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Old 17.01.2010, 11:40
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Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

Hi,

I'm newly Swiss resident and have a newly bought but old (2006) LHD car in the UK.

If I drive it over from the UK, what do I need to do in Switzerland?

1. Register it

2. Get Swiss plates (is this the same as above?)

3. Get Swiss insurance

Since I've owned it for < 6 months I understand I have to pay import duty, but since it's an older car would this ever get spotted by the authorities (for example when registering?).

I'm not trying (too much) to break the rules, but I also object to paying import/VAT on something that it's effectively already been paid on...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 17.01.2010, 11:49
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

Great 1st post, and you are trying to break the rules.

There are heaps of threads on here for this if you'd bothered to look. You disclose when you bought the car when registering it, they'll see you had it for less than 6 months and with give you a bill for the tax on it's value.
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Old 17.01.2010, 12:15
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

Nice welcome, flame me right at the start, thanks.
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Old 17.01.2010, 12:19
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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If I drive it over from the UK, what do I need to do in Switzerland?

1. Register it

2. Have it tested

3. Get Swiss insurance

4. Get Swiss plates
Fixed that for you .

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Since I've owned it for < 6 months I understand I have to pay import duty, but since it's an older car would this ever get spotted by the authorities (for example when registering?).
It's called a receipt.... you do have a receipt?

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I'm not trying (too much) to break the rules,
erm, yes you are.

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but I also object to paying import/VAT on something that it's effectively already been paid on...
erm, no it hasn't - unless I missed where the UK and Swiss started sharing their revenue?
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Old 17.01.2010, 12:20
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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Nice welcome, flame me right at the start, thanks.
Well I guess some of us get fed up with being used as a sounding board for people wanting to break the rules, which is what your intention is. Don't worry though, you are in good company in both asking the question and getting flamed. Hang around and someone may come up with a way to work around the problem. But, being Swiss, seeing a foreigner come here and try and cheat the taxman immediately...well don't expect me to give you warm fuzzies....
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Old 17.01.2010, 12:28
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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Nice welcome, flame me right at the start, thanks.
I thought I was polite, but asking how to avoid a very, very obvious tax in your 1st post.... way to go.

It also shows you didn't search these hallowed boards, OR the import/tax process before you bought. As you would undoubtably saved a fair bit buying in Blighty rather than here.... pay the dues there's a good chap.
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Old 17.01.2010, 12:42
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

It's very simple, it's not the customs who have to "spot" how long you have used the car, it is you who has to prove that you have used to longer for 6 months. Note, it's not necessarily the purchase date, see customs webpage:

My car has been used by me for more than six (6) months but the papers of the vehicle are in the name of my father/ mother/ employer. How do I proceed?

In addition to the documents belonging to the vehicle a declaration from the person/company shown in the documents has to be submitted. It must be clear which person(s), from when and for what reason the vehicle was used by the person(s) other than those mentioned in the documents belonging to the vehicle.
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Old 18.01.2010, 13:01
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

Leaving aside the "ethics" of the question...all the cars papers will be checked when the Swiss register the car.
They will spot it from the last change of date on the UK vehicle registration document.
I imported a car that I had owned for more than six month, but had had on a private plate. Before coming here I sold the private plate and reverted to the standard reg. number. I had the devils own job convincing the authorities that I had not only just bought the car.
My advice; car import is not always the easiest process, dont make it harder by trying to cheat!
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Old 18.01.2010, 13:56
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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Hi,

I'm newly Swiss resident and have a newly bought but old (2006) LHD car in the UK.
If I drive it over from the UK, what do I need to do in Switzerland?
1. Register it
2. Get Swiss plates (is this the same as above?)
3. Get Swiss insurance

Since I've owned it for < 6 months I understand I have to pay import duty, but since it's an older car would this ever get spotted by the authorities (for example when registering?).

I'm not trying (too much) to break the rules, but I also object to paying import/VAT on something that it's effectively already been paid on...

Thanks in advance.
It is unimportant whether or not you are trying to cheat.
The bureaucracy in place will keep you from doing so unless you actually lie on an official form. As others have already said, it is not the age of the car but your official history with the car that matters. However, don't forget that with that age comes a greater responsibility. All older cars are required to be tested on a semi-regular basis whereas newer cars are only required to be tested every 5 years or some such thing. (obviously can't remember the exact numbers, check the SAN or whatever the german equivalent is.)

Things like this in Switzerland are actually fairly easy. They just cost money and take a little time. Don't worry about your ethics, they won't let you cheat!

Brian.
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Old 18.01.2010, 21:30
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

Thanks for the help, obviously asking how best to avoid paying the import tax has ruffled some feathers so I'm sorry if I offended anyone - I wasn't looking to break the law, just do things in whatever way is most tax beneficial (isn't everyone, especially in Switzerland?).

The summary seems to be typically efficient -

* You can't avoid the tax

* However, it all gets sorted out at the same time as registering the vehicle in Switzerland

Also I guess I don't need to register until my current European insurance cover runs out (90 days from leaving UK), so if for whatever reason I decide not to keep the car in Switzerland I could just bring it back to the UK.
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Old 18.01.2010, 22:02
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

no that's not entirely correct. according to the rules you should declare the car when crossing the border with it and pay the tax. After this you have a year to register to swiss plates.
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Old 18.01.2010, 22:03
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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Thanks for the help, obviously asking how best to avoid paying the import tax has ruffled some feathers so I'm sorry if I offended anyone - I wasn't looking to break the law, just do things in whatever way is most tax beneficial (isn't everyone, especially in Switzerland?).

The summary seems to be typically efficient -

* You can't avoid the tax

* However, it all gets sorted out at the same time as registering the vehicle in Switzerland

Also I guess I don't need to register until my current European insurance cover runs out (90 days from leaving UK), so if for whatever reason I decide not to keep the car in Switzerland I could just bring it back to the UK.
Actually, you have to declare it within so many days of bringing it into the country. I don't think that you have to officially make up your mind for a half a year or more. Google this becase the requirements are really fascinating reading.

Heh, heh. I just read the above post. There you go.
I would still highly recommend reading up on the requirements.


Brian.
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Old 18.01.2010, 22:07
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

and when u have your plates you have a year to drive with them before converting your license. Otherwise if you leave the country you will get in trouble. In a foreign country your license has to be the same as the plates.....(within that year it is ok if they are not.)
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Old 18.01.2010, 23:08
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?



Hmm, it seems the advice is more conflicted than I thought!

Can anyone point me in the direction of an English language version of the rules?

I can only find them in German and after Google Translate has done its stuff they make even less sense than UK government tax rules!
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Old 18.01.2010, 23:12
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?

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

also see the publications, on the right
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Old 18.01.2010, 23:16
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Re: Car import - where and how do they know about 6 month ownership?



I can't believe I didn't find that, it's the same page I was looking at in German, thanks!
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