Customs duty tax Switzerland (10 bags more expensive than 5 bags)

Dear jimmyjoy-plennyshake Team,

I think it would be great if you could investigate this for all countries and inform your customers on the way to the checkout (like tell us the optimum number of bags that is least likely to incur additional costs at the border).

I’ll share my experiences here for Switzerland. I was well aware of the VAT mechanic before ordering from jimmyjoy-plennyshake, but the foodstuffs customs duty was a new one (I haven’t ordered food from another country before, just books, electronics, clothes, games etc.).

My first order was for 5 bags (30 € + 15 € shipping = 45 €). No additional bill arrived from UPS.

My 2nd and 3rd orders were for 10 bags (60 € + 15 € shipping = 75 €). In both cases, I received a letter about 30 days later from UPS with a bill for CHF 27.20 (€ 24.40). So it would have been cheaper to order 2x 5 bags instead of 1x 10 bags (not to mention the significant hassle of paying that weird UPS bill without payment slip but just some bank information).

I guess 15 bags would be cheaper than 3x 5 bags, but then the parcel probably wouldn’t fit into my mailbox anymore and I would have to go get it at the post office (ech).

As far as I understand, the rules for Switzerland are as follows:

  1. total parcel value = cost of goods + shipping costs
  2. special import duty on foodstuff based on 1)
  3. VAT based on 2)
  4. UPS fee for customs handling
  5. VAT on UPS fee (of course, what did you think?)


  1. this should be # of bags x 6 € + shipping cost (in my case 10 x 6 + 15 = 75 €)

  2. that import duty on foodstuffs is some kind of protection tax, and the documents say it is CHF 93.50 per 100 kg. That 10 bag parcel apparently weighed 6 kg, so the duty amount was CHF 5.60 (€ 5.03). Now I am pretty sure that they have this rule that only amounts above CHF 5 are actually billed (I know for a fact that this is the case for VAT). So in this case I was unlucky and just barely made the cut for customs duty, yay.

  3. VAT: For some reason they took the parcel value to be CHF 145 (€ 130.16), which must be a mistake, I think this should have been 60 + 15 = € 75 for a 10-bag package. Anyways to that they added the import duty of CHF 5.60 (see above) to give a VAT basis of CHF 150.60.
    2.5 % of 150.60 = 3.77. This luckily was below the CHF 5 limit and therefore no VAT was billed, yay (this time without the sarcasm).

  4. UPS fee: a nice flat CHF 20 (€ 17.95)

  5. VAT on UPS fee: 8% of CHF 20 = CHF 1.60 (€ 1.44) (normal VAT rate this time)

Total cost:
60 € for 10 bags
15 € for shipping
5.03 € customs duty
0 € VAT (but only because the tax amount was below CHF 5)
17.95 € UPS fee
1.44 € VAT on UPS fee

99.42 € Total :frowning:

I will gladly scan and send you those UPS documents if you are interested.



Thanks for taking the time to send this in @rho4 ! Custom duties and taxes indeed differ in every country and it is difficult for us to be up to date on how this exactly works in every country we ship to. I’m sure this will help alot of your fellow Swiss jimmyjoy-plennyshakeeers, though! :slight_smile:

It indeed sounds like they made a mistake on the parcel value. You can always contact Swiss UPS (their contact info is here: and try to have that sorted!

Thanks again!

You’re welcome. I understand this is difficult, that’s why it would be a valuable service to your customers.

I’m not going to complain about the parcel value, as it still was below the VAT limit, so it wouldn’t make a difference.

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Sometimes they type in parcel value, sometimes they type in parcel value + shipping. It really depends on who’s typing… But having a wrong parcel value might be cause for you to call them and ask them what is on the declaration form, because that is the value they usually type in.

Next round - today I received another invoice of 24€ from UPS for my latest jimmyjoy-plennyshake package (5 bags).

I talked to UPS customer support, and this is what they said:
jimmyjoy-plennyshake did not put the freight/delivery cost of 15 € into their original invoice. As a consequence, the customs office at the border will estimate the delivery costs, and add them to the value of the goods (as explained above).

So, I called the customs office, this is what they said:
UPS does the customs declarations themselves, and customs office only does random validation checks. In my case, they said, it was only UPS who estimated the delivery cost. He then gave me some more phone numbers within the UPS organization in Switzerland.

So, I called UPS again (the special number), and this is what they said:
They will not estimate anything, but they apparently have a table from the customs office which tells them the amount they have to put for delivery costs, if not given on the invoice. And that amount is a minium of 35€ for standard deliveries < 4 kg. Incidentally that was exactly the total value I see on the VAT declaration: 65€ (30€ for 5 bags + 35€ “delivery”).

Of course the new total value is just barely above the free limit. So UPS had to pay customs duty and VAT, and in turn happily charged me an additional 13€ for their troubles of paying the customs duty/VAT in my place.

tl;dr: jimmyjoy-plennyshake: You really must declare the delivery cost of 15€ on your invoices (at least for deliveries to Switzerland).

Hi @rho4, I just read your email - I’m sorry to hear this has happened! I’ll have a look into declaring the delivery costs on our invoices when shipping to Switzerland again, and will help you further with this case through our email conversation.

So, the same thing happened with my order today (but it was DHL).

I really do not appreciate the lack of warning about this during checkout or the fact that I have to pay CHF 27.50 extra now…

I understand this is disappointing. Please send an email to, so we can make this up to you :slight_smile: