FAQs about exports: customs and VAT
Answers to FAQs on essential export topics

This overview provides you with answers to FAQs about customs and export declarations, import and export regulations as well as assessment provisions.

Customs and export declarations, import and export regulations and sending cash

Consignments are often stored in a local customs office in the country of destination either because the recipient is responsible for customs clearance or the content declaration is insufficient for the foreign customs office.

Generally, the customs office notifies the recipient if this is the case. If this is not the case, you can contact your branch or the relevant customs office directly as the recipient.

If this still does not produce the desired outcome, or if the recipient does not know which customs office to call, please contact us. We will then ask the foreign postal administration for more detailed information and clarify what subsequent steps you should take.

The customs declaration (CN 23) is used for the goods declaration for letter mail up to 2 kg if the value of the goods exceeds CHF 400.00 or if the sender does not wish to disclose the effective value of the goods to the recipient on the green customs declaration (CN22).

You complete the customs declaration (CN 23) in accordance with the following illustration:

  1. Sender’s name and address
  2. Recipient’s name and exact address
  3. Recipient’s phone number
  4. Type of content
  5. Type and number of the goods certificate (EUR.1)
  6. Number of the export approval and date of issue
  7. Tick if a commercial invoice is enclosed (and possibly indicate the invoice number)
  8. Quantity and unit of each item enclosed
  9. Precise description of the contents
  10. Value of the goods enclosed in CHF
  11. Net weight
  12. Tariff number and key (only for commercial consignments)
  13. Country of origin of the goods
  14. Total value of the goods
  15. Gross weight of the consignment
  16. Postage costs
  17. Remarks
  18. Date and sender’s signature

The green customs declaration (CN 22) is used for the goods declaration up to CHF 400.00 for letter mail up to 2 kg. Please complete it in accordance with the following illustration:

  1. Type of content
  2. Precise description of the contents
  3. Net weight
  4. Goods value
  5. Bulk weight
  6. Total goods value and currency
  7. Only for commercial consignments: Customs tariff number and country of origin of the goods
  8. Date and sender’s signature

You can find out about import and export regulations here:

  1. Online at www.swisspost.ch/info-int under “Import regulations”
  2. On the customs website at www.zoll.ch
  3. From the various customs offices in Basel (+41 61 201 22 22), Zurich (+41 44 242 26 10) and Geneva (+41 22 717 77 30)
  4. From the embassies or consular offices in the different countries

Only use the export declaration for letter mail up to 2 kg and complete it in accordance with the following illustration:

  1. Sender’s name and address
  2. Recipient’s name and exact address
  3. Recipient’s phone number
  4. Type of content
  5. Type and number of the goods certificate (EUR.1)
  6. Number of the export approval and date of issue
  7. Tick if a commercial invoice is enclosed (and possibly indicate the invoice number)
  8. Quantity and unit of each item enclosed
  9. Precise description of the contents
  10. Value of the goods enclosed in CHF
  11. Net weight
  12. Tariff number and key (only for commercial consignments)
  13. Country of origin of the goods
  14. Total value of the goods
  15. Gross weight of the consignment
  16. Postage costs
  17. Remarks
  18. Date and sender’s signature

The export declaration for URGENT and PostPac International consignments is an integral part of the waybill. You must therefore not fill them out individually.

Consignments containing cash are not permitted in international postal traffic. In the event of loss or theft, Swiss Post declines all liability (see Swiss Post’s General Terms and Conditions “Postal Services”; sections 2.6 and 4.4.2).

For this reason, please use the PostFinance products for money transfers (Postcash, Postgiro, Western Union, etc.). You can obtain information about this directly via the PostFinance hotline or the e-mail address provided:

Tax assessment decisions

The electronic assessment decision (eVV) is a proof of export issued by the Federal Customs Administration. As an electronic document for goods exported from Switzerland, the electronic assessment decision is the counterpart of the well-known printed export customs clearance document.

To obtain an electronic assessment decision (eVV) for an exported good, you must register the consignment number and your postcode as login data. You can then download your eVV, save it on your own IT infrastructure and print it out when necessary.

Companies liable for VAT are obliged by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) to keep an electronic copy of the assessment decision for eleven years (ten years + current year).

If you register a good for export electronically via e-dec Export, the electronic assessment decision is returned to the relevant customer tool. In this case, the eVV cannot be obtained via the www.swisspost.ch/evv platform.

The electronic assessment decision is unnecessary when exporting items that are not subject to any permit obligations and have a value of up to CHF 1,000. In such cases, companies registered with the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) as legal entities liable for VAT can prove the export to the FTA as follows: with the dispatch list / dispatch receipt from Swiss Post and the relevant business documents (e.g. order, invoice copy, delivery contract, payment slip).

The electronic assessment decision replaces the physical export customs clearance document. For the following products, an electronic assessment decision is available:

  • PRIORITY and ECONOMY letters
  • PostPac International PRIORITY and ECONOMY
  • GLS parcels

People sending goods which are exported as postal items receive the export clearance document exclusively in the form of an electronic assessment decision. Physical customs clearance documents are no longer available.

The conditions for entitlement to an electronic assessment decision (eVV) are identical to those for a physical export clearance document. In principle, companies liable for tax in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein are entitled to an eVV. Furthermore, the eVV is only issued for goods subject to export approval or other goods which are exported by post and which have a value of more than CHF 1,000.

Storing and obtaining tax assessment decisions

You can make your request by phone (0848 639 639) to customer service for postal customs clearance. You can send written requests to postverzollung@swisspost.ch.

  1. If Swiss Post has recorded an export declaration manually: free download at www.swisspost.ch/evv or from postal customs clearance customer service by phone on 0848 639 639. If you have executed an export declaration via e-dec Export: In principle the eVV is sent back to the system via which you submitted the declaration. If you have not received the eVV, you must contact the Federal Customs Administration. 
  2. If no customs declaration has been submitted for a shipment, Swiss Post prepares a request to the customs administration for a retroactive assessment decision. This is then delivered to you free of charge, on condition that the customs office accepts the request.
  3. The following conditions must be satisfied for you to request a retroactive assessment decision:
    a) Swiss Post has exported the consignment.
    b) the export date for the consignment may not be more than 60 days in the past.
    c) the goods value of the consignment is at least CHF 1,000.00.
    d) you have a commercial invoice (copy) which confirms the information.
    e) an original receipt is available for import customs clearance in the foreign country or confirmation from the Swiss embassy or similar representative office abroad that the goods are in the country in question.

Electronic assessment decisions (eVV) are generally available in electronic form within two working days of export. From this time, the eVV is either available for download or you receive it by e-mail.
At www.swisspost.ch/evv, eVVs remain available to the sender free of charge for multiple download for a period of three months after export.

If the goods were exported more than three months ago, please contact postal customs clearance customer service. It will provide you with the electronic assessment decision you are entitled to in exchange for an administration fee.

In principle, there are three means of obtaining the electronic assessment decision:

  • Download from the website www.swisspost.ch/evv
  • Delivery by e-mail (only for exports with PostPac International and only if the waybill was created using one of Swiss Post International’s electronic tools and the sender’s e-mail address was explicitly recorded)
  • Ordering from the postal customs clearance customer service (by phone or e-mail; for non-registered letter mail, this is the only means of obtaining the required document)

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