If you are planning to export to Switzerland, there are a number of things you need to know about. We give you an overview here.
Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world and is therefore an important trading partner. Transport between Denmark and Switzerland is neither long nor expensive, and the economies are very similar to each other. These are ideal conditions for a good trade cooperation, and so you can safely access the Swiss market.
However, you must be aware of the existing rules when trading with a non-EU country. Usually, it is different from trading with countries within the EU. Read more about export to Switzerland below.
How to get started exporting outside the EU
Before you can start your sales to Switzerland, you must register as an exporter with the Danish Business Authority. You can easily and quickly do this via Virk, and this is obligatory when making an export declaration. An export declaration must indicate the goods you ship out of the EU. It is also used, for example, for checking goods at the office of departure and for statistically recording which goods are exported and how much.
When you register your company with the Danish Business Authority, you will be assigned an EORI number, which establishes your company as an exporter (and importer), so that other customs authorities can recognize it.
Customs rules on exports to Switzerland
Even though Switzerland is not a member of the EU, there are still some benefits if you want to ship to there. This is due to a trade agreement that the EU has entered into with Switzerland, among others. The agreement brings the possibility of a full or partial tariff reduction, provided that some general requirements are complied with. For example, you must always be able to document the origin of your goods in either the EU or the country of agreement (Switzerland).
You can always keep yourself up to date with the trade agreements in question on the official EU website. Here, you can also see which tariffs apply. In addition, you can also check whether your goods meet the requirements of origin in Switzerland.
When you export goods outside the EU, you have the opportunity to sell and ship the goods without value added tax (VAT). This is because the goods are not to be consumed in Denmark, where the VAT rules apply. In this way, it will be cheaper for you to trade with Switzerland.
Customs documents for Switzerland
When sending a shipment to Switzerland, outside the EU, a list of contents must always be attached. Such lists are customs documents and can be either a trade invoice or a pro forma invoice. In most cases, it will be a trade invoice. When sending to Switzerland, it is important that you fill in the information on the invoice in English.
Be aware of how many copies of either the trade invoice or proforma invoice you must attach your shipment. You can always check this with your carrier. In some countries you have the ability to make use of Paperless Trade, which means that you don’t have to attach physical customs documents to your shipment.
Expand your webshop to Switzerland
If you want to expand your webshop to Switzerland, we really do understand. The Swiss market is wealthy, has a solid infrastructure and high-speed internet. In addition, Swiss consumers love to buy from international online stores. The most popular product categories are clothing, transportation, furniture, tickets and vacations, but the greater part of online sales in Switzerland goes to services and electronics.
Source: Statista, e-commerce Switzerland
Over the last 5 years, the number of online shoppers has increased every year, so there is a good reason for you to start your e-commerce in Switzerland. But when you need to export your products and goods, there are some factors you must be aware of.
Swiss consumers are very concerned about quality and price, and there is already a large selection of foreign online retailers, so you need to be ready for competition. In addition, it is important that you use the right language in your webshop as well as in your customer service. In Switzerland, the main language is German, but you will also find French-speakers and Italian-speakers. However, they understand English well, so you should at least be able to commit yourself in English and strongly consider whether you also should be able to provide information in German, French and Italian.
It is also a good idea to keep track of which online payment methods are popular. Swiss consumers prefer to pay by credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express), invoice or E-wallets such as PayPal or Klarna, but methods such as debit cards and online bank transfer are also useful.
Source: Dansk E-handel 2020, nets
Return is also an important factor. Consumers are happy to pay for the return of their goods, but as the major online brands have now started to offer free return shipping, Swiss customers have become more accustomed to either low or no return costs - especially when it comes to fashion purchases. Feel free to consider having a local Swiss return address, so the return process will be easy for your customer, and any return rates will not be unmanageably high.
Ship to Switzerland with Shipmondo
Now that you’ve figured out how to ship to Switzerland, and how to expand your webshop to the country, don’t you just want to send your first shipment today? With Shipmondo, you can easily and quickly get started exporting. We have freight agreements with PostNord and DHL Express, both of which can ensure that your shipments arrive safely in Switzerland.
Furthermore, you can set up automation in your Shipmondo account to make your workflows easier and faster. For example, you can automate the electronic completion of your customs documents. Read more about it here.
Click here, create a free account and send a shipment to Switzerland in less than 5 minutes!
If you want to ship your goods to countries other than Switzerland, you can also do it with Shipmondo. You can set up delivery to the whole world on your webshop and in that way let your sales grow. It may sound simple, and it actually is. You can read more here about which strategic and technical considerations you need to make before you ship to the rest of the world.
We have also made a guide for those of you who want to ship to Germany.
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