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Old 25.02.2020, 10:22
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Export declaration when importing a car with export plates

Hi all,

In a few weeks I'm bringing my car from the EU to Switzerland. Since the previous car owner wanted to keep the plates I will bring the car with export license plates. I have been advised by the traffic office in the country of origin (EU) that if the car is using export plates when leaving the EU no export declaration is required. I have two questions:
  1. Is the export declaration required on the Swiss side of the border? If so, should I still get one done even if the car has export plates?
  2. Is there a requirement to have the car insured by a local insurance provider while it's using export license plates in Switzerland? I have an offer for an international insurance from the country of origin that also covers Switzerland, but not sure how the Swiss authorities would like that if asked.
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Old 25.02.2020, 11:13
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Re: Export declaration when importing a car with export plates

A few years ago I bought a car in the UK for export to Switzerland and the car was on the UK equivalent of tax free plates. At the Channel Tunnel I asked if an export stamp was needed and they said no. They did take an interest in the car and in particular the engine as it was the first one they'd seen, but that was it. Drove back through France, in and out of Switzerland to Italy, Germany, France and after about 4 months imported it into Switzerland.

At no time did I get an export stamp and it was quite easy to import, in fact I didn't even need to go back to the border, as it was all handled by the local customs office in Geneva. Swiss customs declaration made and VAT paid, road tested, insured and was given the number plates. I understood at the time the Swiss authorities wrote to the UK ones declaring it was now on Swiss plates.

However, that was about 10 years ago, and while I don't think things have changed, the Swiss are now clamping down on EU cars being driven in Switzerland by Swiss residents (and vice versa) so my advice would be to first ask the customs on leaving the EU. If nothing is needed they will wave you on, otherwise they will stamp the document. Declare it at the Swiss customs, and pay the VAT, then if stopped you can show Swiss tax has been paid.

It may also be a good idea to book an appointment with the testing authorities so you can show you are putting it on Swiss plates - but that is supposition on my part but something I'd now do.
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