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Old 18.08.2020, 15:12
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Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

Hi.
Anyone knows what the punishments would be for driving a foreign car on a Swiss C permit? My car has been standing here for quite a few years without ever being imported. And I know, its not legal, but it kind of never happened (and its also impossible since its not the original engine and so on). Homeland taxes and insurance and everything is in order and paid. And its ok with my insurance company to keep it in switzerland.

One guy at the border stopped me ones and gave me hell of a ramping about how I can't drive a foreign car in switzerland, not even a rented. Or drive through it one my way to italy or anything.... I told him my parents are coming down and will use the car then drive it back to its original country in a few weeks... Apparently that was ok. He was pissed as hell but let us go..

Now im a bit nervous getting caught.

Thanks for any tips.
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Old 18.08.2020, 15:27
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

AFAIK up to fives times the evaded tax and duty (plus the tax and duty)

That is a total of around 60% of the cars current value as a penalty and 12% tax and duty.
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Old 18.08.2020, 15:43
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

Thanks. Good reply. Already on probation for speeding. So I guess I will bring the truck back to its home land...

but is it true that a swiss person cant drive a foreign car inside switzerland, not even for a day or a transit?
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Old 18.08.2020, 15:54
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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Thanks. Good reply. Already on probation for speeding. So I guess I will bring the truck back to its home land...

but is it true that a swiss person cant drive a foreign car inside switzerland, not even for a day or a transit?
yes. but you might be able to do it if you get a temporary import licence.
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Old 18.08.2020, 16:09
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

Ok. Case closed then. Thanks.
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Old 18.08.2020, 16:19
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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but is it true that a swiss person cant drive a foreign car inside switzerland, not even for a day or a transit?
First you have to understand that this is a tax and duty issue, not a traffic law issue. What you do is a temporary import of a valuable good and use it in the customs area of your residence. It is smuggling when not permited.

Be also aware that your driving license is not relevant. Apart from the fact that it must be valid.

Be aware that tax and duty on one side, and foreign license plate / the need to swap to Swiss license plate on the other side are two separate issue.
Note: If the car is never used on Swiss roads it does not need Swiss license plates.

There are a few exemptions when you can drive an untaxed car :
- It is a rental car and you got customs approval. In that case you can use the car between 5 and 8 days in Switzerland.
- It is special vehicle, not available in Switzerland and you got customs approval.
- You bring the car into Switzerland as part of a relocation from abroad. This also needs customs approval. (Car needs Swiss license plates after one year)
- It is a regular import and you do the import at an inland customs office. This also need customs approval and can be done up for 3 days. (Car needs Swiss license plates after 30 days (I think))
- You are a tourist or short term worker. This also needs customs approval.
- You work abroad and it is a foreign company car. This also needs customs approval.
- It was brought into Switzerland by a tourist and you drive it one the tourist's behalf and for your own use. Like you go on a wine tasting tour, doctors visit, etc. In general the tourist should also be in the car or at least close by.

Apart from the last case, more or less anything else needs customs approval to use a non taxed foreign car in Switzerland.
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Old 18.08.2020, 16:25
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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It was brought into Switzerland by a tourist and you drive it one the tourist's behalf and for your own use. Like you go on a wine tasting tour, doctors visit, etc. In general the tourist should also be in the car or at least close by..
Well I can always say its mainly being used by my father (who has no permit)...

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Old 18.08.2020, 16:28
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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Well I can always say its mainly being used by my father (who has no permit)...

Is the car in your name though? Dangerous game to play.

I've wondered about this as there is a UK reg BMW 6 series convertible down the road from me for the last 3 years. Parked most of the time with a cover over it for what I suspect is to hide the plates more than to keep the damp off the roof.
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Old 18.08.2020, 16:31
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

Well. I had a foreign car for 5-6 years on a Blauzone in Zurich... Never any problems. But I ended bringing it to its homeland, since I needed to do the MFK and driving it back and forth every year got a bit boring.

But I think that was maybe most luck.

Now I got another car standing down in the mountains.. But I might bring it home as well..
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Old 18.08.2020, 17:38
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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))
- You are a tourist or short term worker. This also needs customs approval.
- .
That's just not correct, of course a tourist especially from an EU country can drive their own car in Switzerland, they don't need approval from customs. I have been a tourist in CH a few times before settling here...never been an issue or a query.....otherwise who would bother coming here by car? All you need is the vignette.
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Old 18.08.2020, 18:42
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

If you have an accident and injur someone- I hope they will take your car, your permit, lock you up and throw away the key. There- I said it
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:00
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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First you have to understand that this is a tax and duty issue, not a traffic law issue. What you do is a temporary import of a valuable good and use it in the customs area of your residence. It is smuggling when not permited.

Be also aware that your driving license is not relevant. Apart from the fact that it must be valid.

Be aware that tax and duty on one side, and foreign license plate / the need to swap to Swiss license plate on the other side are two separate issue.
Note: If the car is never used on Swiss roads it does not need Swiss license plates.

There are a few exemptions when you can drive an untaxed car :
- It is a rental car and you got customs approval. In that case you can use the car between 5 and 8 days in Switzerland.
- It is special vehicle, not available in Switzerland and you got customs approval.
- You bring the car into Switzerland as part of a relocation from abroad. This also needs customs approval. (Car needs Swiss license plates after one year)
- It is a regular import and you do the import at an inland customs office. This also need customs approval and can be done up for 3 days. (Car needs Swiss license plates after 30 days (I think))
- You are a tourist or short term worker. This also needs customs approval.
- You work abroad and it is a foreign company car. This also needs customs approval.
- It was brought into Switzerland by a tourist and you drive it one the tourist's behalf and for your own use. Like you go on a wine tasting tour, doctors visit, etc. In general the tourist should also be in the car or at least close by.

Apart from the last case, more or less anything else needs customs approval to use a non taxed foreign car in Switzerland.
the last case happened to me. My parents visited. I drove my mom around. A police man stopped us and told I was not allowed to drive it. I told him that I have my own car at home and that parents are just visiting for a few days but he did not care.
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:23
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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A police man stopped us and told I was not allowed to drive it. I told him that I have my own car at home and that parents are just visiting for a few days but he did not care.
Ask Swiss Customs https://www.webapps.ezv.admin.ch/app...ex.php?lang=en
if it is o.k. and Switzerland permits such use as described in the second sentence of Annex C, Article 7(b) of the Istanbul Convention On Temporary Admission.

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Jede Vertragspartei kann die Benutzung durch eine Person mit Wohnsitz in ihrem Gebiet gestatten, insbesondere dann, wenn das Beförderungsmittel für Rechnung und nach den Weisungen der Person benutzt wird, der die vorübergehende Verwendung bewilligt worden ist.

Each Contracting Party may permit the use by a person resident in its territory, in particular, where the means of transport is used on behalf and on the instructions of the person granted temporary admission.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...tml#tttttttta7
http://www.wcoomd.org/en/about-us/le...8C6281DC8.ashx

At least the last time I asked it was fully o.k. Than print out the positive answer and show it the bedazzled police officer if stopped again.
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:31
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

If you still have your home plates and home licence can the police or relevant authority find out that you're actually resident? i.e. what's to stop someone pretending to be a tourist?
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:36
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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the last case happened to me. My parents visited. I drove my mom around. A police man stopped us and told I was not allowed to drive it. I told him that I have my own car at home and that parents are just visiting for a few days but he did not care.
Was the car in you parents name?

Tom
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:38
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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If you have an accident and injur someone- I hope they will take your car, your permit, lock you up and throw away the key. There- I said it
It is NOT illegal!

It is a customs violation, subject to a fine and perhaps confiscation.

Nobody will be locked up, the insurance will NOT be invalid, etc.

Tom
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Old 18.08.2020, 19:42
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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If you still have your home plates and home licence can the police or relevant authority find out that you're actually resident? i.e. what's to stop someone pretending to be a tourist?
That they are listed in the ZEMIS. A simple online ID check will flag them as residents.

ZEMIS Zentrales Migrationsinformationssystem (Central Migration Information System) is a comprehensive database for the processing of personal data in the field of asylum and aliens.
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Old 18.08.2020, 23:20
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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the last case happened to me. My parents visited. I drove my mom around. A police man stopped us and told I was not allowed to drive it. I told him that I have my own car at home and that parents are just visiting for a few days but he did not care.
Quote:
It was brought into Switzerland by a tourist and you drive it one the tourist's behalf and for your own use. Like you go on a wine tasting tour, doctors visit, etc. In general the tourist should also be in the car or at least close by.
was there a case where somebody let their friend drive a ferrarri on the wrong side of the border (swiss/italian) and customs enforced the rule resulting in a huge expense.
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Old 18.08.2020, 23:51
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

It is not just a 'customs' issue (as per neg rep from St2Leman) - but about a car which is not legal in Switzerland (eg not standard model) and which has never had official check re mechanics, brakes, etc / MFK - and could be unsafe after lying around for some time. No idea how old the car is. No idea either if OP is EU or non-EU, etc - and already on 'probation' for speeding. Anyone on 'probation' would have been speeding big time.
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Old 19.08.2020, 08:57
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Re: Whats the punishment for driving a foreign car?

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If you have an accident and injur someone- I hope they will take your car, your permit, lock you up and throw away the key. There- I said it
Well, to my defence. I have a fully covered insurance thats valid... so that would be a bit ruff punishment i think... But of course, anyone driving without a insurance would be looked away! I totally 100% agree...
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