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We are planning to move away from Switzerland and we would like to ship most of our belongings from Germany. We will have about 25 boxes to be shipped and I was wondering how to approach customs on entering Germany (from Switzerland).

I am trying to find out how and where to register our goods as being destined for another (non-EU) country. I will send them off the same day and return back into Switzerland straight away, so if there is any "shipping receipt" required, I could easily present this.

I assume it's similar to moving to another country (let's say the Netherlands) and just crossing through Germany on the way there. If anyone has moved belongings themselves, how did you deal with the customs requirements on the border to Germany? How did you register your goods?

[UPDATE]

Alright, so I called the German Customs today and was told the following:

When transporting goods through Germany that are destined for another country, you generally can use the "T1 Versandverfahren", with which you register your goods at the customs office upon entering Germany.

The point of the "T1" registration is that the goods are under "customs supervision" and are obviously not to be left inside Germany.

Technically, you are then transporting the goods to an Airport or Harbour or some Shipping company that should process the export for you and you'll get proof that you have exported them again.

However, in my situation I was considering going with DHL and they might not do this or at least its not clear how the process would work right now.

Therefore, you can also announce the export yourself through a so called "Ausfuhrverfahren" using "Form 033025", which you can find on www.zoll.de

The remaining question is in which order should this happen?

The kind lady on the phone said I should immediately when importing the goods start the "T1" and launch the "Form 033025" at the same time. It makes more sense to me, though, to first launch the "T1", then ship the goods and return to the customs officer to process the "Form 033025" for export when I can actually proof that I just shipped them.

Let me know if anyone has done this - it would be a great help!

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I think you may be over complicating the situation. Switzerland is a member of EFTA so when it comes to moving goods it is like being inside the EU. Therefore you can move whatever you like wherever you like ( as long as it's nit an illegal product. Then when they are leaving Germany you tell the customs in Germany they are leaving outside EU. I imported belongings from Asia to UK. Did customs declaration for entering UK which covers all EU. Then the same shipper moved them on to Poland by land subsequently another shipper moved them to another EU country (crossing 3 countries enroute) for which no documentation is necessary.

  • As you said, your good have been moved by "Shippers", which are companies, which can take advantage of electronic customs declarations (called ATLAS). This is not available to private people, without a registered business, so no - you can not just move whatever you want without declaring it between Switzerland and Germany. I actually have crossed the border multiple times and the German customs offers have stopped me every time. I also called the actual customs office in Germany and the situation actually is quite complicated. Long story short - I used a moving company in the end :) – Chris Jan 28 '16 at 22:44
  • The shippers only fill the declartaion to enter EFTA. Once inside EFTA no declaration was required. Infact the last move the guy just put them on the truck and gave me just a receipt from his company, no official document. Much like if you send post within EFTA you don't complete a customs declaration, onky if it is entering or leaving EFTA. I guess you are unlucky. I crossed the German Swiss border 4 times in 2015 in avehicle without being stopped. Swiss Italian 6 times never even saw a customs official. it can't be that every person whi crosses the border has to fill in documentation. – Paddy Jan 30 '16 at 1:13
  • This is plain wrong. Switzerland is a member of EFTA, but it is not part of the EU customs union. When I moved from Germany to a flat in Zürich, I had to fill out a customs declaration (and find an appropriate border post to do it at). If I had moved to France, no officials would have been involved. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 24 '18 at 10:25

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