How to Import Organic Japanese Tea to Switzerland
On the surface, it may seem like Switzerland is a caffeine-consuming hub, but in reality, Switzerland can be considered a “paradise for tea lovers.” Switzerland not only imports tea but also grows it in various regions. So, as the people of Switzerland are diverting more toward tea, the tea market Switzerland is quite booming at this point. Thus, if you want to become a part of this market, you need to bring something extraordinary to the table, and that can be organic Japanese tea.
Why should Japanese tea be your first choice?
The production of Japanese tea dates back to the 8th century, and since then, it has secured a permanent place in the hearts of people. About 80% of the Japanese people drink this tea daily, while approximately 90% of the people consume this drink once or twice a week. That is why Japanese tea has become one of the most consumed beverages in the entire world.
Japanese tea should be your first choice because of its unique flavors and taste. The main reason behind such a rich flavor is that its manufacturing process is quite different from others. The leaves of the tea are steamed first to retain their herbaceous flavor and color. In this way, they not only taste amazing, but their sight takes your breath away as well. So, get your hands on one of the finest teas in the world and get your business working in Switzerland, but how can you do that?
How to import organic Japanese tea to Switzerland?
Every country has some import regulations that need to be followed in order to import goods into the country, and so does Switzerland. The requirements needed to import goods depend upon the type of product you’d like to import. In this case, we are only going to focus on the requirements needed to import tea to Switzerland.
Under a certain principle of Switzerland, known as the Cassis de Dijon principle, all the products that can be legally imported into the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) can also be imported to Switzerland. Similarly, the products that fall under Switzerland’s Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the EU. As tea comes within both of these regulations, it can be safely imported into Switzerland.
However, to successfully allow your tea to enter into the country and to sell it in Switzerland freely, you’ll need to gather a general import permit (GIP). This import permit will be generated by the Federal Office of Agriculture (FOAG). These permits are non-transferable, and they are valid for as long as you want them to be. Acquiring an import permit doesn’t have any fees. To know the tariff quota on tea, you need to get this permit because it is a prerequisite that makes you eligible to get the tariff quota. The Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) enforces some Swiss food regulations that must be complied with in order to import tea into the country.
The next thing you need to make sure is that you’ve declared your import to the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) via the online or written form. There are some other documents that you’ll need to present to the Customs office in order for them to allow your goods to enter into the country. (Please see the FAQ section to know the kind of documents)
Once you’ve provided all the necessary documents and information, you will be able to get your hands on your organic Japanese tea. The customs regulations will inspect your product, and if it passes the mark, you’ll be free to consume and sell it in the Switzerland tea market.
Business Number Registration in Switzerland
The Business Identification Number (UID – Unternehmens-Identifikationsnummer) is a unique number that is given to a legal business entity in Switzerland. This number enables a company to exchange valuable information and data with the Swiss administration along with the rest of the business community. The Swiss Commercial Register provides you with your UID. It also provides you with your VAT registration number through which you can import products into the country. Several business entities need to register for UID, and these are:
- A legal business entity that is registered in the Swiss Commercial Register
- A legal business entity that needs to clear VAT
- Individuals who are registered in the cantonal lawyer register
- Foreign companies that operate an office in Switzerland
- Individuals who are self-employed
- Public Law Institutions
- Simple partnerships
- Public Administration Units
Now, there are two kinds of company ownerships in Switzerland:
- Joint-stock Company – AG
- Limited Liability Company – GmbH
Each enterprise receives a different and unique UID, and this number is kept by the Federal Statistical Office to identify your business or a company. A UID is important because it helps you in accessing banking services, free trade, registering for cryptocurrency exchange, and much more. It will take about two to three weeks till you get your UID.
What documents are required to present to the customs regulations of Switzerland?
A total of five documents are required to be presented to the customs regulations of Switzerland along with your products. These are:
- Analysis Certificates
- Certificates of Origin
- Official confirmations
Are there any labeling and marking requirements to import goods into the country?
Switzerland has extremely strict labeling and marking requirements. All the ingredients need to be clearly stated on the packaging of the products. Other than this, the products must also write the name of the country of production along with the origin of ingredients.
What kind of taxes are imposed on importing goods to Switzerland?
No duty rate is imposed on importing tea to Switzerland. However, lower tariff rates are imposed, which is 4.1% on tea. Apart from that, VAT is applied to the total value of the goods. The standard VAT is 7.7% in Switzerland. However, if you import organic Japanese tea worth less than CHF 300, no VAT will be applicable, and if it is more than the given value, you’ll need to pay 7.7% VAT to the Swiss government.
What are the main requirements for registering a company in Switzerland?
In order to register your company in Switzerland and get a UID, you need to provide the following details:
- The name of the company (it should be unique, and no other business should have that name)
- The director of the company (a legal resident or a citizen of Switzerland)
- Minimal number of the founders of the company (in the case of partnerships, the number should be two)
- Charter Capital (if you go with AG, you’ll need to deposit 50,000 to 100,000 CHF in the registered bank of Switzerland, and if you go with GmbH, you’ll need to deposit about 20,000 CHF)
Switzerland has remained famous for its exotic tourist spots and the beauty of its cities, but now, it is also coming forward as a tea hub. Now, this hub always demands something new, which means that if you want to make your mark, you’ll need to deliver something that will leave everyone appalled. Organic Japanese tea has the capability to leave this kind of effect. It has the perfect balance of flavor, richness, beauty, and color that every person looks for. Therefore, this is the right time to start importing organic Japanese tea to Switzerland but in order to do that, make sure you follow all the import rules and regulations of Switzerland.
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