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Old 09.03.2009, 21:29
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Importing Car from US

I plan on importing my car from the US to Switzerland in the next 2 months as part of my move. If I understand correctly I will have to pay VAT since I have owned the car for less than 6 months.

My question is how do they determine the price of the car to tax me on? Lets say I paid $80,000 US for my car and in Switzerland because cars are more expensive a similar car is worth 140,000 swiss franc. Will I be taxed according to the 140 or what I paid here?

Thanks in advance any info would greatly help. Also if I bring a car that I have owned for more than 6 months and stay in Switzerland for longer than 2 years do I have to pay the VAT at the end of two years or am I exempt

Thanks
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Old 09.03.2009, 21:38
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Re: Importing Car from US

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

"Value added tax

VAT is 7.6% of the vehicle’s value at the first destination in Switzerland (plus customs duty and vehicle tax).

The invoice or contract of sale must be presented to the customs office."

Looks like they will calculate it based on what you paid for it. I would call or email them to get all the details though.

edit: You could also try to wade through the various threads existing surrounding this topic. Lots of good information as well as misinformation to be found. Probably easier to just talk to the customs people directly.
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Old 10.03.2009, 13:20
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Re: Importing Car from US

I'm pretty sure you'll be taxed the 7.6% on your purchase price (so make sure you have the documentation!). I think the total cost of importing will be approx 11-12% once all the other charges/fees have been applied. But this does not cover any modifications you may hvae to make to the vehicle to make it Swiss-compliant! It could cost a lot of money, depending on the car.

I'm presuming from your post that your car is something a bit special given the price you mention- it's worth importing in this case, but if you have a humdrum, mainstream run-of-the-mill car, it really isn't worth the hassle (do a search on here and see!)

Hope this helps
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Old 10.03.2009, 16:19
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toronto has become a little unpopulartoronto has become a little unpopular
based on purchase price

anyone have some experience with importing porche 911 turbo? modifications, etc that have to be done?
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Old 10.03.2009, 17:35
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Re: Importing Car from US

We are planning on bringing a Cayenne GTS and I would assume some of the changes are the same. The basic change for a Porsche is the side lights which are only reflectors in the US need to be indicating lights in Switzerland. This can be simply changed and our dealership will change it for us here before we export. There are not too many changes with a Porsche that need to be made fortunately. I hope this helps.
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Old 10.03.2009, 17:40
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Re: Importing Car from US

Any chance that you can keep it outside of CH until it is 6months old? Likely that it will land in Northern Germany. And you could pick it up.

Might save you some money...

fduvall
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Old 10.03.2009, 21:43
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Re: Importing Car from US

I could do that but I heard I would then have to pay for germay and CH which wouldnt make sense. The car is older than 6 months but I haven't owned it for longer than 6 months thats the problem.
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Old 11.03.2009, 08:42
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Re: Importing Car from US

You'll also probably have to change the dashboard so the dials read in KPH not MPH- I know you can change the electronic readout between the two within the speedo, but I guess the Swiss authorities will want the dials to read correctly too (not that it is that easy in a Porsche, given the size of the dial and the speed range!)

Nice to have another Porscheophile here
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:19
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Re: Importing Car from US

You don't have to change the dashboard if it shows MPH and KPH.
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:29
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Re: Importing Car from US

I'm pretty sure most cars for the US market only have MPH, not dual MPH/KPH speedos. Ceertainly this is the case in US 911s I've seen imported into the UK (where of course an MPH speedo is all you need)
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:37
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Re: Importing Car from US

I always thought most if not all US cars (made after 1990) have MPH and KPH. I have never driven a car that didn't. And I've driven some crap cars, so it's not exclusive to nice cars.

To the OP.
IF your just short of the 6 month period by a couple months, why don't you just delay shipment of the vehicle. It usually takes 2 weeks- 1 month to get here anyway. What's another month or two. Public transit is excellent here! And the kiddies ride for free. ( If you have them of course.)

On a side note I know 3 people who have imported cars here from the US. When all was said and done it took 2 people 2 months and 1 person 3 months. They all had problems with them being stuck in the shipyard for ages. Not sure if that's a common problem.
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:49
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Re: Importing Car from US

A co-worker of mine recently imported a 2008 Volkswagen from the US
into Switzerland. He only had to change the lights for 200CHF.

I think he was helped by the fact that it was a German car.
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:57
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Re: Importing Car from US

I'm pretty sure it is the date of your entry to the country, not the date of the vehicles for the six month thing. So if you enter the country when you have the car for four months and bring the car over two months later they will take the date you start to have residence in Switzerland, not the date the car arrives.
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Old 11.03.2009, 11:50
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Re: Importing Car from US

It's your entry date that count's not when the car arrives, so the taxes are sadly unavoidable.

With regards to mods for the test, where would your car sit on the emmissions, and brakes. I imported a pick up, and after a crash they wrote it off because many of the parts weren't available, the exhaust and fuel systems, and suspension were all non CH spec and therefore had to be imported, which increased the costs dramatically, and they were going to add storage charges to the invoice while the parts arrived .... and they down valued the car as it was an import..... bless 'em.... didn't charge me less on the premiums though. So a word to the wise for anyone thinking about importing a car, look a little beyond the test, as you may have a nasty surpise waiting.
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Old 09.06.2009, 21:08
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Re: Importing Car from US

So, just to follow up on this...what if I have a typed bill of sale from the previous owner stating I basically paid him nothing (i.e. it was gifted to me). This is what it says on my registration application. Will I pay no VAT or will they just make up some number?
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Old 10.06.2009, 12:33
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Re: Importing Car from US

nope, when we imported our car we didn't have the bill of sale, so they asked us how much we paid (which was way cheaper then the same car costs here) they didn't believe us so searched on the internet for one for sale here and found one in Geneva, and charged us the tax based on that cars price, which was nice
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Old 10.06.2009, 20:20
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Re: Importing Car from US

I guess we'll see what happens. When I went to do the title transfer, all I had from the previous owner was a piece of paper from him saying that he gifted me the bike. Thus, I paid no use tax on it since he'd already paid the sales tax when he bought it. I'm guessing the Swiss might be a bit more 'persnickety' about pieces of paper.
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Old 29.06.2009, 12:25
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Re: Importing Car from US

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I plan on importing my car from the US to Switzerland in the next 2 months as part of my move. If I understand correctly I will have to pay VAT since I have owned the car for less than 6 months.

My question is how do they determine the price of the car to tax me on? Lets say I paid $80,000 US for my car and in Switzerland because cars are more expensive a similar car is worth 140,000 swiss franc. Will I be taxed according to the 140 or what I paid here?

Thanks in advance any info would greatly help. Also if I bring a car that I have owned for more than 6 months and stay in Switzerland for longer than 2 years do I have to pay the VAT at the end of two years or am I exempt

Thanks
This is what I have found out so far:-


You will be subject to four taxes:
  1. Customs duties based on the weight of the vehicle and engine capacity. So be sure to remove all baggage and non-standard accessories before the vehicle is weighed. For example, the owner of a 1,500-kg car with less than a 3-liter engine capacity will pay 210 Swiss francs in customs duties. A 2,000-kg car with more than a 3-liter engine capacity will cost 300 Swiss francs. Motorcycles pay a set duty of 37 Swiss francs. EFTA countries are exempt from customs duties.
  2. A consumption tax amounting to 4% of the vehicle's worth is collected on all vehicles.
  3. 7.5% VAT is also added for all vehicles.
  4. And, finally, a 15-franc fee is charged for the report (13.20 A), a document required for vehicle registration in Switzerland.
Successful discussions between officials from US Embassy, Bern and the Swiss Federal Office for Police Matters have led to new procedures which will greatly facilitate the importation of American - made cars, sport-utility vehicles and mini-vans.
After the car arrives in Switzerland, the sole testing requirement is a noise test, which can be performed at one of four testing stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Geneva, and Ticino, for Sfr 240. For model year 1995 and thereafter, the EPA label on all US-manufactured passenger cars will satisfy Swiss exhaust emission standards, with the exception of some vehicles that bear the EPA light-duty truck label. These are classified under the most stringent Swiss and EU exhaust emission standards. Parking lights and turning signals, should conform to Swiss standards, the speedometer must indicate Km/Hr, tires should conform to the top speed of the vehicle, and windshields must be laminated. The owner is also responsible for providing certain data on the engine and dimensions of the car. Apart from these requirements, no additional testing is required.
In October, 1995, legislation was passed that enabled EU approved vehicles to be more easily imported into Switzerland for both personal use and public sale, with no further testing or special procedures other than the normal roadworthiness inspection. In response, the US Embassy began discussions with the Swiss to secure the same unfettered market access for US-made automobiles. After several discussions, including some involving representatives of the US auto manufacturers, an agreement was reached easing provisions for direct import of US manufactured/standard automobiles by private persons residing in Switzerland. Under the new regulations, it will be much easier for a Swiss citizen or resident to import a US-manufactured car.


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Old 03.10.2009, 00:45
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Re: Importing Car from US

Hi everybody, soory to jumping in with a questions, but this was the closest tread to my needs:
I ahve 2 questions:
1) any limitation to the car's year/age to import to Switzerland
2) can an American tourist, with a car in Switzerland already, just sell a car there ? hard to get it back!
Thanks.
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Old 03.10.2009, 00:45
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Re: Importing Car from US

Hi everybody, sory for jumping in with a questions, but this was the closest tread to my needs:
I ahve 2 questions:
1) any limitation to the car's year/age to import to Switzerland
2) can an American tourist, with a car in Switzerland already, just sell a car there ? hard to get it back!
Thanks.
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