Export Knowhow

Administrative preparations for your international shipment

Good preparation is half the battle, and this is also true of cross-border online retail. Here is an overview of how you can prepare yourself administratively for international shipping.

Packing

Fiscal requirements

In principle, a Swiss retailer must register in the target countries. They will ultimately make sales in these countries and thus become subject to VAT. There are, however, exceptions: if order values ALWAYS fall below the country-specific exemption limits, registration is usually not necessary. Registration in one EU country is all that is required to export to the entire EU.

The only requirement for a DDP solution with Asendia is tax registration in Germany. For a contribution fee, Asendia will complete the registration in Germany for you together with a tax consultant.

Data transmission

Filling out customs documents and shipping labels on a commercial scale makes no sense. You can transmit the data required for customs clearance and addressing electronically. This ensures maximum efficiency and data security. This usually requires IT integration – depending on the shop system, a different solution may be suitable.

Customs tariff numbers

When importing goods to the destination country, the customs authorities there must be able to assign a Swiss retailer’s goods in accordance with their customs regulations – codes known as HS codes are used for this. As the name suggests, these Harmonized Standard Codes are harmonized worldwide. However, this applies only to the rough classification of the goods. The first six digits are the same worldwide, but there is still a country-specific allocation, which is carried out via a further four digits and in special cases via additional codes. In order for a Swiss retailer’s goods to be imported correctly, they require the correct HS codes for their goods in advance. What is known as a tariffing service can help in this regard.

Binding customs tariff information can be obtained from the Federal Customs Administration

About Asendia

In the field of e-commerce, we draw on the expertise of experts in selected areas. The author of this article, Fabian Baumberger, is responsible for E-Commerce Solutions at Asendia. Asendia is a joint venture between the French La Poste and the Swiss Post; it offers standard and custom shipping solutions for advertising mail, business correspondence, small goods and newspapers.

Get started in internationalization with e-commerce

Would you like to discuss your internationalization project with our experts without obligation? Get in touch with Alexandra Schiller today and discuss your plans. We at Switzerland Global Enterprise will support Swiss companies on your way to new markets: with specific information, competent consultation and a global network of experts.

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