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F.A.Q.


HOW TO WRITE AN EXPORT CUSTOMS DECLARATION?

Small and medium-sized export businesses in Switzerland must write an Export Customs Declaration (DDE or AZA) for all goods shipped abroad. There are four options to this:

- Form 11.030. This is a handwritten DDE. Soon, it will be abolished and replaced with the online-application e-dec web.

- The online-application e-dec web. In use since 1st January 2012, it will definitely replace the paper-Form 11.030 starting from 1st January 2013.

- E-dec export; an online-application that allows to send the own DDE to the Federal Customs Administration (AFD) electronically. The main advantage compared to  the Form 11.030 is the acceleration of customs proceedings. E-dec export concerns only the outright exportation of goods. The exporters who wish to use this service need to register with the AFD.

- NCTS Export. The new computerised system for the transit (NCTS) is meant for goods in transit and has the purpose to  semplify the exchange between the customs offices.

Generally, the goods also need to be accompanied by an invoice and/or a shipping note.

ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs)

Incentive fee on volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used as solvents in numerous industries, and are contained in many products such as paints, varnishes and various cleaning solutions. If these compounds become airborne, they and nitric oxides contribute to the excessive formation of ground-level ozone (summer smog). The VOC incentive fee has been levied since 1 January 2000. As a market-based instrument in the field of environmental protection, it creates a financial incentive to further reduce VOC emissions.

CUSTOM TARIFF - TARES

 

All merchandise, as well as private goods not transported in personal luggage or a private vehicle, must be de-clared in accordance with the customs tariff upon import or export.

The Swiss customs tariff, like most customs tariffs worldwide, is based on the internationally valid Harmonized System (HS). The first six digits of the 8-digit Swiss tariff headings correspond to the HS.

The Swiss Federal Customs Administration makes the customs tariff (Tares) available on the Internet free of charge (www.tares.ch). After selecting the date, the country of origin or destination, the direction of transport (im-port/export), the 8-digit tariff heading, and any applicable statistical key, a click on the magnifying glass symbol displays the possible customs rates (normal customs rate and customs rates granted for certain uses under spe-cific conditions or if a valid certificate of origin is available), additional fees or taxes, licence requirements, and other information. The application also links to additional information: e.g. D.4 (Tariff classification decisions), D.6 (Explanatory notes to the customs tariff, providing a detailed description of which goods correspond to which tariff codes), and Remarks (General remarks, Notes on Free Trade Agreements, Customs Quotas, Trade Statistics, Customs Privileges, Taxes, mport and Export Licences and special provisions). "Help" leads to an online manual, answers to frequently asked questions and the hotline addresses. 

Electronic Tares training and the option of printing a list of Tariff Headings as a PDF document round off the Internet offerings.

IS THE CUSTOMER LIABLE FOR HIS OWN ERRORS?

The customer is liable for his own errors and omissions and for those of his sub-contractors, in particular in respect of all consequences arising from:

Packing which is not suitable for the requirements of the transport agreed upon

Incorrect, inaccurate or missing information in the order, on the packing or on the goods for shipment, in particular for goods which, as a result of their characteristics, would be accepted for transport only under special conditions if at all, or whose handling is the subject of special regulations

Absence or delayed submission of the necessary documents.

TRANSPORT INSURANCE

The forwarder shall arrange transport insurance only at the express written request of the customer.

The function of the forwarder is limited to the procurement of suitable transport insurance.

lf the instructions of the customer are simply to arrange for transport insurance, the forwarder shall take out transport insurance "against all risks". lf this is not possible, or if the desired extent of cover is not clear, the forwarder shall clarify the matter with the customer.

ORIGIN MARKS?

lf the true destination of the goods is not to be known to the consignor, or their origin to the consignee, the forwarder must be informed of this in writing.

lf the consignee instructs the forwarder to send the shipment on to a third party, the forwarder shall not, even in the absence of special instructions, make known to the third party the name of the original consignor and the origin of the goods. The forwarder shall remove the origin marks only if requested to do so in writing.

GUARANTEES OF DELIVERY TIME?

Guarantees of delivery times must be agreed upon in writing. They must at least state the latest time of delivery and the agreed surcharge.

PLACING OF ORDERS

The order shall be transmitted to the forwarder in writing or by electronic means. lf it is transmitted orally or by telephone, the customer shall bear the risks of incorrect or incomplete transmission until the forwarder has received written confirmation.

The order shall contain all the data required for carrying it out properly, such as information relating to goods subject to regulation (e.g. hazardous goods) and goods that require special handling.

The text of documents attached to the order shall not be deemed to constitute a part of the order, unless the customer expressly designates them as such.

[Translate to en:] COSA SIGNIFICA AVERE UN "CODICE EORI"?

[Translate to en:] Economic Operator's Registration and Identification System, EORI:

Si tratta del sistema europeo di numerazione doganale unitaria per la registrazione e l’identificazione degli operatori economici. Il numero d’identificazione è composto dalla sigla dello Stato e da dati in sequenza alfanumerica (esempio per la Germania: DE1234567, DE è la sigla dello Stato e 1234567 è il numero doganale). Rappresenta l'unico parametro per identificare gli operatori economici nell'Unione europea e deve essere indicato per effettuare operazioni doganali nell'area dell'UE. Un'impresa svizzera deve richiedere un numero EORI solo se provvede direttamente allo sdoganamento nell'UE (importatore).

ASSESSMENT OF MERCHANDISE FOR FINAL IMPORT

Assessment of merchandise for final import

Merchandise refers to goods  whiche are intended for trade or business use (even in the one-man business of the traveller).

Goods intended for final import into Swiss customs territory must be delivered to a Swiss customs office and declared in writing or electronically for customs clearance. The accompanying documents listed below must be presented along with the duly completed import customs declaration.

The party liable to declare and thus to pay customs duty is primarily the party taking the goods across the border (carrier) or arranging for them to be taken across the border (importer, recipient, shipper, client). 

Merchandise can be cleared for customs at specific customs offices only, during office hours (see below under "Opening hours and addresses of Swiss customs offices").

Carriers provide their services according to the delivery terms (Incoterms).

PERFORMANCE RELATED HEAVY VEHICLE FEE

The performance-related heavy vehicle fee is a federal tax levied on the basis of total weight, emission level and the kilometres driven in Switzerland and the principality of Liechtenstein.

 

 

It must be paid for all the vehicles and trailers which

 

  • have a total weight of more than 3,5 tons,
  • are used for the carriage of goods and
  • are licensed in Switzerland and abroad and drive on Switzerland’s public roads network.

 

Tax rates

 

Currently applied rates:

 

Tax category
Emission class
Rate
I
Euro 2*, 1 and 0
3.10 ct./ tkm
II
Euro 3*
2.69 ct./ tkm
III
Euro 4 and 5
2.28 ct./ tkm


Discount rate:

III

Euro 6 2.05 ct./ tkm

 

Calculation example:

Relevant weight
18 t
Rate according to emission (Euro 5)
2.28 ct./tkm
Kilometres driven
100 km
Total
CHF 41.05

 


Calculation: 18 x 2.26 x 100 = 4104 ct. = CHF 41.05

 

* 10% discount for vehicles retrofitted with particle filter systems which keeps the particle limit value euro 4 (0,02 g/kWh)

 

 

 

Articulated Vehicles / Articulated Lorries

 

For articulated vehicles licensed as a unit the tax is calculated according to the total weight. If articulated lorry and semi-trailer are licensed separately, then the unloaded weight of the articulated lorry and the total weight of the semi-trailer are relevant.

 

Exceptions

 

Following vehicles licensed in Switzerland and abroad are exempt from the tax:

  • Military vehicles with military number plates or civil number plates and the M+ sticker
  • Vehicles of the police, fire brigade, oil and chemical emergency unit, civil protection and ambulances
  • Vehicles used for the concessionary transport of persons
  • Agricultural vehicles (green number plates)
  • Swiss short-term number plates
  • Vehicles which are not currenlty licensed and have dealers’ number plates (except for vehicles bound for exportation)
  • Driving school vehicles for as long as they are used for schooling purposes and are licensed for an approved driving school
  • Veteran and vintage cars which are identified as such in the vehicle license
  • Vehicles with electrical traction
  • Trailers for persons and goods used by the carney industry and circuses
  • Crawler-type vehicle
  • Transport axles
  • On previous application to the Directorate General of Customs: Vehicles used for humanitarian, non-profit or non-commercial purposes

 

Special regulations

 

Special regulations apply for the following vehicles and transports:

  • Unaccompanied combined traffic
  • Timber transports
  • Bulk milk transport
  • Transports of productive livestock
INCOTERMS?

INCOTERMS

 

Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms, are a series of international sales terms. They provide internationally binding supplier conditions, especially with regard to which of the contractual parties has to bear transportation, customs and insurance costs, which party carries the transport risk, and at what point the risk is passed to the buyer. Incoterms have no legal force; they are only binding if they are agreed upon by the buyer and the seller.The Incoterms were developed by the International Chamber of Commerce and were first published in 1936. They are regularly updated and the year marks the edition. The latest version of the Incoterms was the 6th revision in 2000.

 

EXW

The term Ex Works, also known with the acronym EXW and which must be completed with the specific indication of a place, binds the seller into preparing the goods in his premises (factory, warehouse, etc.) on the date agreed, only arranging the supply of the appropriate documentation for the export from the country of origin.The buyer, on his part, must arrange the export customs operation (in case he is not able to do it, the delivery must be modified to FCA), he will organise the transport and will pay all the expenses, bearing also all risks until the final destination.

 

FCA

The term Free Carrier is understood as the transport which is not paid. The notion FCA, which must be completed with the specific indication of a place, binds the seller to prepare the goods on the date agreed, arranging the supply of the appropriate documentation for the export from the country of origin, the delivery to the freight forwarder's (or any other subject chosen by the buyer) warehouse and the payment of the costs related to the export customs operation.The buyer, on his part, will organise the transport and will pay all expenses, bearing also all risks until the final destination.

 

FOB

The expression Free On Board has arisen mainly for maritime transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until the port of shipment, including possible costs for setting the goods on board of the ship, as well as the costs for obtaining licences and documentation for the export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations.When the goods are considered ready for departure, all the other expenses are to be borne by the buyer, including the insurance costs. As far as the responsibility for the goods is concerned, this is transferred from the seller to the buyer at the moment in which the goods themselves physically cross the ship's rail.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication of the port of shipment (example FOB Genoa). From this tem also the terms FOR - Free on Rail and FOT - Free on Truck were borrowed, although no longer correct, and are used respectively in case the transport takes place by rail or lorry.In case of transport by rail, road and air the equivalent term is Free Carrier (FCA).

 

CFR

The term Cost and Freight, also known with the abbreviation CFR (C&F), is mainly used in maritime transport. It establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until the destination, including possible expenses for unloading the ship, as well as costs for obtaining licences and export documentation from the country of origin and those for export customs operations.The buyer must instead bear the insurance costs while the seller is obligated to communicate promptly all the details that are necessary for the stipulation of the policy against risks.From the moment in which the goods are unloaded in the arrival port, all expenses are to be considered borne by the buyer, including customs costs in the country of arrival.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication of the destination port (example C.F.R. Barcelona). It is often used inappropriately also when the transport takes place by road or rail, while in the latter cases other terms (CTP) would be preferable.

 

CIF

The term Cost, Insurance and Freight is used in maritime transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until the destination, including possible expenses for unloading the ship, as well as expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations. The insurance costs are to be always borne by the seller.From the moment in which the goods are unloaded in the arrival port, all expenses are to be considered borne by the buyer, including customs costs in the country of arrival.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication of the destination port (example C.I.F.Trieste).

 

CPT

The term Carriage Paid To is valid for all types of transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until a specified arrival destination, as well as expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations. The sender must also bear the costs derived from crossing other countries until the arrival destination.From the moment in which the goods have reached the agreed arrival destination, all expenses are to be considered borne by the buyer, including customs costs in the country of arrival.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication a specific place of destination (example C.P.T. Milan).

 

CIP

The delivery Carriage and Insurance Paid to is valid for all types of transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all expenses until the specified arrival destination, as well as expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations. The sender must also bear the costs derived from crossing the other countries until the arrival destination. Unlike CPT, the seller must also bear the insurance costs.From the moment in which the goods have reached the arrival destination agreed, all expenses are to be considered borne by the buyer, including customs costs in the country of arrival.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication a specific place of destination (example C.I.P. Turin).

 

DAF

The term Delivered At Frontier is valid for road and rail transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until a specified country's border, as well as the expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for the export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations. The sender must also bear the costs derived from crossing other countries until the agreed border.The buyer must bear all expenses from the agreed border, including customs costs in the country of arrival.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication a specific border (example D.A.F. Italian-Swiss border). When the transport does not physically cross a territorial border, the airport can be considered a state border and, in the case of maritime transport, the use of the notations (DES and DEQ very rare) is preferable.

 

DDU

The term Delivered Duty Unpaid, also known with the acronym D.D.U., is especially valid for road and rail transport and it establishes that the seller must bear all transport expenses until the agreed destination, as well as the expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for export from the country of origin and those for export customs operations. The seller must also bear the costs derived from crossing other countries until the destination.The recipient must still bear the costs for customs operations in the country of arrival and the settlement of all charges pending on the goods in the country of destination.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication of a specific place (example D.D.U. Lugano).

 

DDP

The term Delivery Duty Paid, known with the acronym D.D.P., establishes that all transport expenses until the agreed destination, as well as the expenses for obtaining licences and documentation for export from the country of origin and whose for export customs operations. The sender must also bear the costs derived from crossing other countries until the destination and the customs operations in the country of arrival, including the settlement of all charges pending on the goods in the country of destination. Usually a clause is agreed in which the buyer must bear the VAT whereas the seller must bear the duty and any other tax.The wording of this delivery term is considered complete with the indication of a specific place (example D.D.P. Lugano).