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Swiss customs head off German pizza invasion

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Swiss customs head off German pizza invasion
Photo: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
12:52 CET+01:00
Swiss customs officials have moved to discourage a flourishing cross-border trade from neighbouring Germany — in pizzas.

The federal customs administration (FCA) is requiring delivery people to declare pizzas and pasta food electronically when they are transported into Switzerland, Blick reported on Sunday.

The FCA wants to avoid a “distortion” of competition in the delivered food business, the newspaper said.

Margherita pizzas from Germany were selling across the border in Switzerland for prices ranging between 7.95 and 9.20 francs ($8.80 and $10.20).

The same pizza in Rheinfelden and other communities in the canton of Aargau costs between 13.50 and 15 francs.

The difference for a dish of spaghetti carbonara could be as much as 10 francs, Blick noted.

“Like other traded goods, these (the pizzas) should be filed in the future electronically to Customs,” FCA spokesman Walter Pavel is quoted as saying.

Customs officials sent out a letter saying that oral declarations for pizzas and other fast food will no longer be accepted.

One small problem for the German vendors on weekends and in the evenings — peak delivery times: the FCA only handles electronic customs declarations during daytime office hours.

The result is a disaster for Salinder Singh who runs a fast-food service from Bad Sackingen in Germany.

“I can’t go on without Swiss customers,” he told Blick, noting that 60 percent of his business came from Switzerland.

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