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Old 04.01.2015, 16:06
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Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

Before anyone says "read the forum", I must say I've done it. However the rules for importing stuff are so complicated that I'd like to ask a simple question that someone can hopefully answer directly

- What is the maximum amount (item cost + shipping costs = what you pay with your credit card on the webpage) when buying something where I can be sure that there won't be any swiss post extra charges?

thanks a lot
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Old 04.01.2015, 16:20
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

Tax amounts of up to 5 Swiss francs are not levied. This tax amount corresponds to the assessment basis of CHF 62 at the 8% VAT rate or CHF 200 at the 2.5% VAT rate.
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Old 04.01.2015, 16:29
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Tax amounts of up to 5 Swiss francs are not levied. This tax amount corresponds to the assessment basis of CHF 62 at the 8% VAT rate or CHF 200 at the 2.5% VAT rate.
Let's see if I got it right

If I buy something and when converting the value to CHF it's less than 62CHF, then there's no charge

Example: I buy a board game in amazon.com for 40 dollars, they charge me 15 dollars shipping = 55 usd = 55.10CHF aprox (according to google current rates), that's less than 62 (assuming board games go into the 8% VAT category) so no-one will charge anything else

Right?
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Old 04.01.2015, 16:30
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

I am not sure there's any way to 100% guarantee no Swiss Post charges. Even if the price of your item and shipping are under the 62 CHF value, your parcel might be randomly chosen for inspection and the Swiss Post will often happily charge you for that service. Also if you buy an item on sale for less than 62 but the vendor puts the original price of more than 62 on the invoice you'll probably have to pay.
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Old 04.01.2015, 17:03
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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What is the maximum amount (item cost + shipping costs = what you pay with your credit card on the webpage) when buying something where I can be sure that there won't be any swiss post extra charges?
You mention Amazon.com and Amazon.de explicitly in the thread title. With that, the answer is extremely simple:

You will *never* pay Swiss Post handling fees. Ever.

Reason: Amazon (and you need to go directly through Amazon-the-merchant, not some Amazon Marketplace merchant!) takes care of all the customs and valued added tax business activities.

When it comes to purchasing from abroad in general and to import handling by Swiss Post, the answer can be found at

https://www.swisspost.ch/de/post-sta....htm#txt108698

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Danach werden Zoll- und Mehrwertsteuerbeträge nicht erhoben, sofern der errechnete Betrag weniger als CHF 5.00 je Zolldeklaration ausmacht, wobei Zoll- und Mehrwertsteuerabgaben separat zu betrachten sind.
So whenever the total of customs and and value added tax charges is equal to, or exceeds, CHF 5.00, Swiss Post will
a) make sure that they bill these charges
b) and add their handling charges on top (see URL)

You do know, by the way, that there are a great many ways of getting online deliveries into Switzerland, right? Case in point: Amazon Express delivery goes through DHL, totally by-passing Swiss Post. Other online merchants may be using some other shipping service - e.g. UPS, TNT or whatever. And those have different fee structures.

That is why, by the way, for higher value orders I keep online purchases from abroad limited to the Amazon EU country sites (within the past four weeks, I used .de, .fr, and .it. Really.). It is totally painless and completely predictable.

For low value orders (below CHF 62 shipping / handling included) I order <wherever> (e.g. ebay[.de/.com], aliexpress.com). Those purchases will go through the system without disruption, always.
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Old 04.01.2015, 17:12
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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your parcel might be randomly chosen for inspection and the Swiss Post will often happily charge you for that service.
Are you referring to the wonderful list of "Zusatzdienste und Zusatzleistungen" at

https://www.swisspost.ch/de/post-sta...ernational.htm

?

This will be triggered by
* "Weshalb wurde meine Importsendung von Swiss Post International blockiert?"
* "Wann wird der Zuschlag „Besichtigung, Wertabklärung und Lagerung“ erhoben?"
* "Wann wird der Zuschlag „Vorabklärung Importverzollung“ erhoben?"
* "Wann wird der Zuschlag „für die Verzollung von Sendungen, die einem nicht-zollrechtlichen Erlass oder einer Zusatzabgabe unterliegen erhoben?"
* ...

see https://www.swisspost.ch/de/post-sta...-zoll-mwst.htm


Solution: Make sure that the sender supplies a correct and sufficiently clear customs declaration and that you do not import items that fall into special categories.
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Old 05.01.2015, 15:33
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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You do know, by the way, that there are a great many ways of getting online deliveries into Switzerland, right? Case in point: Amazon Express delivery goes through DHL, totally by-passing Swiss Post. Other online merchants may be using some other shipping service - e.g. UPS, TNT or whatever. And those have different fee structures.
Are you saying that if the shipper uses UPS, DHL, Fedex or whatever, that will NEVER go through customs? Even if you exceed the 62chf by far? That's hard to believe for me
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Old 05.01.2015, 15:38
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Even if the price of your item and shipping are under the 62 CHF value, your parcel might be randomly chosen for inspection and the Swiss Post will often happily charge you for that service.
No, they only charge if tax is due.

I have had packages opened and inspected, and even asked for additional documentation, as was never charge.

Tom
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Old 05.01.2015, 15:49
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Are you saying that if the shipper uses UPS, DHL, Fedex or whatever, that will NEVER go through customs?
What makes you believe that customs handling is by-passed?

Whenever something crosses the border, it is subject to import and customs (declaration) processes. There are many ways to get to the final result. And Swiss Post with the snail mail system is just one of these ways.
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Old 05.01.2015, 16:02
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Are you saying that if the shipper uses UPS, DHL, Fedex or whatever, that will NEVER go through customs? Even if you exceed the 62chf by far? That's hard to believe for me
He said it will by-pass the Swiss post, not Swiss Customs.

All of them will charge import tax just like Swiss Post, but they have different fee structures for these "import" services. From my experience DHL was by far the most expensive and intransparent, the rest were quite consistent in charging about CHF15-25 each time. However, I have not had recent orders in the past few years so can't tell you the latest situation.
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Old 05.01.2015, 16:08
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Let's see if I got it right

If I buy something and when converting the value to CHF it's less than 62CHF, then there's no charge

Example: I buy a board game in amazon.com for 40 dollars, they charge me 15 dollars shipping = 55 usd = 55.10CHF aprox (according to google current rates), that's less than 62 (assuming board games go into the 8% VAT category) so no-one will charge anything else

Right?
If your calculations take you very close to the 62 CHF limit and there's a minor fluctuation in the exchange rate, you could end up paying the duty + admin charges.
This happened to my wife recently when she calculated the amount as 61.59CHF or something like that.
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Old 05.01.2015, 16:18
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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No, they only charge if tax is due.

I have had packages opened and inspected, and even asked for additional documentation, as was never charge.
Thanks for that. I was sure I'd read a story here from someone that had been charged even though the value of the item and the postage was under 62. But maybe it was one of those odd situations where the vendor put a higher price or something.
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Old 05.01.2015, 16:27
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

This is an area where there seems to be a shortfall in the normal Swiss efficiency, and despite any rules, is still very hit and miss, as they can't control every single package, due to volume ..... in my experience, anyway.
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Old 06.01.2015, 23:17
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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You will *never* pay Swiss Post handling fees. Ever.

Reason: Amazon (and you need to go directly through Amazon-the-merchant, not some Amazon Marketplace merchant!) takes care of all the customs and valued added tax business activities.
I believe you do have to select AmazonGlobal as the shipping method, and when you do "import fees" will be one of the lines in their invoice.

If you select standard (non-AmazonGlobal) shipping they won't charge you the import fees and will let the customs office of the recipient's country handle it.

Sometimes they show standard shipping in addition to AmazonGlobal and sometimes they don't - not sure why, so always be sure to double check to avoid surprises!
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Old 07.01.2015, 00:19
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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If you select standard (non-AmazonGlobal) shipping they won't charge you the import fees and will let the customs office of the recipient's country handle it.
I do not recollect the option to choose anything but Amazon Global shipping (or its expedited versions) for delivery to Switzerland.

This is with the merchant always being Amazon itself.
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Old 07.01.2015, 10:25
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

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Before anyone says "read the forum", I must say I've done it. However the rules for importing stuff are so complicated that I'd like to ask a simple question that someone can hopefully answer directly

- What is the maximum amount (item cost + shipping costs = what you pay with your credit card on the webpage) when buying something where I can be sure that there won't be any swiss post extra charges?

thanks a lot
When you purchase through Amazon and receive your package you will notice the label will have the commercial invoice (required customs documentation) on the outside prepared for you with the breakdown of the customs codes and fees. (though they're not always accurate, but that's another topic) By virtue of purchasing through Amazon, you are also paying for the customs clearance and fees for importation, and you should not have to pay any additional fees. Which is what happens when you order through DHL, Post, etc...

Personally, it's why I prefer dealing with Amazon (and sometimes paying a little more) as it's straight forward and there's no hidden fees.
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Old 09.01.2015, 10:32
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

Well, I've tried buying something in Amazon but got to something like

Order Summary
Items: EUR 41,92
Shipping & handling: EUR 34,12
Total before tax: EUR 76,04
Estimated tax to be collected: EUR 0,00
Import Fees Deposit EUR 7,13
Order total: EUR 83,17


What you say is true, the fees are automatically calculated. However the fees being 100% of the item price seems ridiculous to me
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Old 09.01.2015, 11:17
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

My problems seem to start at my local post - recently took an envelope that contained a piece of paper wrapped around 4 sealed contact lenses, and was told it would cost 20sfr (Päckli fee) to Sweden. Went outside, stuck normal postage for 100gr (~4sfr) on and the envelope arrived to addressee 3 days later.

More examples like this, within CH as well, where someone on this forum (very nice) posted a bottle of wine for 7sfr, but I paid same for a tiny envelope containing a peony tuber...I swear the lady at my local post HATES me

I've given up ordering from abroad as I really dislike suspense, and unexpected giro slips.
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Old 09.01.2015, 12:14
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

You are not the only one to experience this.. I always check the costs online first. . Many many times I have been asked to pay significantly higher postage but when I challenge the cost It magically drops.
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Old 12.01.2015, 10:50
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Re: Amazon.com or Amazon.de, etc import taxes equal to 0

Amazon.de lets you deposit an estimated fee at checkout and that's final, whether or not Swiss customs examine the package.

From Amazon.de English Help pages, which I studied when DHL screwed up and double charged me after I had paid the Amazon deposit:

Quote:
Import Fees Deposit (Vorauszahlung der Importgebühren)
Orders that are shipped to countries outside of Gemany may be subject to import taxes, customs duties and fees levied by the destination country ("Import Fees" - "Importgebühren"). For your convenience, when we use International Express Shipping to eligible countries, Amazon EU Sarl will estimate and collect an Import Fees Deposit, and such funds will be used by the carrier to pay the Import Fees on your behalf (or on the recipient's behalf) to the appropriate authorities of the destination country.

Read below for the answers to further questions about the Import Fees Deposit and applicable Terms and Conditions.

Which products does the Import Fees Deposit apply to?
Eligible items sent via International Express Delivery will have an estimated Import Fees Deposit (Vorauszahlung der Importgebühren) applied to the order. Orders for some types of products may only be sent via International Express Shipping and to certain eligible countries. Orders for books, music, videos, or DVDs that are shipped via Standard International Shipping will not include an estimated Import Fees Deposit.

What if the actual Import Fees are less than the Import Fees Deposit I was charged?
If the actual Import Fees (paid by carrier on behalf of the recipient to the customs and tax jurisdiction of the destination country) are less than the Import Fees Deposit Amazon EU Sarl estimated, we will automatically refund the difference to the payment method you used for the order. We will send you a notification e-mail to confirm the amount of the refund.

What if the actual Import Fees are more than the Import Fees Deposit I was charged?
You will not be charged any additional fees if the actual Import Fees exceed the Import Fees Deposit we estimated.

How do you estimate the amount of the Import Fees Deposit?
We use third-party software to determine the duties, taxes, and fees associated with each item in the order for the destination country selected during the checkout process.

How can the estimated Import Fees Deposit differ from the actual Import duties and fees payable?
Customs regulations and tax rates applicable to certain goods may change. Also, customs officials in various countries and regions may differ on the proper classification of goods.
When you go without a deposit, things change according to the carrier if your package is not duty-free:
- Swiss Post will ask you for cash at delivery
- UPS now asks you for cash at delivery
- DHL and Fedex bill you separately after delivery (DHL charges Custom expenses plus a 19CHF fixed fee per delivery)

In my experience (Blu ray boxsets, PS4 games, etc) I was never charged for things costing less than 50 Euros (ordered individually of course), regardless of their provenance (usually UK or DE)

Last edited by cello; 12.01.2015 at 10:51. Reason: typos
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