Foreign returned goods (returns)

These are goods that were imported into Switzerland and are returned unaltered by the recipient. Simple usage does not count as alteration.

Reimbursement of import duties may be requested at the time of the export assessment. Reimbursement of import duties is considered only if the goods are returned to the sender abroad within three years for the following reasons:

  • non-acceptance;
  • rescission of the contract;
  • or non-saleability caused by a defect or damage.

They can also go to a third party on request and on behalf of the Swiss consignor.

If the goods have been altered in Switzerland, reimbursement of import duties is approved only if a defect was encountered during their processing in Switzerland.

A reimbursement claim can also be asserted upon re-exportation in the case of goods that cannot be placed on the market because of current legislation (public health, security regulations, etc.).

Procedure

You must request reimbursement in the export declaration. For the refund of import duties due to re-exportation, please refer to form 18.86:

Example

You received spare parts from Germany, but the shipment is incorrect. You send the spare parts back to the German consignor.

Simplified refund procedure for foreign returned goods which cannot be delivered:


If the declarant is unable to deliver consignments to the recipient, it can, in this case, apply to have the import taxes refunded via a simplified refund procedure. 

The following conditions must be met:

  • The consignment is undeliverable. 
    A consignment is deemed to be undeliverable if the declarant was unable to deliver the consignment to the recipient (e.g. due to non-acceptance, address unknown, recipient deceased, etc.). The declarant is thereby unable to definitively fulfil the freight contract. 
  • The entire consignment has remained in the safe custody of the declarant. 
  • The declarant must provide evidence that the consignment could not be delivered.
  • Evidence can be provided, for example, with a remark about the undeliverability and re-exportation on the invoice (a copy of which must be kept in the dossier) and/or with an extract from the Track&Trace system.
  • The declarant is the authorised consignee and authorised consignor.

Procedure in the case of re-exportation with Swiss Post as the authorised consignor

  • The declarant fills in form 25.74 A. The form is applicable to the consignments listed on it as a customs export declaration and as an application for reimbursement.

Procedure in the case of re-exportation concerning other declarants

  • The declarant bindingly files the application in the customs export declaration
  • E-dec export: refund type 6 (refund others), TN: 9999.9999, assessment type 4 (returned goods)
  • NCTS export withdrawal notice: code 22 plus clearance type code
  • NCTS customs export declaration: code 22 (N.B.: use only the correct tariff number, use of tariff number 9999.9999 is not possible).
  • In addition to the customs export declaration, the declarant has to make an application for a refund of the import taxes. To this end, form 25.74 B has to be filled in and submitted to the customs office. Assessment decisions issued in paper form have to be enclosed (original) with the form.

Domestic returns

For domestic returned goods (goods you have sent abroad and have received back), go to the following link: Domestic returned goods.

Further info

The full context is available in:


https://www.ezv.admin.ch/content/ezv/en/home/information-companies/exemptions--reliefs--preferential-tariffs-and-export-contributio/exportation-from-switzerland/foreign-returned-goods--returns-.html