Calculation Fundamentals for the App Zoll & MwSt CH

VAT calculations can be challenging because it can be difficult to determine when you are over the threshold of CHF 300 when purchases have been made abroad. Our App will assist you in this matter to know what value to claim on leaving a foreign country and what amount to pay on entry to Switzerland.


Custom charges envisage limiting the amount of goods imported into Switzerland to protect for example the agricultural sector. These charges are geared to amount of goods and not the price of the goods.

  1. Custom charges apply when the tax free limited of a product and per person is exceeded.
  2. Alcohol, for example, has 2 product limits (tax free limits) namely, first 1 litres are tax free if Alcohol is over 18%, then is taxed at CHF 15.00 per litre. If Alcohol is below 18% then 5 litres are tax free and then the litre is taxed at CHF 2.00 a litre.
  3. The app deals with Cigarettes and Cigars in Number – yet customs deals in weight. So we have weighed the Cigarettes (incl. packaging) and converted the weight price to a number price to make the calculation for the user easier. This approach therefore makes it possible that there may be differences. Please be aware that deviations are possible.

Swiss Value Added Tax (VAT)

Swiss VAT is applied to goods coming into Switzerland when the value off the goods exceeds CHF 300 per person.

  1. The value in Swiss Franks is used not the foreign amount  (for example EUR 250 is CHF 307.50)
  2. The value of goods is net of foreign VAT. So if CHF 320 of goods was purchased in Germany, 19% German VAT should be deducted and the value to declare is CHF 268.90
  3. If 2 persons would like to bring goods into Switzerland and you would like to avail yourself of the CHF600 limit – please bear in mind that if the value of a single item is above CHF 300 (e.g. a Table, set of summer tyres etc.) VAT is payable even though the overall value of goods purchased is under CHF 600.
  4. The tax free allowances are VAT free. So if you bring 1 litre of Alcohol with you but the value is CHF 400 – this is not VAT taxable in Switzerland.
  5. If many litre / kg of a product is entered into the App and then exceeds the tax free amount – the calculation is done on the assumption that the various products all cost the same amount. Should you have different prices these products must then be entered individually into the app for the calculation to be accurate.
  6. Should the case arise that many products are entered into the App shopping basket and the value exceeds CHF 300 yet no VAT is calculated – it may be that the various products in the shopping basket do not exceed the Customs tax free amount and thus no VAT is payable.


Foreign Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT paid in a foreign country can be claimed back, yet this is not done at the point of sale but at the point of departure. We have built into our app – rates for many countries and the relevant VAT rates which can be used to help facilitate this claim process.

  1. VAT is calculated on the Net price of goods. The app user inputs the gross price (which you have paid for the goods). The app now calculates the net price and the Vat amount.
  2. Certain countries do not charge VAT (e.g. Dubai) or certain products are VAT free. In this case no VAT claim will be calculated as there is nothing that can be claimed.
  3. Under the heading of "Sonstiges" (other) the general VAT rate of a country is used. Should you input say a basket of groceries in this section – the VAT calculation will be incorrect as some grocery products benefit from reduced or free VAT rates. So the result will be higher than what was paid.

Exchange Rates

The Exchanges rates are updated daily from the European Central Bank (ECB)

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