BERNE: German and Swiss food lovers were enjoying a flourishing trade in Italian food delivery, but customs officials in Switzerland finally noticed and are putting a stop to it.
According to local media, ordering a Margherita pizza for delivery in some Swiss border towns near Germany cost between 13.50 and 15 Swiss francs, or between $14.94 and $16.60. But Swiss customers living close enough to the border could just order the same pizzas from restaurants in Germany and pay between $8.80 and $10.20.
It was a pretty sweet deal for the Swiss customers and the German delivery restaurants who served them, but Switzerland’s federal customs administration has intervened and started requiring delivery people to declare the pizza and pastas they bring across the border to Switzerland. Previously, food deliveries were able to be declared verbally by the delivery people, but now declarations must be filed electronically.
“Like other traded goods, these (the pizzas) should be filed in the future electronically to Customs,” a customs official said.
One problem has already arisen, though, and that’s the fact that the customs administration only handles electronic customs declarations during regular daytime office hours. Peak food delivery times are evenings and weekends.
German restaurateur Salinder Singh says the new rules are a disaster for his business, because 60 percent of his customers are ordering from Switzerland.
“I can’t go on without Swiss customers,” he said.