VAT Registration Switzerland?

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VAT registration Switzerland was new for me, when my tax advisor told me that I needed it. I am since 35 years exporting Dutch vegetables through Europa, only EU countries. Even though the Germans sometimes complain that Dutch tomatoes only contain water, they import almost 60% of the volume off tomatoes I export, it´s good and still nice business. On one hand I have contacts with the vegetable producers, you can´t call them farmers anymore, it`s a serious industry and on the other hand I have international contacts with vegetable retailors in all kind of different countries. Doing business in the EU is not so complicated, the regulations work fine. But when I was approached by a Swiss vegetable retailer, something called VAT registration Switzerland came up. But the prices the Swiss pay, are so attractive that I would be stupid when this was a reason for me to say no. I even can combine the transports to Bavaria and/or Austria with Switzerland, so from a cost perspective it was even more interesting. Only this strange VAT registration Switzerland made it difficult. I transport about 50% of my loads to Germany only, so the fit is there. To Germany 60% of this 50% are tomatoes, the Swiss wants to start mainly with tomatoes. Beside the tomatoes the want potatoes, which is also a lot what we transport to Germany. I once learned that repeating business is the best, the only non-repeating factor in doing business with Switzerland is the VAT registration Switzerland. I will ask my tax advisor what the complications are with this issue and give him the order to solve it. I will explain a bit more about my business. My international retail customers give me orders, for example Metro Germany orders 20.000 Kilo potatoes for next Monday. We do a scan on the market price for this amount and make a calculation for purchase, transport, import costs and delivery (of course including profit). About 1 hour after the order Metro gets the price and when they agree, what they do because we cooperate already 15 years and they know the system, we order the 20.000 Kilo potatoes with one off our resellers. After their confirmation, we schedule the van (´s) to get the potatoes from the “farmer” they contacted, we prepare all the necessary paperwork and when all is settled the logistical department gets the order for the transport. VAT and customs are all regulated within the EU, so no hassle at all anymore about this. The whole process as described, is fully automated, including tracking and tracing for the truckers. Because empty vans are cost ineffective, we normally load them with local loads after the, in this example, potatoes are delivered. We transport everything in containers, so the vans can take other containers back. We don´t care about the load. Due to the fact that my business is only in the vegetables industry, I work as a sub-contractor with a big transport company in the Netherlands for the loads back. In this way we are fully effective, we have no empty vans driving around and almost no wasted time while we have to search and or wait for loads back. For the loads back we have an automated interface with the logistical processes with the transport company, so as on the way to our customers all is automated for the way back to. Of course including all the formal paperwork. By the way it was the big transport company who introduced me to the Swiss market. They were asked by the biggest retailer in Switzerland if they were able to export vegetables to them from the Netherlands. Due to the fact that this is specialized business, the purchase process is completely different as the way they are used to work, they contacted me. Of course I was interested, especially while Switzerland is so expensive, the prices I could ask could be much higher as usual and they wanted real big volumes. I asked one of my business managers to do some research about exporting to Switzerland and he told me that all was the same, beside VAT registration Switzerland. As said I am already 35 years in this business, but this was something new for me. My tax advisor who explained this to the business manager, had to solve this problem. But in my eyes he was to slow, or to “bureaucratic”, but I started to think how we could speed up this issue. During my weekly meeting with the big transport company for loads back, I realized how easy it was. They do already business with Switzerland and the must know how to handle the VAT registration Switzerland issue. The director of the transport company introduced me to his financial director who should be able to support me. He explained me the issue and even advised me how to solve it. It wasn´t complicated and I only had to contact a company who is specialized in VAT registration Switzerland. He had a good contact within a company whose business this was and gave me the contact details. Next day I called and had an appointment the day after together with my financial director. We went there and the guy explained me exactly what VAT registration Switzerland means, what the process was to get this and what the schedule for the whole process would look like. I thought this was all very acceptable and after agreement about the tariff they asked I signed. Some weeks later we had a VAT registration Switzerland and could start exporting to the biggest vegetables retailer in Switzerland. The whole transport process, including all paperwork, was integrated in our systems and fully automated. We started to do smooth business with Switzerland and our first load back as a sub-contractor for the big transport company where Swiss watches. All came back in time and without hassle. To be honest from the day that I was asked to export vegetables to Switzerland till the day we had the VAT registration Switzerland only took 3 weeks.