Do I Have to Pay Swiss VAT for Goods Bought in Germany or France?

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  • BenutzernameMoneyland User Questions
  • Status Member
  • Registriert seit1/27/17
  • Beiträge2142

Like many other glocals living in Switzerland, I do most of my shopping in Germany. Recently I had my shopping inspected by Swiss customs - for the first time. This was the first time I actually thought about whether I have to pay VAT in Switzerland for stuff I buy in Germany. I always claim the German VAT back, but never declared stuff when bringing it into Switzerland, and that save me tons of money. What are the rules about this? Should I be paying VAT in Switzerland?

  • BenutzernameMoneyguru von
  • OrtSchweiz
  • Status Expert
  • Registriert seit8/4/15
  • Beiträge4017

Hi there,

When you import goods worth more than 300 Swiss francs into Switzerland, you must declare them at a Swiss customs office and pay Swiss value added tax (VAT). If the total value of goods purchased abroad and imported into Switzerland in one consignment does not exceed 300 francs, you normally are not required to declare the purchases and pay VAT.

Special limitations apply to specific products, such as alcohol and meat. If you plan to purchase groceries abroad and import them into Switzerland, then you should consider reviewing these limitations.

It is worth noting that Swiss VAT is substantially lower than VAT charged by the governments of neighboring countries. That means that you save even when you are required to pay Swiss VAT.

Best regards from Moneyguru