Switzerland’s Parliament is set to reduce the allowance for VAT-free purchases being brought into the country in a bid to curb cross-border shopping tourism.
The parliament noted that prices in the country are higher than in neighboring countries.
Many Swiss people living near the border simply drive to Germany, Austria, Italy, or France to do their shopping.
In addition, as Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), Swiss residents can claim a refund of any VAT paid on purchases in the EU, making the trips very worthwhile.
Economic Director of the Canton of Thurgau, Southern Lake Constance, Walter Schoenholzer, described the repeal as blatant injustice.
“Now, instead of 300 francs (325 dollars), Swiss citizens are to be allowed to bring purchases of up to 50 francs back into the country without having to pay Swiss VAT on them.
“A Swiss citizen having to pay VAT when shopping at home but not when making a quick trip across the border cannot be justified.
“It can’t go on like this; our state is losing about 700 million francs in tax revenue.
“The Swiss government hopes that the measure will also stimulate business within its borders, we have an enormous death of shops and I hope for a clear sign that there is a future again,’’ he said.