Switzerland ends VAT relief low-value packages

Sat 1st Oct 2016

Switzerland is to end its VAT exemption on low-value packages being imported into the country. No implementation date has been set yet.

Currently, an imported delivery under a declared value of CHF200 is exempted from import VAT. The Swiss VAT rate is currently 8%, and 2.5% for books.

The measure is designed to support local online and bricks & mortar sellers who at a commercial disadvantage to foreign e-commerce sellers.

The European Union is considering a similar measure to eliminate its import VAT and duty exemptions – termed low value consignment relief.  The threshold for this varies across the region, but is generally €20 per package or lower.

In addition, non-resident providers of services in Switzerland will be required to VAT register if their global income is above CHF100,000 per annum. This measure is targeted at workers coming into Switzerland on a daily basis and able to charge for their services without VAT. It has been estimated that this measure will hit over 30,000 foreign companies and attract over CHF70million.