Switzerland to scrap low-value VAT exemption on e-commerce imports

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From 1 January 2019, the Swiss government will remove the low-value import VAT exemption on goods bought from foreign suppliers.

Currently, the threshold for the exemption is set at CHf 62.50 for most goods and allows importers to purchase goods VAT free from non-resident companies up until this amount.

However, in an effort to remove the unfair advantage that this gives non-resident providers over resident providers of the same goods, the Swiss government confirmed it would remove the low-value threshold from 1 January 2019. Which will mean that non-resident providers will then have an obligation to register and account for VAT on the sale of the low-value goods when their annual sales exceed the CHf 100,000 VAT registration threshold.

The European Union is also proposing a similar removal of its low-value consignment stock relief threshold for 2021, where the current average threshold over the 28 EU member states is €20 per shipment.