'Swiss Surcharge': How residents of Switzerland overpay for consumer goods

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'Swiss Surcharge': How residents of Switzerland overpay for consumer goods
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Switzerland is famously expensive, but a new study has revealed just how much the ‘Swiss Surcharge’ costs each resident on average per year.


The study, completed by the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) found that Swiss customers overpay more than CHF3 billion (2.8EUR) per year in surcharges. 

The amount works out to CHF280 per resident per year for consumer goods. The research was completed as part of the ‘No More High Price Island: Fair Prices’ initiative. 

READ: It's official! Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world

Although critics of the initiative argue that the reason for higher prices in Switzerland comes down to higher rental and wage costs in the country, however the authors of the report say that their findings show foreign companies are artificially inflating their prices when selling to the Swiss market. 

The authors find that the reason for the price discrepancy is that foreign manufacturers and exporters isolate their sales channels and charge higher prices to Swiss buyers. 

The impact on the Swiss economy of what has been nicknamed the “Swiss surcharge” is estimated by the authors as being approximately CHF15 billion per year. 

While the study had a broad focus also looking at the education, healthcare and catering sectors, the consumer goods component assessed clothing, cosmetics, contact lenses, baby food and nappies. 

Identical or comparable clothing in Switzerland was found to be 20 percent more expensive in Switzerland than in Germany.

The study also found that the Swiss pay too much in the healthcare sector. 

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Those behind the initiative will meet with the National Council on March 9th. 




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