21.5.2018 Technology

Correctly calculating import costs into Switzerland

Correctly calculating import costs into Switzerland

Switzerland, as a non-member of the EU, represents an unfamiliar terrain for many companies. The time required to familiarize oneself with the Swiss customs regulations and the large question mark in the calculation of the toll can be daunting, especially for young companies. As a one-stop solution for the logistics industry, sennder has taken on that of supporting you in the best way possible with your transport and import into Switzerland.

Generally, there are three cost blocks to be considered:

  1. VAT: Determined according to product group
  2. Customs: Calculated according to the weight of goods
  3. Toll: Determined according to the weight class of the vehicle

The VAT differs according to product group

In 2013, the Swiss customs administration could earn approximately CHF 24.1 billion and cover 1/3 of the total government budget ceilings with it. Almost 50% of this sum accounts for the VAT on imports. Two categories exist:

  • The normal tax rate is 8.0%. This applies to all goods that do not count to the exceptions mentioned under section 2.
  • In the case of goods of daily necessities, such as food, books, and newspapers, the reduced rate of 2.5% applies.

To be noted are additional special levies in the transport of some other groups such as alcohol, cars and tobacco products.

The customs duty is calculated from the weight of the goods

The most obvious difference between the Swiss customs calculation and the customs calculation by the EU represents the measurement approach. Unlike all other WTO member states, which calculate taxes according to the value of the goods, Switzerland uses the gross weight of the goods.

Customs duties are calculated per 100kg on the basis of the product group. As a result, goods with a low weight, but a comparatively high value of goods, have an advantage compared to heavy goods with a lower value.

The weight class of the vehicle determines the amount of the toll

One of the biggest cost factors on the Swiss motorways is represented by the toll. In the determination of the taxes, the customs administration has divided all the vehicles into two weight classes.

  • Every vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes pays for the use of Swiss motorways through the acquisition of the so-called Vignette, which is also applicable from the private sector. This costs CHF 40 and can be acquired at gas stations, offices of the TCS (Touring Club Switzerland) or online.
  • All vehicles over 3.5 t have to pay the performance-related heavy vehicle charge. This depends on the total weight and the emission level of the vehicle alongside kilometers driven within the country.

sennder supports your transport in Switzerland

Since it involves a self-declaration, especially in the case of the customs clearance, rule violations are sanctioned particularly strict, in order to prevent large negligence and fraud attempts. Our team of experts at sennder accompanies you competently with all processes and issues related to the transport and import into Switzerland, to work around tedious bureaucratic procedures and a long investigation.