Preferential Customs Tariffs And Supplier Declarations

Author:Ms Anita Machin and Florian Hanslik
Profession:PrimeTax AG

Switzerland has concluded free trade agreements with various states, simplifying access to international markets. Swiss companies can export goods with customs tariff privileges (so-called preferential tariffs) into the countries of destination exempt from duty or at reduced tariff rates. The preferential treatment does, however, only apply to goods satisfying the applicable provisions with regard to origin and procedure

of the free trade agreement, i.e. for which you can particularly prove corresponding origin of the goods as the free trade partners only favour each other and no other states.

If Swiss companies want to benefit from preferential tariffs for their goods in the country of destination, they must be able to prove that the origin of the goods is actually in Switzerland. Goods with origin in Switzerland are on the one hand those that have been completely obtained or produced in Switzerland (so-called original products) and on the other hand also goods with sufficient processing. The required minimum level of processing is defined in the so-called list rules of the free trade agreements. For the evaluation according to the list rule, it is necessary to know the tariff number of the end product the origin of which is to be determined as the relevant rules differ depending on the tariff number. The Swiss Customs Tariff (Tares) and the tariff numbers are available at There are mainly three different types of list rules:

Ad valorem percentages: The value of all third-country materials used for a product must not exceed the "Ex works price" of this product by a certain percentage. Change in tariff classification: The first four digits of the tariff number of a product must not be identical with those of any third-country material used for this product. Processing operations: A product must have undergone exactly defined processing. What do I have to consider?

For the verification whether the processing moves the origin of the good to Switzerland, the list rules are very important; they are, however, alone not sufficient for a final evaluation. The following additional important provisions must also be observed:

Cumulation rules of the corresponding free trade agreements Regulations within the pan-Euro-Mediterranean origin system Possible provisions regarding the drawback prohibition Supplier declarations

Preliminary materials for Swiss products are often procured in Switzerland. For the preliminary materials...

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