Good to know!
Since 1 January 2019, foreign mail order companies must be registered in the VAT register if their shipments to Switzerland generate sales of more than CHF 100,000. This also makes them liable to pay VAT. It is likely that retailers will pass on these additional costs to customers in Switzerland, thus making the goods more expensive.
A passion for online shopping
Swiss people love to shop online – more than almost anyone else in Europe. If you buy something online, you are often ordering from abroad.
As soon as the goods are imported, VAT and customs duties are payable. The processing charge for customs clearance (or the “freight forwarder invoice”) is billed to the customer. This means that Internet shopping can quickly become expensive. Even when the domain name is obviously Swiss (“.ch”), you should find out whether the goods come from Switzerland or abroad. The fees for customs clearance and VAT are either paid directly to the parcel courier on delivery or billed separately one to two weeks later. Online sample calculations provide a frame of reference, but the exact amount may differ, for example, if the package had to be opened to determine its value.