Costs to consider when sending parcels to Switzerland

22 August, 2018

E-Commerce Destinations

Switzerland is the 40th richest country in the world, an advanced and technologically savvy nation with an appreciation of the benefits of e-Commerce. Swiss consumers spend more than any nation in Europe (other than the UK) and are particularly receptive to buying from overseas businesses, especially when it comes to accessing better quality or choice.

If your business is looking at exporting parcels to Switzerland then the costs to consider will be a key factor in success.

Why do business in Switzerland?

The main reason for any foreign business to consider Switzerland as an option is the fact that local consumers are so open to buying from overseas businesses. 61% of online purchases are cross border sales and Swiss consumers proactively seek out new brands that are able to offer a better product or service. There are also a number of other key benefits to doing business in Switzerland.

  • Communication. While Switzerland officially has four languages (French, German, Italian and Romanish), English is widely spoken so communication with consumers is straightforward.
  • Switzerland has been repeatedly ranked as the world’s most competitive economy by the World Economic Forum. It is a vibrant, maturing market with an openness to change, especially in the e-Commerce world.
  • Logistic simplicity. Switzerland is just two hours flight time from the UK so delivery times are reasonable. Plus, it is a country with a solid existing logistics infrastructure to support efficient shipping.
  • Wealthy consumers. Switzerland has Europe’s highest per capita income and consumers are willing to spend their cash online. Purchasing power here is some of the highest in the world, which is one reason why Switzerland is such an appealing option for businesses looking to become established in wealthy new markets.
  • Internet penetration. Among 16 – 65 year olds in Switzerland, internet penetration is at 95%. High speed digital networks support easy online purchasing and mobile penetration rates are rising.

Costs to consider before sending your goods to Switzerland

It’s essential to ensure you get the costs balance correct for sending goods overseas so that the venture is worthwhile. These are some of the key costs to consider before sending your goods to Switzerland.

  1. VAT. The VAT regime in Switzerland is considered favourable but will apply to most goods coming into the country. Swiss VAT is currently 7.7% with an exception of 2.5% for goods such as foodstuff and magazines.
  2. Customs duties. The Swiss customs authority charges any applicable customs duties on the basis of weight and parcel contents, not on value.
  3. Paperwork errors. Customs paperwork is a crucial part of a smooth transition for your goods if you’re sending parcels to Switzerland. Errors in paperwork can result in delays and additional charges.
  4. Packaging. The packaging that you choose to use for sending goods to Switzerland should be robust enough to withstand European transit. Packaging is a cost that is often overlooked when expanding overseas but which can be fairly significant. Choose the smallest possible boxes for your items to improve environmental credentials and to keep the costs of your packaging and shipping as low as possible.
  5. Insurance. Depending on what you’re sending, the volume and value, you may need to include insurance as part of your estimated costs for sending goods to Switzerland.
  6. Shipping. The right delivery provider will enable you to offer a range of delivery services to customers across a spectrum of pricing that works with your budgets.

While these costs are key to bear in mind, the size and growth potential of the Swiss e-Commerce market still makes it a great investment.

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