Transporting precious metals to Switzerland

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  • BenutzernameMoneyland User Questions
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  • Registriert seit1/27/17
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I hold part of my wealth in precious metals and would like to continue to do so after I move to Switzerland next year. Is it easy to import precious metals to Switzerland? Do I have to pay VAT on my precious metal if I import it as part of my personal possession allowance? I know I could sell and buy new stock in Switzerland, but unless I can place the order in Switzerland the same day I sell, I would be taking a pretty big risk on rate fluctuations. Has anyone had experience with this?

 
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  • BenutzernameMoneyguru von moneyland.ch
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In Switzerland, VAT (8%) is charged on white metals (silver, platinum, etc.) but no VAT is levied on gold bullion and gold coins. Although declaring gold when you enter Switzerland is advisable, you do not pay VAT on your eligible gold imports.

All precious metal dealers add markups to market prices. Markups charged by Swiss dealers tend to be relatively high. Dealers also generally apply markdowns to prices which they pay you for precious metal when you sell. The difference between the price you get for your precious metals and the price at which you could buy the same metals from a Swiss dealer at that same time represents a loss. In the case of gold bullion, which is not VAT eligible, keeping your existing bullion will probably be cheaper than selling it and buying new bullion - assuming you do not spend a lot on transportation.

In the case of silver, palladium and platinum, these are subject to Swiss VAT and have to be declared upon entering the country.

Bonded warehouses as an option for silver, platinum and palladium

It is worth noting that a number of Swiss precious metals brokers let you purchase precious metals which are already stored in bonded warehouses. Buying silver, platinum or palladium which is held in a bonded warehouse lets you avoid paying VAT. You can find more info here:
Guide to bonded warehouses in Switzerland

Storage fees can be relatively high, and if you have your own safe storage, you may save money over the (very) long term by importing the metal and paying VAT.