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Need tips for sending gift to Switz., avoiding duty tax

Need tips for sending gift to Switz., avoiding duty tax

Old Jun 18th, 2020, 02:24 PM
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Need tips for sending gift to Switz., avoiding duty tax

I want to send a handmade gift to a recently married couple living in Switzerland. I know to mark the customs form "Unsolicited gift" and will indicate the value (in materials, as it's handmade) as less than 200 Swiss francs. Although the couple could afford to pay duties, obviously I'd prefer they didn't have to.

Any other tips?

Should I send by USPS or splurge on FedEx/UPS/whatever?

I intended to wrap it as a gift, or should I just tie a ribbon around the gift box on the assumption it might be opened for inspection?
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Old Jun 18th, 2020, 03:33 PM
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one thing I happen to know is that if you use USPS and you insure the shipment, swiss post will not deliver to the recipient, they will leave a note telling them they have a package to be picked up at the post office.

One site where you can compare options/ prices is https://www.parcelmonkey.com/quick-s...3-4c20e1507385

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Old Jun 18th, 2020, 03:35 PM
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Say it is used. Anything new there is a duty on and the Swiss love collecting the duty. If you say “used craft supplies” that might work...
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Old Jun 18th, 2020, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for the tips.

So "handmade" means "new"?
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Old Jun 18th, 2020, 07:42 PM
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Well no but in Switzerland hand made or hand worked is typically an expensive item.

The word gift is definitely to be avoided. We would have to pay a lot of duty on gifts well-meaning friends and family sent over.

Say it’s a used item and give it a value of $5.00.

Do not insure it.
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Old Jun 18th, 2020, 08:21 PM
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Moved and tagged for Switzerland
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Old Jun 19th, 2020, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gruezi View Post
Well no but in Switzerland hand made or hand worked is typically an expensive item.

The word gift is definitely to be avoided. We would have to pay a lot of duty on gifts well-meaning friends and family sent over.

Say it’s a used item and give it a value of $5.00.

Do not insure it.
Very interesting and helpful. I can see how the word "gift" could be abused....

[Moderators: I don't understand why this thread was moved to "Europe/Switzerland." My questions have nothing to do with travel.]
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Old Jun 19th, 2020, 08:32 AM
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nor morals or ethics, apparently, given the advice to flat out lie and call it used craft supplies
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Old Jun 19th, 2020, 09:04 AM
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Well this won't be helpful but it is on topic. My nearest and dearest friend has lived in Switzerland for decades. Years ago she asked me to stop sending little gifts like I was doing for her b-day or Christmas because she had to go to the post office to retrieve it and pay a duty on it. If there was an easy way around that, I think she would have mentioned it.
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Old Jun 19th, 2020, 03:14 PM
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One website that I think is official states that a gift from private individual to private individual up to a value of CHF 100 is exempt from duties and taxes. Am I missing something?

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...are%20excluded.
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Old Jun 20th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Thanks Jean, maybe things have changed ?? my example is from a long time ago.
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Old Jun 20th, 2020, 03:15 PM
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I hope so, suze. I'm going to take the package to my local UPS store and ask their advice. They've been great in the past with any odd questions...
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Old Jun 20th, 2020, 04:02 PM
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If you don't mind posting how it turns out, I'd love to know. Maybe I'll send a gift afterall... the next birthday -haha.
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Old Jun 20th, 2020, 04:59 PM
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Will do.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 03:49 PM
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Update: The quote from UPS was a stunning $286 for a 5-pound package containing a "gift" with a declared value of $100. Uh, no thanks. The UPS person helpfully calculated that the USPS rate would be $115. Wow.

I went to USPS anyway and talked to my regular clerk. Her USPS calculation was $59. Still a bit insane IMO, but I went ahead and mailed it. Estimated delivery could take 3-4 weeks due to Covid.

I probably should have repackaged the whole thing, eliminated the box, and used a padded mailing envelope, but this was a wedding gift. I might have saved $20-25, but it wouldn't have felt very festive. Of course, if the Swiss open and inspect, my pretty wrapping and ribbon will be ruined anyway... Can't win...
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 07:09 PM
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Thanks Jean. Too bad but not surprising. I was hoping there was something new (and more reasonable)
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Old Jul 1st, 2020, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Update: The quote from UPS was a stunning $286 for a 5-pound package containing a "gift" with a declared value of $100. Uh, no thanks. The UPS person helpfully calculated that the USPS rate would be $115. Wow.

I went to USPS anyway and talked to my regular clerk. Her USPS calculation was $59. Still a bit insane IMO, but I went ahead and mailed it. Estimated delivery could take 3-4 weeks due to Covid.

I probably should have repackaged the whole thing, eliminated the box, and used a padded mailing envelope, but this was a wedding gift. I might have saved $20-25, but it wouldn't have felt very festive. Of course, if the Swiss open and inspect, my pretty wrapping and ribbon will be ruined anyway... Can't win...
Wow, I'd say having an item delivered half-way around the world, in a responsible manner for $59 is an incredible bargain. And a win.
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Old Jul 1st, 2020, 09:45 AM
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Well, "responsible" depends on the condition the package arrives in, whether it's trashed by inspectors, etc., and "bargain" depends on the ransom the recipient will have to pay to get it released. The 3-4 week time frame seems ridiculous in the 21st century, but I accept that Covid has disrupted delivery systems.
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Old Jul 6th, 2020, 07:14 AM
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Update: As of yesterday, one week since I left the package with USPS, it was still within 5 miles of my house. As of today, the tracking number isn't recognized. Well done, USPS. What an incredible bargain....
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Old Jul 10th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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Update: After making a tracking request with a human at USPS (a saga just to reach a human!), my package has been found. It's in San Francisco, which means after 10 days it has traveled about 400 miles. At this speed, the package will arrive in Switzerland in late November.

Just for fun, consider... About 160 years ago, mail going by Pony Express traveled almost 2000 miles in 10 days.
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