For online sales to Swiss consumers, there will be compulsory DDP delivery and thus a registration requirement in Switzerland if you sell goods below the low value threshold and have an annual turnover in Switzerland of more than CHF 100,000.

The Swiss low value consignments

Shipments to Switzerland are deemed to be of low-value when the import VAT generated at importation is below CHF 5. This corresponds to an item value of less than CHF 65 for goods at the standard VAT rate of 7.7% and of less than CHF 200 for goods at the reduced rate of 2.5%.

Import VAT is levied on consignments below the low value limit, as the administration of such low amounts is deemed too administratively and resource-demanding.

Mandatory VAT registration

For foreign e-commerce businesses with a place of business outside of Switzerland, who sell goods below the low value limit, it applies that with an annual turnover of more than CHF 100,000, the place of delivery changes to Swiss.

The consequence of the place of delivery suddenly becoming Swiss is that the company must be registered for VAT in Switzerland. The sale must be processed for VAT according to Swiss rules and the seller must apply either 7.7% or 2.5% VAT on goods solved with delivery in Switzerland. All goods must be imported into Switzerland by the seller / the foreign e-commerce business.

It is important to note that when the company is VAT registered, all goods sold, both below and above the low value limit, must be sold on local terms and imported by the seller. All sales will therefore be subject to VAT.

Import VAT on goods sold below the low value limit will still not be charged at the time of importation. Import VAT will be charged on goods above the low value limit. The import VAT is deducted on the quarterly VAT report.

Swiss customs

The Swiss customs duties are generally calculated according to the gross weight (including packaging) and are often less than 1 CHF per kg.

In particular, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, food, textiles and jewelry are subject to a higher duty and/or other high taxes.

For administrative reasons duties are levied on amounts below CHF 5.

Goods originating from countries with which Switzerland has concluded a free trade agreement, or from developing countries can normally be imported duty-free or at reduced rates (customs preference). The reduction is indicated for each country in the Swiss customs tariff, TARES. A valid proof of origin is mandatory when importing goods with preferential origin.