DHL fees to Switzerland are extortion

Guys, why do you even ship with DHL?

I ordered a new battery and camera for FP2, with shipping costs of 20 euro indicated. But on delivery I was forced to pay another 19 euro for some obscure fee. DHL takes your package hostage and extorts additional money, which I find really aggravating. At the very least you should warn people about this.


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This is a community forum, not the company.

When checking out your order you explicitly stated that you read the Terms and conditions …

“Shipping and other charges, such as import taxes will depend on the value of your order and the country to which the product is being shipped. These and any customs duties or tariffs that may be imposed on the deliveries will be paid by you.”

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t read “obscure fee” on the document … although that would be exactly my kind of humour :slight_smile: . Anyway … as Switzerland only adopted parts of the EU frameworks bilaterally without being a member …

“Consignments from abroad are basically liable to customs duties and to VAT and must be registered with the Customs Administration for assessment. In the case of consignments sent by postal or courier services, registration is taken care of by service providers (e.g. Swiss Post, DHL, UPS, etc.).”

… Are you certain that doesn’t apply to your case? I don’t live in Switzerland, so I wouldn’t know.


That’s true, but let’s be honest: who really does that?

@Monica.Ciovica could you see if it’s possible to display a warning for Swiss customers?

This is not the first time this is brought up. -> #customfees


Maybe generally for non-EU customers or orders from the Schengen areas?


@genervt Am Beschte chaufsch bi de oder bi Choscht nume es birebitz meh als wie im Fairphone shop, aber es git ke sottigi Überraschige wie Du erläbt häsch.

Wenn’d i Grenznöchi wohnsch, lohsch es afach an e Lieferadresse im Usland liefere und holsch es bi de nächschte Ichaufstour ab.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Fairphone forum doesnt work in Opera Mini, Lightning AND FP standard browser

Just one more remark:
Maybe the topic thread could be changed.
The way it looks to me, there is customs and VAT to be payed on delivery.
That’s something depending on what you ordered and the value of it (sometimes the shipping costs are included in the value) and not on the carrier.
It’s no DHL fee, as they only do collect that money for the state and can’t keep it.

While I agree, that customers hardly ever read the toc of a homepage, that’s not important here, as it is not something put down in the toc of any online shop etc.
It is simply rule of law in you own country. When I buy something from overseas, I have to know, that I will be required to pay customs and taxes on delivery or when picking up the parcel at customs.
Furthermore I always should check before ordering, if it is allowed to import the stuff I have placed in my shopping-basket. Otherwise I might be in trouble once the parcel arrives in my country.

With regard to Switzerland I don’t know, if there are countries from which importing stuff does not result in tax and customs, but you can check here for more information:

and here:

On the second page I found this statement:

Jede Sendung aus dem Ausland ist grundsätzlich zoll- und MWST-pflichtig.
Es besteht keine spezielle Wertfreigrenze wie im Reiseverkehr, sondern nur eine Abgabenfreigrenze

Just read, that there is a fee by the Post for making the customs-declaration.
Maybe that’s the “extortion” fee:

Still, that’s not on DHL, as it concerns other carriers as well:

FĂĽr Briefe, Pakete (Post, GLS und Hermes) und EMS Import

Possibly FedEx and UPS might differ there, but I have no idea if that would be any cheaper.

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Switzerland is part of the Schengen area. The UK is not. Custom fees apply to Switzerland, not the UK. The EU membership is more important, and Fairphone’s territoriality statement suggests the only two countries that are potentially an issue are Switzerland and Norway:

Thus we restrict the shipping of the Fairphone to the mainlands of involved/mentioned countries. In short: EU, Switzerland and Norway with the exclusion of non-EU VAT territories and Overseas regions (OMT/DOM) and Overseas countries and territories (OCT/TOM).

European treaties and bodies can be messy, see for examples the wikipedia page on international organisations is Europe, which has an interesting (if not flawed) Euler diagram.

This post was edited to avoid directly showing confusing information (the diagram referred to above along with some discussion). Click here to show this nevertheless.


Both Switzerland and Norway are part of EFTA and Schengen. Free trade agreements (such as EFTA) don’t mean there are no taxes (i.e. VAT) or customs fees that become due on import.

EDIT: The image above mixes various different non-equivalent things (bodies, treaties, organisations) - which, whilst that fact illustrates that confusion is abundant, doesn’t make things (other than the confusion itself) clearer, and should not be taken as a guide.


Yes :rofl:, I also found this quite comprehensive graphic.
And many believed in forming the EU bringing only advantages and benefits with it…

DHL (and other carriers) charge you administration fees (they have to stop at the customs office, waste time there, fill in forms, etc.). So you pay the product (without VTA btw), you have to add VTA and administration fees for the carrier.

The easiest way to order spare parts for your Fairphone in Switzerland is to order on a Swiss website. My favourite:


Wow, I didn’t know Why! They are even 12 CHF cheaper than Digitec (V2 Camera + New Battery). I shall make this my new to go place.

Funny name tho. Why oh why would you call your company Why! ? :slight_smile:


IMHO, this was never an actual belief. As the graphic nicely shows, many countries insisted to not join totally. They shied away from giving power to some federal entity as this was seen as a major disadvantage. Still, they strive to be part of the game. It is the international politics version of trying to eat the cake and also have it. Not very surprisingly, life does not work that way.

Except for the very core European countries about every other member seems to have its own set of memberships and non-memberships. I’d put the blame for the resulting messiness on the individual countries rather than on the union as a whole.

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Hi Paula, this has been brought to my attention before, and the team - especially Customer Support, is aware of it. But at the moment, finding a way to display that has not been discussed.


Thanks for the replies and suggestions, everybody!

@BertG: the bill was composed as follows:

  • customs 0.-
  • VAT 7.50.-
  • “Vorweisungstaxe” 19.-
    thus it is a DHL fee mostly. But other carriers like Fedex do pretty much the same I think.


I know. As I linked at the end of my posting, that’s something charged by the "Post, regardless the carrier; well, at least GLS and Hermes are mentioned.
Thus it seems kind of unavoidable :frowning:

This is an excellent news!
I just bought a battery. It is 50% cheaper than buying it on the Fairphone site because you don’t pay 20 Euros for delivery (!) nor the “obscure fee”.


But bear in mind, (at least in Gemany) customs and VAT have to be paid based on the entire value of the contract, and that does include DHL fees!

Yes, that does mean VAT and customs on the DHL fees… No joke.

DHL Express (NOT DHL) is the only one that is allowed to carry Lithium batteries, to my knowledge. DHL ist not allowed to do so. I learned that when I had to return my first FP2…

The fee in question is a carrier-specific fee, and is not collected by the state.
While it is true that all carriers may raise some fee, there may be differences. The DHL-fee is based on an agreement with the Swiss surveillant:

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