Import duty refunds

The mere fact of returning goods abroad does not give rise to an entitlement to an import duty refund. Additional conditions must be fulfilled in order for the import duty to be refundable.

  1. The re-exportation is due to withdrawal from a purchase contract in agreement with the foreign supplier or due to resale to a third party abroad. Publication no. 18.86 provides comprehensive information in these cases.

  2. The re-exportation is due to repairs or processing abroad. There is no refund upon exportation in this case. However, upon re-importation after repair/processing, customs duty has to be paid only on the new parts, and import tax (VAT) is payable only on the value of the new parts and the repair or processing costs.

A request for reimbursement of import duties must be made at the time of exportation in the export customs declaration. For the exact procedure and further information, please refer to the following fact sheet:

You send a damaged item abroad for repair and it is subsequently returned to you by post or courier. Or you have an item improved abroad e.g. you have a new engine installed in a machine or a surface chrome-plated. In both cases, please refer to the provisions of the following: Processing arrangements.