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Old 11.06.2019, 20:17
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Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Hi there,

I'm in a kind of deadlock situation with the selling of my old car (french plates). When I moved to Switzerland I obtained form 15.30 that authorized me to drive in Switzerland with this car for a maximum of 2 years. After those 2 years the car needs to be either imported (and taxed) or returned to the original territory (France) and form 15.30 presented to Swiss customs.

Now (less than a year after I moved), I sold it but I've been told that the car needs to be in the border/customs office when I present form 15.30. The problem is that I sold it on a day customs were closed. I've been trying to look everywhere about this requirement on the car being physically by the customs office when I present form 15.30 but I could not find it. I thought this could be like when you do an spontaneous declaration of goods while customs are closed.

Besides, the car is sold and I have proof of it but no longer access to the car. Did anyone experience or heard something similar?

Thanks for reading so far, this forum has been my most precious help since I started to move here.
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Old 11.06.2019, 21:05
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Re: From 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Contact the seller and confess that you messed up hugely and try to work something out.

You need the car to properly import it, and you are liable for all duties and taxes involved in importing the car.

PS: Does the owner of the car know any of this, since I would assume he is not allowed to drive that car?
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Old 11.06.2019, 21:27
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Re: From 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Thanks for the answer but I think I was not clear on my description. The car was sold in France to a French resident, where the car belongs to. Form 15.30 is only temporary and it's only an authorization to have it without importing it (the car was always French but I was authorized to have it despite being a Swiss resident).

So, as far as I know there was never an import, 15.30 is more a temporary authorization. That's also what French customs told me because I never had to de-register/export it in France.
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Old 11.06.2019, 22:25
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Re: From 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Having sold it in France indeed changes a whole lot.

Just give them a call or stop by them with all the papers you have and see what they say.
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:21
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Re: From 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Thanks EdwinNL, I will, for sure. Until then if anyone had this very particular case I'd be grateful to know, it cannot be that complicated (last famous words).
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:11
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Re: From 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

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Now (less than a year after I moved), I sold it but I've been told that the car needs to be in the border/customs office when I present form 15.30.
That makes sense if you want to import it but not if you simply return the form and void the permission. Perhaps contact them and ask for clarifications.
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Old 17.06.2019, 11:04
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

Hello,

So, I finally got all clarifications I needed. I'll post this as a future big warning for people in the same situation. I went to a small customs office where I experienced probably the ruthless behaviour towards me that any administration employee has ever gave to me (anyway, off-topic):
  • No, you can't have form 15.30 managed without the car physically in the customs office because it's an exported good. In other words, form 15.30 is not a temporary authorization to have a non-imported car but more a temporary import. All exported goods need to be there at the time of their management by customs office, it doesn't matter whether it's an old car or a big truck going to China. It doesn't matter if it's a temporary authorization to drive in CH (form 15.30) or anything else. It is considered an exported good and "there's no discussion on that"
  • No, the certificate of the transaction for the car does not matter, not any official non-Swiss document stating the car officially belongs to someone else living abroad. They don't care, it's Swiss customs, it's your problem to show them the car, they won't bother by looking anything else than your car.
  • No, there's no other way to do this. You don't show the car, you're considered to have the car in CH and, after 2 years, to not have fulfilled your duties by definitively importing the car in CH or getting the car out of the country.
Now, coming to the options left for those that find themselves in this situation it's pretty simple:

a) Do whatever you need to do to have the car physically in the customs office. Buy the car back, ask the buyer to do you a favor, whatever it takes. This might seem not practical but it is the way it should be done.

b) Go to a bigger customs office where they're really busy with the 200 trucks per hour and 100 imported cars per day they have to manage, lower your karma level by lying them and telling the car is of course out in the parking lot between 2 trucks and cross fingers that they won't decide to check the plates and the serial number on the car. Because as a customs officer told me: the fact that an exported/imported good needs to be in customs at the time of declaration doesn't imply they're going to check every good there. This option is likely illegal but if it works it's obviously more practical than option a. But you take more risks.

c) Don't do anything and wait on your couch for the expiration of your 15.30 and start wondering about the consequences of that, which I don't know. Probably a good fine if not more. This is neither practical nor recommended :-)
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Old 17.06.2019, 12:15
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

B. Deliberately lying at the customs office, must go well if it goes wrong.

C. Keeping the car officially imported without allowance to do so must be a great solution.

I'd rather pay the new owner a couple of hundreds to solve this properly.
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Old 17.06.2019, 12:18
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

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B. Deliberately lying at the customs office, must go well if it goes wrong.

C. Keeping the car officially imported without allowance to do so must be a great solution.

I'd rather pay the new owner a couple of hundreds to solve this properly.
Agree, and, as I said and I insist once again: the recommended option. The others might be a rabbit hole into more problems.
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Old 17.06.2019, 12:53
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

When I returned my car to the UK 25 years ago, I stopped at customs, they said just take the car back to the UK, nothing for us to do.
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Old 18.06.2019, 16:08
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

I was in a similar situation when I returned my old car back to my home country (EU), after using it for a few months in Switzerland. The commercial customs office at the border crossing was closed, so the only documents I could provide them via e-mail were the ferry ticket from Italy to Greece (with my license plates on it) and the Greek highway toll tickets. Their response was that they considered the case closed.
I believe your contract of selling the car in France is far more solid evidence the car is no longer in Switzerland, therefore you better write them an e-mail with the proof of sale attached.
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Old 18.06.2019, 16:19
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

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I was in a similar situation when I returned my old car back to my home country (EU), after using it for a few months in Switzerland. The commercial customs office at the border crossing was closed, so the only documents I could provide them via e-mail were the ferry ticket from Italy to Greece (with my license plates on it) and the Greek highway toll tickets. Their response was that they considered the case closed.
I believe your contract of selling the car in France is far more solid evidence the car is no longer in Switzerland, therefore you better write them an e-mail with the proof of sale attached.
Funny thing is that I asked them about some way like this to show the car was out of CH and the only answer was basically: take it back or take it to a customs authority in France that will tell us this. No selling certificate, nothing like that.

Maybe I asked the bad day and they didn't have the good mood... anyway, lesson learnt.
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Old 20.06.2019, 10:47
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Re: Form 15.30 and getting the car out of Switzerland

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When I returned my car to the UK 25 years ago, I stopped at customs, they said just take the car back to the UK, nothing for us to do.

Generally there's no requirement to declare for export personal items being taken out of Switzerland.
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