, my name/address, the VIN and description of the car & the purchase price. There is a section on the V5 which needs to be posted in stating "the car has been permanently exported" but funny enough you don't have to give any details of the new owner. I hope no speeding tickets end up with the previous owner.

I asked the seller to order me the Certificate of Conformance (which includes the Certificate of Origin) directly from Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry before I flew over. BTW it was 100 and in the end took 2 weeks to arrive. The seller posted it over to me when he got it. So I didn't have any cert for the importation, turns out I didn't need it anyhow.

Right drove to dover in the evening, got on the ferry, i'd decided against driving through France because of the tolls and speed limit, it's only 100km more via Germany, so I went Calais, Dunkirk, Brussels, Aachen and then south through to Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, arriving at the Thayngen-Bietingen border at 8am Saturday morning. Don't do this! Make sure you come in during the week, i'll explain why.

Without any export or import documents, you need to find a Neutral Customs Agent to do this for you. At Thayngen-Bietingen there are literally dozens on both sides of the border. You can walk in, give them the invoice and you particulars, and they will prepare the papers for you.

Except on a Saturday morning, a number of these firms were closed, the rest short-staffed with people waiting and waiting. Also it turns out not every company is authorised to do this. I eventually found one, staffed by two lovely young ladies...

They made the UK Export Document, and the Swiss Import Document.
CHF 150 and 20 minutes later I had the papers. They had made the Declaration of Origin too. "Jaguar is from England right?" "Yes my dear"

Take the export papers to the German side, they stamp it "the car has been exported from UK", take the import & export papers to the Swiss "the car has been imported to Switzerland", and they produce the vehicle identification document which has a "Stamm Number on it" this is a very important document. They then send everything via Pneumatic Tube over to the Transit Exit building. Walk over there, pay the VAT and Customs fees (cost me CHF 1600!), get your receipt and all the papers back.

Go back to the car, drive to the exit, show the papers, go home for a nap.

Couple of weeks later, I find the time to modify the headlights to point right instead of left. If you need more info on this send me a mail.

The Certificate of Conformance arrives in the post, so I go down to the Strassenverkehrsampt, give them the V5, the Certificate of Conformance, and the paper with the "Stamm Number", they give me some number plates, I call up the insurer to tell them the plate number, they electronically send the confirmation of insurance to the SVA, and I'm issued a temporary registration certificate, subject to passing the MFK inspection.

The Certificate of Conformance I got from Jaguar has to stay with the registration paper, in the car, it's clearly stated so on the document.

I have to hand back the UK plates to the SVA. Mount the Swiss plates on the car.

So the car is immediately legal to drive. I asked my mechanic about this, he seems to think that because it's an EU vehicle, less than 10 years old, it's registered immediately. If you have an older vehicle or import from outside the EU, it has to go for the MFK inspection before they issue you the plates & rego paper.

A week later I got an letter with the appointment for the MFK. June 27th at exactly 13:24, no kidding. The car needs to have been CH emissions tested and the CH booklet stamped before the test. So I need a booklet. My mechanic gets on to Emil Frey, the Swiss importer for Jaguar, and orders a new booklet for the Emissions. It turns up in the post (still haven't got the bill, no idea what it cost), they make the emissions test in the morning of the 27th, and fill out / stamp the booklet.

But there's another problem, the left rear door has locked itself shut & won't open, a replacement lock is on the way but won't arrive in time to replace it before the inspection...so my mechanic takes the car to the MFK for me, and somehow, it passes with flying colours. They bring it back, replace the lock, and we're done.

A new (permanent) registration paper is on the way in the post.

And that's it, we're done. Not that complicated in the end. Hope this helps someone...

A few things I've learned in the meantime;

- Order the Certificate of Conformance from the manufacturer in the country you're buying the car from. I've heard BMW Switzerland is no longer providing these certs for new car imports? Just what I heard.

- If you import a RHD car from England DO NOT BUY NEW HEADLIGHTS please send me an email first I will help you.

Last edited by Cambo351; 29.06.2012 at 09:00. Reason: Forgot something important
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  #2  
Old 29.06.2012, 09:00
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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.

- If you import a RHD car from England DO NOT BUY NEW HEADLIGHTS please send me an email first I will help you.

just post it here instead, unless you try sell something? some do have an adjustment but many require a new headlight as the reflector determines the beam cut off
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Old 29.06.2012, 09:11
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

I'm not selling anything. The problem is that a not every headlight is the same.

Short version is that there are often metal "flaps" that cut off the beam to the left or right. You need to disassemble the headlight, remove and replace those flaps. Sometimes you can turn them around, other times they need modification. Sometimes esp. with Halogen lamps you need to change the reflector...

The cheapest pair of complete Bi-Xenon LHD headlamps for this XJ, that I could find was €1600! In the end I did it myself just took me an afternoon. Cost nothing in the end except my time.

But this thread is "how to import a car" not "how to fix your headlights".....
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Old 29.06.2012, 11:19
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

I did it myself also
bmw 525 d from 2001 so I did have to wait for the inspection etc before getting my plates reissued . But since it was my sisters I continued to drive on NL plates.

And I paid 80 chf for the paperwork at the border...maybe they have different prices everywhere?
And I did get the COC from bmw Switzerland (but they ardered it from Germany..) 150 chf and also 2 weeks

The booklet for emmisions cost me 25 chf from Emil frey.
Somehow mine also passed with flying colors even though I was aware of several (safety) issues which have been taken care of much later. Im not even having the correct tires and he passed me.
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Old 30.08.2012, 09:22
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Does anybody has experince in buying a second had car fro a dealer in Germany or France? Can you get the VAT back at the swiss border if you paid it in germany or france while buying the second hand car?

this would make a big difference as the VAT is 19% in Germany
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Old 11.09.2012, 16:09
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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Does anybody has experince in buying a second had car fro a dealer in Germany or France? Can you get the VAT back at the swiss border if you paid it in germany or france while buying the second hand car?

this would make a big difference as the VAT is 19% in Germany
That's a very good question. Also, what taxes/duties on the Swiss side does it imply? I've read several posts but still not clear whether it's worth the whole hassle as 8 % tax plus 4 % customs fee plus CO2 duty may offset all benefits...Or am I missing something?
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Old 25.08.2016, 10:59
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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I did it myself also
bmw 525 d from 2001 so I did have to wait for the inspection etc before getting my plates reissued . But since it was my sisters I continued to drive on NL plates.

And I paid 80 chf for the paperwork at the border...maybe they have different prices everywhere?
And I did get the COC from bmw Switzerland (but they ardered it from Germany..) 150 chf and also 2 weeks

The booklet for emmisions cost me 25 chf from Emil frey.
Somehow mine also passed with flying colors even though I was aware of several (safety) issues which have been taken care of much later. Im not even having the correct tires and he passed me.
Dear Anthony1406,

I am roughly in a similar situation. I want to import a car that belongs to my mother and make it my own.

Can I ask you a number of details?

Did you do a ownership passage in the Netherlands and then you imported the car?

Or did your sister brought the car to Switzerland with NL plate and then performed the car exportation in the Swiss Inland (so basically, instead of doing the paperwork at the border you do it at your Zollamt?), including property passage?

Thanks in advance for your kind reply,
Edo
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Old 31.08.2014, 14:59
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Where did you get the emission test done?

I have a RHD Scooby so need a Noise test, and Emissions test as the car does not have a Certificate of Conformity ?

Infact is your garage able to help me get my car in



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just post it here instead, unless you try sell something? some do have an adjustment but many require a new headlight as the reflector determines the beam cut off
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Old 29.06.2012, 11:33
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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...you need to find a Neutral Customs Agent to do this for you... At Thayngen-Bietingen there are literally dozens on both sides of the border.
Can you give details?

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"Jaguar is from England right?" "Yes my dear"
Really, I thought it was Indian...

Tata for now...
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Old 29.06.2012, 11:56
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Zollagenturen in Thayngen Tata yourself!
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Old 29.06.2012, 13:21
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Excellent post. Makes me want to run out and buy a car in the UK. Are mini Mini's a dime a dozen there? Are their fields of mini Mini's from me to choose from?

Ok, so you answered the headlight question. But why, oh, why do you need a RHD in Switzerland? Are you delivering the mail?
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Old 30.07.2012, 09:15
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Thanks for this post. You said that you had to pay CHF1600 for VAT and customs fees. Do you know how this is calculated? I have an old car in UK which I would like to import. It's worth very little, but I'm afraid I might get stung for disproportionate VAT/csutoms charges.
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Old 30.07.2012, 09:31
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Hi Cambo,

If buying a car from the UK and importing it to the Swiss, does the price of the car change anything? I.e. the more you pay the more they tax you here?

Other then the costs mentioned in your post, is there any other charges on importing a car over to the Swiss?

I was thinking of doing the same, buying a car in the UK, maybe a LHD, and bringing it over here to the Swiss.

BR

K..
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Old 10.08.2012, 11:46
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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Thanks for this post. You said that you had to pay CHF1600 for VAT and customs fees. Do you know how this is calculated? I have an old car in UK which I would like to import. It's worth very little, but I'm afraid I might get stung for disproportionate VAT/csutoms charges.
4% Automobile duty (based on the value of the car) + Customs duty based on the weight of the car (CHF 15 per 100kg) + VAT at 8% (on the combined total, i.e. car value + automobile duty + customs duty)

In addition an "emissions penalty" has also been introduced (from 1 July this year) for imported cars. My understanding is that for second hand cars which have been registered for more than 6 months this is not an issue.

However, if you are buying and importing a new car there is a sliding scale charge based on the amount of CO2 emitted. Can get pretty hefty if you are buying a performance car.

http://www.bfe.admin.ch/themen/00507...x.html?lang=en
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Old 19.11.2016, 14:26
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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Can you give details?



Really, I thought it was Indian...

Tata for now...
Funny
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Old 02.04.2017, 19:26
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

Hi All,
very interesting thread.
In the very first post is mentioned the VAT is 8% +4% tax.
Will it be possible to claim back the 'other country's VAT for an used vehicle? sometimes the dealers mention 'separate VAT in the invoice'

thanks all

Mike
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Old 19.07.2017, 09:38
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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Will it be possible to claim back the 'other country's VAT for an used vehicle?
That depends upon the country. For the UK the answer is only if you buy the car new, and specifically state you wish to export it before purchase. The VAT refund permission must be obtained before the day of purchase. It cannot be done restrospectively once the vehicle is purchased.
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Old 26.08.2017, 10:59
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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In the very first post is mentioned the VAT is 8% +4% tax.
Will it be possible to claim back the 'other country's VAT for an used vehicle?
Normally not, but that depends on the laws of the exporting country, not Switzerland. You would have to ask them.

Tom
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Old 26.08.2017, 11:33
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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Normally not, but that depends on the laws of the exporting country, not Switzerland. You would have to ask them.

Tom
I disagree, although it's a question of interpretation. Are we talking about a private sale or buying from a dealer/garage? If you buy your second-hand car from a VAT-registered dealer—and that's most car dealers in Europe—and the car is not on consignment as a private purchase, then the dealer has to charge VAT (around 20% in the EU). If this case, the VAT is refundable if the car is exported. I've bought a car and a motorcycle in Germany for import to CH and got 100% of the German VAT (MWSt) refunded.

Having said that, I don't know if Italy has a problem with VAT refunds. I'd expect some sort of EU harmonisation on this issue.

If you buy the car in a private sale, no VAT is charged so none is refunded.
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Old 30.07.2012, 11:29
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Re: How to PRIVATELY import a car EU to CH

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...There is a section on the V5 which needs to be posted in stating "the car has been permanently exported" but funny enough you don't have to give any details of the new owner. I hope no speeding tickets end up with the previous owner...
Funnily enough, I'm rather counting on this so that a very expensive ticket I *may* have collected vanishes into a black hole.... Unlikely, but I'm an optimist!
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