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Old Jul 10th 2017, 2:20 pm   #1
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Default Importing a car to France from Switzerland

We are moving to Saint Raphael in September if there is anybody in the district that might want to say hello.

That said I would really appreciate any information that would help me import our Swiss registered car into France permanently.

Is there perhaps an agency that would do all the paperwork for me already based in France ?

To date the whole procedure seems to be a beaurocratic nightmare !!!
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Old Jul 10th 2017, 2:39 pm   #2
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

Not much help I know, but we have Swiss friends who live here most of the time but keep their Swiss registration and go back to geneva every six weeks or so so she can have her hair done !!
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Old Jul 10th 2017, 3:32 pm   #3
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

Thanks, heavens how the other half live !!
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Old Jul 10th 2017, 6:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

How old is the car? Has it been for "la visite" recently?
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Old Jul 11th 2017, 4:24 am   #5
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

It's a VW camper, and just over 1 year old. Not sure I know what "la visit" is !!
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Old Jul 11th 2017, 8:37 am   #6
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

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Originally Posted by Rob9422 View Post
It's a VW camper, and just over 1 year old. Not sure I know what "la visit" is !!� ����
Ok, "la visite" is the CH equivalent of an MOT, conducted either by the Cantonal vehicle office or an approved garage. The first will be when the new vehicle has been registered for four years. Exactly four years, you can set your watch by this. Thereafter repeating at four year (max) intervals.

It is good that the vehicle is relatively recent as regards getting it into another country. Not sure about France, but a few countries will want to add VAT if it is 6 months old or less, not the case here.

I assume that you want French plates, insurance etc? You can run on Swiss plates and insurance until that is sorted and I mean sorted, plates swapped, insurance in hand, grey card exchanged for the French equivalent.

The bulk of the paperwork will be with the French, as you don't have to export from CH per se, when you're fully up and running you can cancel the insurance - obtaining a refund for the balance of the insured year - and returning the CH plates to the Cantonal vehicle office, maybe also the now voided grey card - not sure about that, I can check with a friend.

You can send the plates in by post should you not wish to drive back and hand them in personally.
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Old Jul 11th 2017, 9:06 am   #7
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

Thankyou so much for all that information. It's a relief that I can do the process over a reasonable length of time. I believe that I can drive on Swiss plates and insurance for 1 year.
That said I will try to import the car as part of my "goods and chattels" that way I should avoid import duty, and hopefully VAT.
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Old Jul 11th 2017, 10:32 am   #8
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

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Originally Posted by Rob9422 View Post
That said I will try to import the car as part of my "goods and chattels" that way I should avoid import duty, and hopefully VAT.
Yes, and obtaining the export docs for "goods and chattels" is tough enough in itself; tax authorities, AVS, residence permit etc, etc. There *shouldn't* be any import duty or VAT of the vehicle anyway, and it *may* turn out to be simpler to separate it out.

Are you moving goods and chattels yourself, or will you be using a removals company? If so, all you need to do is get your CH leaving docs in order, and the removals company will handle the import formalities into France. Might be worth asking them how they think best to handle the VW.

Good luck with all this, I'll be going through the same thing in a year or so...
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Old Jul 11th 2017, 11:35 am   #9
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Default Re: Importing a car to France from Switzerland

Thanks again, I'll keep you posted on how it goes !!
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