International shipping from Switzerland

Woman and man with tablet in storage room

Woman and man with tablet in storage room

International shipping International shipping from Switzerland

Published on 29.03.2022 by Cynthia Rousseau, Digital Commerce Trainee, Post CH Ltd

Swiss online shops wishing to send parcels abroad must bear a few things in mind. We’ve summarized the key important points in this blog.

International shipping may also be an attractive option for operators of Swiss online shops as a way of attracting and supplying more customers.

The language of communication with new customers plays a major role, as does the correct customs declaration of the consignment contents.

All operators of online shops must ultimately decide for themselves whether they wish to only supply Switzerland or also ship worldwide.

What specific points need to be considered?

As all products leaving Switzerland have to be declared with customs, this involves additional work for the sender.

Even if they provide correct information about the contents, costs may be incurred by the recipient of the parcel.

This often then leads to a negative experience for the end customers as they believed they’d already paid for everything and then have to pay another fee when receiving their goods.

If they are not home to take delivery, they also have to collect the parcel with a collection note and then pay the additional fees.

Why are there these additional fees and how can they be avoided?

There are many types of customs clearance Incoterms, the most common being delivered duty paid (DDP) and delivery at place (DAP).

DAP: The seller pays the transport costs to the defined destination. This does not include all costs for the required import procedures. These costs are covered by the buyer.

If an order exceeds a certain goods value, import taxes (VAT) are due on importation. Customs duty is also charged on certain types of goods. This means the consignment is cleared for customs for the buyer in the destination country.

But customers may still have to pay import tax, customs duty and customs clearance fees when receiving their goods.

DDP: The operator exports the goods at their own risk and bears the costs to the destination in the importing country. They handle all the procedures, costs and pay any import duties. DDP, which means “delivered, duty paid”, is similar to DAP in terms of content but also with customs and tax processing.

The buyer does not then have to pay any additional fees upon receipt.

More information about DDP and DAP

IOSS: Here, too, the seller is responsible for exporting the goods with a value of less than EUR 150 in the EU.

The buyer doesn’t incur any further costs when receiving the goods. However, exceptions may still apply in the following countries: Spain, Ireland and Malta.

More information

What are the advantages then, despite the many drawbacks?

By selling online, you automatically get noticed by more customers from other countries.

When sellers only had a high street shop, their clientele comprised mainly local people. Nowadays, with online visibility, social media, etc., more potential buyers become aware of what is on offer.

This allows sellers to extend their customer base and enjoy a global reach.

What about returns? Can customers easily return unsuitable items?

Yes, returns can be sent back free of charge. There are simplified solutions available that help your customers to easily return products they don’t want.

More information

Are there other ways to sell products internationally without having to deal with international shipping?

Yes, there’s also the option of selling your products via a marketplace. Some marketplaces operate internationally as well as nationally. In our study (in German), you can read about the pros and cons, the points to bear in mind as a seller, as well as a lot of other useful information.

If you need help finding the right marketplace, please feel free to contact us.

Extra tip

To help international customers find you online, we also recommend reading the following blog article: Multilingual website? Here’s how SEO can help!

We also recommend you mention the additional fees in the online shop so that customers can see what additional costs may be incurred when placing their order.


Cynthia Rousseau
Digital Commerce Trainee
Post CH Ltd

Cynthia Rousseau is a trainee in the Digital Commerce team with Swiss Post. In this role, she supports retailer customers in improving their level of digital maturity by providing strategic advice relating to digitization and designing solutions.

Portrait Cynthia Rousseau

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