A change to the value added tax (VAT) measures that apply with respect to foreign sellers of “low-value” goods requires foreign sellers generating more than CHF 100,000 of sales of low-value goods per year to register for Swiss VAT as of 1 January 2019.
“Low-value” goods are defined as imports with a VAT value not exceeding CHF 5. This definition also applies to goods having a value not exceeding CHF 65 when the goods are subject to the “standard” VAT rate, and to goods having a value not exceeding CHF 200 when subject to the “reduced” VAT rate. For administrative measures, import VAT and customs duties are not levied upon the importation of goods if the amount of the actual import VAT does not exceed CHF 5.
Under the new rules, not only must these foreign sellers (with sales of low-value goods totaling more than CHF 100,000 annually) be required to register for Swiss VAT, but the place of supply shifts from abroad to Switzerland. In practical terms, this means that customers ordering low-value goods as from 1 January 2019 will receive an invoice including a 7.7% or 2.5% Swiss VAT (depending on the types of items purchased) from foreign suppliers.
Still, as of 2019, any sales supplied by a Swiss VAT-registered foreign seller will only be subject to Swiss VAT once the total amount of sales exceeds the annual threshold of CHF 100,000.
Read an October 2018 report [PDF 123 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland
© 2019 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.
Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.
The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.