Value added tax (importation tax)
Value added tax amounts to 8% of the assessment basis. A reduced rate of 2.5% applies for certain goods (e.g. foodstuff, books, magazines and medications). Details can be found in Article 25 of the VAT Act.
Tax amounts of up to 5 Swiss francs are not levied. This tax amount corresponds to the assessment basis of CHF 62 at the 8% VAT rate or CHF 200 at the 2.5% VAT rate.
The assessment basis generally comprises the consideration paid for the items in question. This applies also for items purchased online. The invoice or contract of sale forms the basis. In certain cases, the market value is taken into account, e.g. in the case of a gift. The market value corresponds to the sum that another buyer would have had to pay for the item.
All costs up to the destination in Switzerland (e.g. postal forwarding service) as well as import duties (e.g. customs duties) are added to the assessment basis.
Foreign VAT is not part of the calculation basis, provided it is shown separately on the invoice or contract of sale by the supplier.
Value details in foreign currencies are converted into Swiss francs using the exchange rate (forex sell rate) listed on the last trading day before the import tax liability arises, generally the preceding day, Exchange rates (sell).
If value details are not provided or if there is doubt concerning the value information, we can estimate the value of the goods.