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Old 24.06.2016, 11:12
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Sharing experience on car export to EU

I wanted to export my car from switzerland to Eu and since it was quite complicated here are few lessons learned shared to anyone who want's the same.

-It is cheaper to export with Swiss plates. You can drive the car in the destination and then return the plates. Getting export plates from registration office is quite expensive.
-Ordering German export plates from internet needs German inspection. If you need to return your Swiss plates this is a good option (if you anyway plan to inspect your car, depends of your destination I guess).
-Custom opening hours are not synchronized with the forwarding-agent business hours. We went Saturday but the agents did not do private import/exports on Saturday. Customs did not know about that, so we managed to export the car but not import.
-Customs can open 5am but the agents open at 7 etc.
-It does not matter where you are taking your car in EU, you can import it in the German customs. You have to pay VAT so if your country has higher tax rate then it makes sense to import in Germany.
-You cannot export/import for yourself if the sales paper of the car says you bought it to CH. You need to create a pro-forma sale paper to an EU address (They willl ask do that in the customs and it does not need to be too complicated).
-If your car is valuated under 6000Eur it should be possible to avoid the customs payment (10%) BUT ONLY if it is written in the sales document that it was originally imported from EU.
-Reported car value is checked by the German Customs against a database (or autoscout/mobile)

The procedure (at least in Koblenz/WT customs):
-In the border, ask for a 'rote karte' from the truck station (a tall toll-boot). If you don't have it in the customs zone, you need to pay 15e fine. There might be no-one in the boot so you can argue and they will let you go 'this one time'.
-Drive to customs Zone. There you need to drive thru a waiting zone to get another ticket which you need when you drive to the Customs area.
-There are both CH and DE customs at same building. Agents are in a separate building.
-You might want to try to export your car in the CH desk of customs but they might not want to do it and ask you to go to agents.
-Go to the agents building and ask if any office is willing to do the paperwork. There are several that you can chose from. This will cost you 70-120e depending if you have managed to export your car or not.
-Agents will send you to customs to do paying and decisions. Go to do that.
-After the payment go back to agents and get your paperwork.
-Each time you enter or leave the customs area you need to have the rote karte stamped in the customs. Even if you do not do anything. You are not let out otherwise.

Hope This Helps someone with similar plans
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  #2  
Old 15.08.2016, 21:27
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

I have a car that was never on Swiss plates which I imported myself. Now a friend would like to buy the car and export it again to EU. I understand VAT is due to be paid by my friend. Do I need to register my export even if there have never been Swiss plates in them? I do have a 13.20A form
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Old 15.08.2016, 22:00
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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I have a car that was never on Swiss plates which I imported myself. Now a friend would like to buy the car and export it again to EU. I understand VAT is due to be paid by my friend. Do I need to register my export even if there have never been Swiss plates in them? I do have a 13.20A form
See:
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

specifically
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...n6A--&typ=.pdf

Plates and tax appear to be unrelated, but you do need to declare the export.
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Old 15.08.2016, 22:28
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Thanks. That should not be too difficult.... I may even try and get some VAT and import duties back as I am in the 3 and 5 year limits
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Old 16.05.2018, 13:22
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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I wanted to export my car from switzerland to Eu and since it was quite complicated here are few lessons learned shared to anyone who want's the same.

-It is cheaper to export with Swiss plates. You can drive the car in the destination and then return the plates. Getting export plates from registration office is quite expensive.
-Ordering German export plates from internet needs German inspection. If you need to return your Swiss plates this is a good option (if you anyway plan to inspect your car, depends of your destination I guess).
-Custom opening hours are not synchronized with the forwarding-agent business hours. We went Saturday but the agents did not do private import/exports on Saturday. Customs did not know about that, so we managed to export the car but not import.
-Customs can open 5am but the agents open at 7 etc.
-It does not matter where you are taking your car in EU, you can import it in the German customs. You have to pay VAT so if your country has higher tax rate then it makes sense to import in Germany.
-You cannot export/import for yourself if the sales paper of the car says you bought it to CH. You need to create a pro-forma sale paper to an EU address (They willl ask do that in the customs and it does not need to be too complicated).
-If your car is valuated under 6000Eur it should be possible to avoid the customs payment (10%) BUT ONLY if it is written in the sales document that it was originally imported from EU.
-Reported car value is checked by the German Customs against a database (or autoscout/mobile)

The procedure (at least in Koblenz/WT customs):
-In the border, ask for a 'rote karte' from the truck station (a tall toll-boot). If you don't have it in the customs zone, you need to pay 15e fine. There might be no-one in the boot so you can argue and they will let you go 'this one time'.
-Drive to customs Zone. There you need to drive thru a waiting zone to get another ticket which you need when you drive to the Customs area.
-There are both CH and DE customs at same building. Agents are in a separate building.
-You might want to try to export your car in the CH desk of customs but they might not want to do it and ask you to go to agents.
-Go to the agents building and ask if any office is willing to do the paperwork. There are several that you can chose from. This will cost you 70-120e depending if you have managed to export your car or not.
-Agents will send you to customs to do paying and decisions. Go to do that.
-After the payment go back to agents and get your paperwork.
-Each time you enter or leave the customs area you need to have the rote karte stamped in the customs. Even if you do not do anything. You are not let out otherwise.

Hope This Helps someone with similar plans
Hi Piizei
Thanks for this really helpful account on importing your car to the EU. I am planning to export my Swiss registered car to France soon. The car will be for our use as we have a house in France and spend a lot of time there. Are you able to answer a few questions for me? It would be much appreciated.
Am I right in thinking I can do the export/import at the border in Konstanz pay my taxes etc there and then when i arrive in France go ahead with the registration process?

My car is an Opel Corsa 15 years old and we bought it second hand 2 years ago. Am I right in thinking we don't need a certificate of conformity for this reason?

The car will need to have a technical inspection in France. Am I right in understanding from your post that temporary licence plates are issued by the garage doing the inspection? This is important because this car shares plates with another so we will need to bring them back with us.

Many thanks for any information and advice you can offer.
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Old 16.05.2018, 13:51
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Hi Vertedee!

Yes, you should be able to do the export/import at Konstanz. There you would import the car into Germany and not into France but that does not matter as it is valid for whole EU.
You will need the sales papers where the buyer is someone who lives inside EU (yourself or some relative with France address for example). Tax is calculated from the sales price and they will check from internet car sites that it is about right. They will also want to see the car.

To avoid import tax of 10%, you need some paper that says that car was originally manufactured and imported from EU to Switzerland. This can be on the sales documents. I did not have this and had to pay 10% even though it is written to my car that it is 'made in sweden'. It think you can write it yourself on the sales document, as long it is stated. My sales document was hand written paper from myself to my wife and that was not a problem.

Where you get the temporal plates depends on country. I think in germany you would get permanent plates just by taking it to inspection. In Finland where I registered you have to pay import tax and that's why you get temporal plates until the tax is calculated.
For France I cannot say for sure but I think you should be able to register it immediately for permanent plates. You can definitely drive there with Swiss plates and then just bring the plates back to Switzerland either way. For inspection you will need the original registration paper from Switzerland and maybe CoC depending of the age and model of your car. Just try without. If they ask it you can order one from internet. This depends a lot on the model of the car. Some cars like VW you need to order it and for example for Volvos the CoC can be seen from the body of the car. For Mercedes it is usually hidden somewhere in the car (yellow paper, if it's lost, you can order it). For Opel I have no experience but for VW and Merc it costed ~120-160e.
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Old 16.05.2018, 15:20
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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Hi Vertedee!

Yes, you should be able to do the export/import at Konstanz. There you would import the car into Germany and not into France but that does not matter as it is valid for whole EU.
You will need the sales papers where the buyer is someone who lives inside EU (yourself or some relative with France address for example). Tax is calculated from the sales price and they will check from internet car sites that it is about right. They will also want to see the car.

Piizei
You mentioned that you created a sales document. Am I right in thinking that your car was originally bought in the EU? We are not exporting for sale but for personal use. We will keep the car parked up near the airport so that when we fly into France it is waiting for us.
Have I misunderstood something? Is it necessary to give a reason for import and a final destination for registration, such as a sale to a person in France?
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Old 16.05.2018, 15:34
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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Piizei
You mentioned that you created a sales document. Am I right in thinking that your car was originally bought in the EU? We are not exporting for sale but for personal use. We will keep the car parked up near the airport so that when we fly into France it is waiting for us.
Have I misunderstood something? Is it necessary to give a reason for import and a final destination for registration, such as a sale to a person in France?
I was requested to create 'pro-forma' sales paper in the German customs to prove that car is going to a owner with EU address. The original sales documents from Switzerland 2 years earlier when I had bought the car were not usable. I just created the document with pen and paper in the customs to our address in EU and it was enough. But I suppose this might vary depending on the custom officer.
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Old 16.05.2018, 16:15
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Got it! Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 27.07.2018, 17:56
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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I wanted to export my car from switzerland to Eu and since it was quite complicated here are few lessons learned shared to anyone who want's the same.

-It is cheaper to export with Swiss plates. You can drive the car in the destination and then return the plates. Getting export plates from registration office is quite expensive.
-Ordering German export plates from internet needs German inspection. If you need to return your Swiss plates this is a good option (if you anyway plan to inspect your car, depends of your destination I guess).
-Custom opening hours are not synchronized with the forwarding-agent business hours. We went Saturday but the agents did not do private import/exports on Saturday. Customs did not know about that, so we managed to export the car but not import.
-Customs can open 5am but the agents open at 7 etc.
-It does not matter where you are taking your car in EU, you can import it in the German customs. You have to pay VAT so if your country has higher tax rate then it makes sense to import in Germany.
-You cannot export/import for yourself if the sales paper of the car says you bought it to CH. You need to create a pro-forma sale paper to an EU address (They willl ask do that in the customs and it does not need to be too complicated).
-If your car is valuated under 6000Eur it should be possible to avoid the customs payment (10%) BUT ONLY if it is written in the sales document that it was originally imported from EU.
-Reported car value is checked by the German Customs against a database (or autoscout/mobile)

The procedure (at least in Koblenz/WT customs):
-In the border, ask for a 'rote karte' from the truck station (a tall toll-boot). If you don't have it in the customs zone, you need to pay 15e fine. There might be no-one in the boot so you can argue and they will let you go 'this one time'.
-Drive to customs Zone. There you need to drive thru a waiting zone to get another ticket which you need when you drive to the Customs area.
-There are both CH and DE customs at same building. Agents are in a separate building.
-You might want to try to export your car in the CH desk of customs but they might not want to do it and ask you to go to agents.
-Go to the agents building and ask if any office is willing to do the paperwork. There are several that you can chose from. This will cost you 70-120e depending if you have managed to export your car or not.
-Agents will send you to customs to do paying and decisions. Go to do that.
-After the payment go back to agents and get your paperwork.
-Each time you enter or leave the customs area you need to have the rote karte stamped in the customs. Even if you do not do anything. You are not let out otherwise.

Hope This Helps someone with similar plans
Hello Piizei,

Thanks for providing the great information! I am hoping that you can answer my question. I've recently brought my car (that I bought in Switzerland 2 years ago with about 5000 CHF) to Spain, and since it was too late (7pm or so) when I passed the border, I couldn't do anything there. My plan is to sell this car in Spain (or my wife might have to sell it because I am not going to live in Spain but she does, and I am moving to Iceland). I am wondering if you know what I have to do on the Swiss side, such as returning the plate and so on.

To explain a bit more on my situation, I am still now in Zurich (I flew back to Zurich from Spain after driving there), and I am going to Spain next week for vacation and come back to Zurich the week after, so I can bring back the Swiss plate if necessary.

I would really appreciate it if you can answer.

Thanks!
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Old 29.07.2018, 08:50
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Just a note to anyone ever thinking of exporting a car to NL. Don't, or get royally screwed on (luxury) tax. Unless you car is very CO2-friendly.
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Old 01.08.2018, 18:40
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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Just a note to anyone ever thinking of exporting a car to NL. Don't, or get royally screwed on (luxury) tax. Unless you car is very CO2-friendly.
You get the tax back after exporting it again (pro rata)

Plus you get to enjoy these lovely Dutch roads and no caravans on it as they are all driving here...
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Old 28.11.2018, 00:25
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

I'm planning on taking my UK car back to England and selling it.
It was never officially deregistered or exported from the UK. Naughty me.


I can simply drive it there on Swiss plates, bring them back with me and turn them in, right?


It seems I don't need to declare export from Switzerland:
"Travellers domiciled in Switzerland can export vehicles from Switzerland for their own personal use without declaring them."


I've read I'll get road tax and insurance refunds. Does anyone know if that's fully pro-rata or are there service fees added? I'm trying to work out if it would be beneficial to do it before the end of the year.


Thanks!
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Old 24.01.2019, 15:57
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Bumping this thread for clarification as the French website is not the most straight forward.

We bought an XC60 new almost 4 years ago and the lease is almost up. We are thinking of buying out the car for it's rest value, and keeping it.

We have a house in France and will probably be moving there in the next 12 months, with my wife working remotely from there (Cognac) returning to CH for maybe a week a month so she will retain her C permit and health insurance etc and rent a WG here in CH, I would deregister and move to France full time.

At a glance it looks like a 30% import and VAT hit, but would that be on the Autoscout type valuation of the car, or the rest value? and a emissions charge, which could in total be a chunk and would impact on whether we just hand the car back, and buy something in France.

So, how would the French at Basel (which is where we would cross the border) view the import of personal possessions including the Volvo. Are there any dispensation as the car will likely be 5 years old when it makes the move, and we will have owned it all that time?
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Old 24.01.2019, 16:09
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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At a glance it looks like a 30% import and VAT hit, but would that be on the Autoscout type valuation of the car, or the rest value? and a emissions charge, which could in total be a chunk and would impact on whether we just hand the car back, and buy something in France.

So, how would the French at Basel (which is where we would cross the border) view the import of personal possessions including the Volvo. Are there any dispensation as the car will likely be 5 years old when it makes the move, and we will have owned it all that time?
Look at the French custom website regarding move of domicile. This should be VAT and duty free. At least it is in the other direction, to Switzerland, even when it was a leased car. Anyhow, and I normally do not support dodgy stuff, but how would they know it was a leased car? Swiss car documents do not list the owner and you were the registered holder all the time.
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Old 24.01.2019, 16:56
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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Look at the French custom website regarding move of domicile. This should be VAT and duty free. At least it is in the other direction, to Switzerland, even when it was a leased car. Anyhow, and I normally do not support dodgy stuff, but how would they know it was a leased car? Swiss car documents do not list the owner and you were the registered holder all the time.
I did and it wasn't clear, hence the post. Also not sure what you infer by questioning the lease, the lease ends in a few months and as stated we are considering buying out the lease, so there will be no finance company involvement as the lease with be finished
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Old 24.01.2019, 17:25
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

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I did and it wasn't clear, hence the post. Also not sure what you infer by questioning the lease, the lease ends in a few months and as stated we are considering buying out the lease, so there will be no finance company involvement as the lease with be finished
The regulations about tax and duty free imports in relation with the move of a household normally stipulate you must have been the owner of the goods for a certain period prior the move (in case of Switzerland it is 6 months). Otherwise tax and duty might apply. If you lease a car you are legally not the owner of the car during the lease, but only after the end of the lease.

This page says "have been in private use" which technically means it is regardless of the actual ownership:
http://www.douane.gouv.fr/articles/a...nce-principale

A thing to consider: With main residence in the EU you cannot simply drive a CH-registered car in the EU, with main residence CH your wife cannot simply drive an EU-registered car in CH. (Simply == w/o any prior customs approval). For your wife there is also the option of a permit G.
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Old 25.01.2019, 07:02
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

You don't have to pay VAT at customs if you are relocating back to your home EU country and you have a certification from your consulate/embassy in Switzerland.

Cheers,
Josh
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Old 03.04.2019, 10:56
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

Hello All

when you take a swiss export plated car to German border, do you need to have a German EORI (customs ) ID?
the car will go to another EU country for final registration.

I will have the contract
possibly stating the country of origin or EUR1 from the dealer
temporarly CH export plates

will follow the export/import process with CH/DE border and agents.

thank you for the valueable info
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Old 24.08.2019, 18:37
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Re: Sharing experience on car export to EU

I had a similar experience exporting my car to Belgium, here are the main points:

1/ I went to car registration office (Zug's Strassverkehrsamt in my case) to cancel the vehicle's "grey card" and get temprary export plates. Those plates are valid until the end of the month meaning you'd better go early in the month to make the most of them... The plates (including insurance) cost me 279.80 francs. They are not renewable so you have only 1 bullet.

2/ Then I looked for a custom agent in Belgium to deal with all the import paperwork. I chose Adam & Menten in Herstal (near Liège where the buyer of the car resides) and I was very satisfied.

3/ Then I went to Swiss/French commercial border (Zollamt Basel/Saint-Louis Autobahn) and looked for a freight forwarder who would accept to do the export clearance for me. Make sure to go early as you might have to queue in the middle of hundreds of (mostly Polish) truck drivers. The freigth forwarding companies are all located in a 2-storey buidling next to the Swiss/French custom office. It took me some time but I finally found a French forwarding agent who accepted to do the paperwork for me for 215 euros. Not cheap but I had no other options so I went for it. Don't forget to bring the car's temporary grey card and certificate of conformity and, of course, the bill of sale (you can't export the car without a buyer in the destination country).

3/ The I drove the car to Belgium and went to Adam & Menten for the custom clearance. You have only a few days to do that, make sure to go as quickly as possible or you will pay a fine if you are past the clear-by date. The custom agent's fee was 120 euros, the fine for being 1 day late was 125 euros and the VAT was 21% of the price showing on the bill of sales (custom agents check if the price makes sense).

I hope this helps someone, feel free to message me if you need more details.
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