Export customs clearance: many routes into Switzerland
There are basically two options for customs clearance in Switzerland: the one-stage procedure and the two-stage procedure. In the latter case, the goods must be provided for possible customs controls at the export customs office for 24 hours before they are transferred to the customs office of exit and then to Switzerland. The one-stage export procedure dispenses with this intermediate step.
For small consignments with a value less than EUR 3,000 and which are not subject to any political, economic or other restrictions, the one-step export procedure is used. The export declaration is then sent directly to the customs office of exit.
The restrictions mentioned above include, for example, trade policy measures (export permit requirements, license requirements), bans (endangered species protection, waste disposal legislation) or an embargo on the destination.
This method is therefore very practical for unproblematic small consignments, as it saves time.
The key benefit here, is that the actual goods checks do not take place at the border, but at the export customs office itself. This is usually not far from the place where the goods are loaded, as this is just the most practical location from a logistical point of view. This means that only random checks are required when crossing the border to ensure that everything is in order.
The German customs administration also offers a search to find the responsible office. But it also requires a 24-hour presentation period for this purpose. In other words, the goods must be made available for customs checks for 24 hours at a location approved by customs (i.e. at the export customs office or another approved location). This can also be your own warehouse.
You must submit the export declaration by 12 noon sharp. Hand it in a minute later and you’ll have to wait until the following day. So timing is everything. This export declaration applies to all modes of transport and must be submitted electronically using ATLAS customs software.
- Professional tip:
If you are exporting to Switzerland via France, there is no presentation period. So you gain a day! The same is true if the merchant has the “approved exporter” status.
What happens at the customs office of exit?
For both the one-step and two-step export procedures, this is where the MRN of the electronic export declaration and possibly the export accompanying document (EAD) are presented. The customs office of exit then checks whether the goods match the declaration.
Were the goods checked beforehand by the export customs office? An additional data record is then transmitted, on the basis of which the customs office of exit can carry out a risk analysis. If everything is in order, the goods can leave the customs area of the European Union and be imported into Switzerland.
This prevents the border crossing itself from becoming a bottleneck for the flow of goods – simply because many consignments have already been checked in advance. Spot checks will, of course, still be conducted. Do you find Swiss customs regulations difficult to understand? That ends now! We tell you everything you need to know about customs.
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