Swiss Mail Order Regulation Provisions for foreign mail order companies with an obligation to register in Switzerland
Since 1 January 2019, foreign mail order companies with an annual turnover of CHF 100,000 and above originating from small consignments (tax amount equal to CHF 5.00 or less) sent to customers in Switzerland have also been liable to pay value added tax. The arrangements you need to make as a retailer affected by this regulation for the correct shipping of international postal consignments into Switzerland are set out on the Federal Tax Administration site. You can also register there as a company liable for tax.
Complete the registration processes prior to shipping
Label your consignments correctly
Here’s how it works
Video: Mail order regulation
Foreign mail order companies that have registered with the Swiss Federal Tax Administration as a result of the Mail Order Regulation 2019 and send international postal consignments to Switzerland must also register with Swiss Post.
Registration with Swiss Post is required to ensure correct customs clearance and invoicing for your consignments. You can also download the electronic tax assessment decisions (eVV) for your consignments sent to Switzerland.
In the absence of registration, import tax may be incorrectly charged to the recipient or the consignment may be returned.
Registration with Swiss Post under the Mail Order Regulation is undertaken in two steps:
If you are a foreign mail order company (Mail Order Regulation 2019), complete the online form “Swiss Post customer invoice” registration in full and send us the details. You will need to provide a guarantee deposit following registration.
To ensure your consignments for mail order are properly processed, cleared through customs and invoiced, consignments must be labelled in accordance with certain specifications. If the labelling is incorrect, import tax may be wrongly charged to the recipient or the consignment may be returned.
This means you must attach the following documents and labels next to the address label on each parcel:
1.1 CN22/23 declaration according to UPU specifications (value of the goods excl. Swiss VAT)
1.2 VAT-compliant invoice with indication of domestic tax or a proforma invoice.
This must include the VAT number (UID no.) of the mail order company listed on the VAT register and must always be attached in a document pouch on the outside of the consignment.
1.3 Label for identifying the sender: this only contains the name of the foreign mail order company and its VAT number (UID no.).
It may not contain any address data. This label should not be less than 5 cm in length and 2 cm in height.
Swiss Post cannot detect collective items and is not logistically able to collectively process individual packaged items from a consignment. For this reason, please provide the documents and labels described above for each individual parcel.
The process for the Swiss Mail Order Regulation is as follows:
The consignment is prepared abroad by you, with the following documents and labels being attached:
1.1. CN22/23 declaration
1.2. Invoice or pro forma invoice (including VAT number (UID no.) of the mail order company listed on the VAT register
1.3. Label to identify the foreign mail order company
2. Shipping as a postal item to Switzerland
3. The consignment is received and cleared through customs in Switzerland by Swiss Post
4. The consignment is delivered and service fees and state levies are invoiced.
4.1. Service fees for customs clearance and any customs duties are requested from the consignment recipient. This is done either directly upon delivery or retrospectively by invoice.
4.2. The import tax is charged to you as the foreign mail order company. Alternatively, you can apply for an import tax account (ZAZ) with the Federal Customs Administration (FCA). We strongly recommend this step.
Foreign mail order companies operating in the Swiss market are advised to apply for a ZAZ account with the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) to enable automated invoicing of import tax.
If you have a ZAZ account, ensure that you provide it on the online form when registering with “Post CH Ltd customer invoice”. If this is the case, Swiss import tax billing will be performed directly on your ZAZ account by the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security. If you have your own ZAZ account, you must collect the tax assessment decisions from the Federal Customs Administration.
If your ZAZ account has been blocked for Swiss customs clearance by the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security, customs clearance is performed using Swiss Post’s ZAZ account. If you do not have a ZAZ account or if the account has been blocked by the Federal Customs Administration, the import tax will be invoiced by Swiss Post. For the submission of the import tax, a fee of 2% of the import tax amount is charged.
The physical invoicing of the import tax is done every two weeks and the payment deadline is 10 days. Electronic invoicing is generally possible. If this is required, contact our Finance Service Center by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
The tax assessment decisions can be downloaded from www.swisspost.ch/evv-moTarget not accessible (instructions can be found on the invoice). If you have your own ZAZ account, you must collect the “bordereau” with the duties and the tax assessment decisions from the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security.