What is a customs agency?

What is a customs agency?
A customs agency handles customs clearance (symbol image of the Swiss border)

A Customs Broker (Customs Agent) is usually required whenever goods are moved between an EU country and a non-EU country in commercial trade. A customs declaration (also known as a customs declaration) must then be lodged. This was done by hand until 2009 and in some cases already electronically by customs agencies. However, it has now been possible to submit handwritten customs declarations for more than ten years now. This includes all goods that are imported or exported commercially. In the private sector, too, individual customs procedures and certain types of goods, e.B vehicles, are included. In such cases, the customs declaration may only be transmitted electronically to the customs office by means of special software. To avoid having to deal with the more than 200-page manual for completing the electronic customs declaration, you need professional help from a customs agency.

This is where we come in: PUREPROGRESS GmbH - your competent supplier for customs clearance. Learn all about the tasks of a customs agency (also called a customs agent). How we can support you in your individual case and how you can even save. We give an insight into the process of customs clearance, calculation examples of the costs incurred and we show the individual locations of a possible customs clearance via our customs agency (Switzerland).

Tasks of a customs agency

The tasks of a customs agency can essentially be divided into two areas: the advice of the interested party in advance and then the active customs clearance. In addition, there are the tasks, obligations and risks that a customer does not immediately see when he or she commissions a customs agency, as various processes take place in the background. These include the continuous internal training of employees, the external training of employees in customs law and the clarification of special circumstances / individual cases with the customs office. In addition, there is the risk borne by an employee of a customs agency (a so-called customs declaration): he is personally liable with the lodging of a customs declaration. For example, if he inadvertently fails to provide truthful information in the declaration, for example by making a typo, he may receive a customs fine of hundreds to tens of thousands of Swiss francs or euros up to a custodial sentence.

Advice from the Customs Agency

One of the core tasks of a customs agency is to advise you as a customer correctly. This point seems relatively simple at first. One might think that there are only "a few forms to fill out" or that only a few data are to be entered electronically. However, when you consider how complex the customs legislation of the respective countries (e.B.g. the EU Customs Code and the Swiss Customs Code) including the respective free trade agreements and constantly updated regulations, it becomes more difficult.

A customs declaraant who is not properly trained or who lacks the necessary experience can cost you a lot of money through incorrect advice. For example.B important documents may not have been requested in time or permits may be missing, which means that shipping times have to be delayed or the transport must be completely rescheduled. For example, if goods worth more than EUR 1,000 are to be exported from Germany to Switzerland, an export accompanying document must be prepared. If the value is now more than EUR 3,000, the export must be made at the Internal Customs Office by showing the goods and by means of an electronic declaration. If this is not taken into account, the lorry may not have an export clearance at the border and must therefore be sent back to the internal customs office. With a special transport from Hamburg to Switzerland, this error could quickly become expensive.

Another example of poor or incomplete advice would be not to apply the various free trade agreements correctly. Incomplete documents and the wrong electronically declared procedure could result in import duties that could have been avoided. In the best case, this can be corrected retrospectively, which usually involves a lot of time and additional costs. In the worst case, however, as a customer, you don't notice it once or years later, when thousands of euros or Swiss francs have already been lost that you could have saved.

Our employees are constantly trained and have already carried out well over 10,000 customs clearances. Don't be the customer at another customs agency where mistakes happen just because you saved at the wrong end of customs clearance. We are happy to advise you competently.

Customs clearance

In addition to the previous consultation, the actual work must, of course, also be done properly: the correct application of the Union Customs Code and Swiss customs law in order to record the data correctly in the customs administration system. Here, too, even small mistakes can lead to fatal consequences later on.

For example, when customs clearance of a machine transported from Switzerland to the Czech Republic, an employee of a customs agency used the wrong customs procedure, resulting in 19% German VAT instead of 0% VAT. However, the Czech customer cannot claim back the German VAT from his tax office without a German VAT identification number. The damage could be tens of thousands of euros.

There are many examples such as the above. Our task is to avoid such mistakes. We are there to give you the best possible result. Please note, however, that a customs agency must also comply with applicable laws and guidelines. A so-called preference calculation could save you money by using a customs agency by not incuring customs duties if the correct proofs of origin are requested in advance. But the legally charged customs duties and taxes cannot cheat you away from a customs agency.

Cost of a customs agency

Unfortunately, the question "what does a customs clearance cost?" cannot be answered in a general case. Each case in cross-border trade in goods must be considered individually. Thus, the shipment of goods from Germany to Switzerland can cost one customer much less (or even more) than another customer.

Suppose a customer wants to deliver goods to a trade fair in Zurich. However, the goods will later be transported back to Germany from Switzerland unchanged. In such a case, a completely different customs procedure (ZAVV = customs declaration for temporary importation) would have to be applied to a "normal" importation of goods for permanent residence in Switzerland. Accordingly, the effort changes. The required forms change, import duties are incurred and thus the costs for the two different cases of the customers also vary.

However, the customs clearance costs can be divided into three building blocks, which must be considered separately in order to calculate the costs of customs clearance/ customs clearance. Depending on the procedure, all or only individual cost components may be incurred:

  • Customs agent's service costs
  • Import duties (e.B. VAT and customs duties)
  • Temporary import / transit security

Service costs (customs agency costs)

As with all service companies, the service costs of a customs agency are calculated from the running costs and the fixed costs as well as the costs per transaction. Ongoing costs can be training expenses and administrative costs (administration, rent, etc.). One-time costs include software acquisition costs or setup fees. In addition, there are costs per transaction, such as software transaction fees per transaction and, of course, the time required to create the declaration.

Depending on the customs procedure and the quantity of the different types of goods in a consignment, customs clearance may vary. The time span ranges from 30 minutes of work to several hours. The cost of services is particularly low if the data is already recorded in the software and there are similar processes from the past, i.e. transports that take place again in a slightly modified form. This can be .B a weekly delivery where only the invoice number, invoice date, and license plate of the vehicle change.

However, handling is often time-consuming, especially for new customers who have not had any contact with customs. The various necessary documents must be requested, invoices must be checked for correct declarations of origin, customs procedures and the procedure must be explained in a comprehensible manner. This can lead to several necessary corrections, which the customer has to make on the invoice.

Click here to go directly to our price list. However, please understand that we have listed only the most common cases there. Costs may vary depending on the individual case.

Import duties

In addition to the cost of services, which are made up of various individual cost points, import duties are in addition to imports. The amount of the duties depends in principle on the customs procedure. Other factors include the tariff number, the weight and the type of goods, as well as the value of the goods plus the country of origin and the preferential status.

Collateral

In some cases, you may need to provide a security for a temporary import or transit of a country. The reason for this is that the State wishes to ensure that no import surrenders (VAT + customs duties) are evaded if the procedure is not properly completed by exporting the goods within the specified period.

Locations of our customs agency (Switzerland)

Below you can see all border customs offices where we can offer you our customs duties. In addition, there are all Swiss customs offices in Germany - here you can simply print out the documents you receive from us by e-mail and then present them to the customs office. We have also listed the addresses of the customs offices for queries, e.B. for private travel.

Customs clearance Switzerland - German border

We can customs vat on your goods at all Swiss-German borders. At the border Bietingen / Thayngen we are represented with our own office. At all other locations, you can show the self-printed documents directly to the customs office. Alternatively, we also have a so-called handling partner at each of the listed boundaries. This is a company that has its registered office directly at the border customs office. We send the documents electronically as PDF to the handling partner. The latter then prints the documents for you, so that you only have to collect them if you are already on site at the customs office and carry out the customs clearance.

Customs Agency Basel / Weil am Rhein

More than 3400 trucks and 15,000 passenger vehicles pass through the Basel border crossing every day (source: EZV). In Basel / Weil am Rhein we can handle the procedure directly via the motorway customs office or via the customs office Riehen / Lörrach-Stetten. We also have a handling partner directly at the motorway customs office.

Customs Office Basel/Because at the Rhine-A
utobahnPB
OX4019 Basel
Switzer

landHauptzollamt Lörrac
h Customs Office Weil am Rhein-Au
tobahnLustgartenstra
ße 179576 Weil am Rhe
inDeutschland

Customs agency Koblenz / Waldshut-Tiengen

Our handling partner is located directly in the GZA (community customs facility) Waldshut in Georg-Wittig-Strasse 1. You will receive the name and further details after the preparation of your customs documents including a guide/ guidance.

Customs office Kob
lenz (on German territo
ry)Georg-Wittig-Strasse
179761 Waldshut-Tienge
nDeutschland

Customs Office Wa
ldshut Georg-Wittig-St
raße 179761 Waldshut-Ti
engenGermany

Customs agency Konstanz / Kreuzlingen

In Konstanz-Kreuzlingen you will find our handling partner directly at the motorway customs office in buildings C and R for imports and exports. We will be happy to inform you of our handling partner after the order has been completed.

Zollstelle Kreuzlingen-Autobahn
Pbox 23368280
Kreuzlingen Swit
zerland

Hauptcustoms Office
SingenCustoms Office Konst
anz-Autobahn (on Swiss territ
ory) Grenzbachs
traße78462 Kon
stanzGermany

Customs agency Rheinfelden Autobahn

We also have a permanent handling partner in Rheinfelden, who will be happy to hand over your documents to you on our behalf. Please contact us for the announcement of the name and address of the handling partner.

Customs office Rheinfelden-Autoba
hnIn the Weihe
rfeldCustoms buildi
ng N3-A984310 Rhei
nfelden

SwitzerlandHauptzolla
mt LörrachZollamt Rheinfelden-
AutobahnWarmbacher St
raße 9079618 Rheinfelden (B
aden)Germany

Customs agency Thayngen / Bietingen

In Thayngen we have had our own customs office since March 2020. You will find us directly at the border Bietingen/Thayngen on the Swiss side:

PUREPROGRESS GmbH
Zollstr. 77
8240 ThayngenSw
itzerlan

dTel. +41 44 512 14
35Email: info@pureprogress
.chOpening times: Monday - Friday 07:00 - 17:30

Below you will find the contact details of the two customs offices on the square:

Customs office Thayn
genZollstrasse
87P.o.c. 2808
240 ThayngenSw
itzerla

ndCustoms Office Bi
etingen Zollstr
asse 3578244 Gottmad
ingenGermany

Customs clearance Switzerland - Austrian border

At the Swiss-Austrian border, we can clear your goods at the border of St. Margrethen via the branch offices "DA Wolfurt" and "DA Au".

Customs agency St. Margrethen + Au / Wolfurt

You can either print the documents directly (for Au) or you can get them in Wolfurt from our handling partner at Senderstrasse 30 (Wolfurt station).

Customs office St. Margrethen Strass
eDammstrasse 259
430 St. Margrethen SG Swit
zerlandC

ustoms Office
AuZollstrass
e9434 Au SG S
witzerl

andCustoms Office
WolfurtSenderstr
aße 306922 Wo
lfurtAustria

Customs clearance Switzerland - French border

At the Swiss-French borders, we are represented at the strategically intelligent locations of Basel - St. Louis and Bardonnex / Geneva via handling partners.

Customs Agency Basel / St. Louis

As a rule, a French export must be produced for commercial exports from France. We can do this directly at the Basel-St.Louis for you.

Customs Office Basel/St. Louis-Auto
bahnNeudorfstra
sse4056 Bas
el Swit

zerlandDouanes (Bureau de douane de St-Louis autor
oute) Plateforme doua
ni're68300 Saint-
LouisFrance

Customs agency Bardonnex (Geneva)

For goods arriving in Switzerland from France via the Geneva region, we have a reliable handling partner in Bardonnex. The same applies, of course, to Swiss exports.

Bureau de douane Bardonnex
Chemin des Epinglis 20
1257 Bardonnex
Switzer

landDouane Francaise De BARDON
NEX 74160 Saint-Julien-en-Gene
voisFrance

Customs clearance Switzerland - Italian border

In Chiasso we have several handling partners at the Chiasso-Strada / Ponte Chiasso border at our disposal.

Customs agency Chiasso

We can create CH/ IT customs clearances and exports for you in Chiasso.

Customs office Chiasso-Stra
daVia Maestri Comacini 126
830 Chiasso Swi
tzerland