Outside of the EU: Silver Storage in Switzerland

As a non-EU country Switzerland offers foreigners attractive options for storing white metals

For investors who want to invest in white precious metals such as silver, palladium or platinum, the question of the best possible storage method place quickly arises. For security reasons, storing in a home safe or in other hiding places within your own four walls is not practical in most cases. In addition, especially with high levels of investments in silver, a large physical volume of the metal would soon accumulate. This can readily exceed the capacities of the majority of home safes. Classic bank safe deposit boxes offer more security, but they can lead to high costs as well as bringing forth other disadvantages. A really useful alternative, however, is the storage of physical silver deposits outside of the EU’s borders in Switzerland. With segregated precious metal storage, white metals can even be bought or sold without the need to consider sales tax.

Such an approach also gives foreign customers further interesting opportunities as a result of storing silver in Switzerland. This is because storing these sorts of investment products outside the European Union (EU) has many extra advantages to offer. For example, smaller amounts of physical silver can also be stored discreetly – and independently of banks – in private safe deposit box facilities in non-EU countries. If coins and bars made of white precious metals are not to lose their value, then a professional storage solution is of great importance. When making use of domestic safe deposit boxes, investors should also take into account that the purchase of silver, unlike gold, is always subject to sales tax.

This Way You Get More Silver For Your Money

For investors who treat silver as a pure investment product, Switzerland provides further attractive solutions in addition to safe deposit boxes which enables them to get more silver for the money. This is because, so long as the white metal is held in the duty-free area, then there is no sales tax that is applicable. This is made possible by buying or selling via segregated custody.

For this purpose, a storage account is opened in a so-called duty-free warehouse (ZFL) or a privately run open bonded warehouse (OZL). Swiss Gold Safe offers you the chance to opt for either type. Customers are able to buy silver coins or silver bars through the precious metal trade that is established in Switzerland. However, these traders do not deliver the silver they sell to the customer. Rather, they transport the goods within the warehouse where they are stored so that the precious metal does not actually leave the confines of the bonded warehouse itself. In the same way, investors can later sell their silver deposits again. If sales are made to a dealer or to another investor who stores in such a duty-free facility, then the sale will remain free from sales tax.

The Differences Between ZFL and OZL

The storage of white precious metals free from sales tax can be achieved in Switzerland via either duty-free warehouses (ZFL) or open bonded warehouses (OZL). At a ZFL, all stocks and goods movements are monitored directly by Swiss customs, or by the employees of the Federal Customs Administration. In an open bonded warehouse, on the other hand, the management is conducted by private providers such as Swiss Gold Safe. The service provider reports the level of stocks to the customs authorities which are also checked at regular intervals.

What Are the Advantages of Segregated Custody?

The aforementioned types of storage facilities offer customers safe custody of their assets. In addition, the goods held in storage remain 100 per cent under the ownership of the customer concerned without exception. The safekeeping service provided is discreet, reputable and is also extensively insured against various risks. Investors who store silver in this way can sell their precious metal at any time or choose to buy more as they see fit. After a consultation, your silver can be sent to any destination by staff members as desired. In-person collection is also possible at any time. In such cases, however, the statutory value-added sales tax would apply. In Switzerland, this has been set at the rate of 7.7 per cent since January 2018. Exports to Germany incur a 19 per cent level of sales tax. Customs fees would also need to be paid.

There is no quantity limit for segregated precious metal storage. Fixed assets are secured in accordance with the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR Art. 472). All stocks are recorded with bar or seal numbers and stored on pallets or in special compartments within safes. When segregated storage is chosen, customers will receive the exact goods which have been stored for them and not any other precious metals of the same value. This is something that is not the case with collective storage (sometimes also called collective safe custody).

-> Here you can find out more about segregated storage in open bonded warehouses and duty-free warehouses in Switzerland.

Why Store Silver in Switzerland?

From an international point of view, Switzerland is characterised by its solid political and economically stable situation. It is considered to be a reliable industry partner in all matters of trade and finance. In addition, the non-EU state traditionally maintains the unreserved protection of property rights. The strict protection of property rights not only takes into account Swiss investors but also customers from abroad. At Swiss Gold Safe, your valuables never constitute part of the company’s balance sheet.

These Products Are Suited to Segregated Storage Facilities

Well-known bullion coins made of silver, such as the American Eagle, the China Panda, the Helvetia, the Krugerrand, the Maple Leaf and the Vienna Philharmonic, are suitable for segregated storage. They are also suited to segregated storage along with other white precious metals. Furthermore, various sizes of ingots – from 50 to 15,000 grams – as well as so-called LBMA good delivery bars (approx. 31.1kg or 1,000 ounces) are also available for safekeeping in this manner.

-> You can buy these and other investment products from our partner Echtgeld Ltd , for example, which delivers directly to your chosen ZFL or OZL.

Overview of silver storage:

  • Silver storage outside the EU is possible for foreign customers in Switzerland.
  • Due to the lower value density, segregated storage in domestic or duty-free warehouses (ZFL) is recommended for the storage of silver storage – as opposed to safe deposit boxes.
  • There is no sales tax that is levied for silver purchases via Swiss precious metal dealers when delivery is made to a ZFL or an OZL. Investors get more white metal for their capital asset investment.
  • Goods held in storage remain 100 per cent owned by the customer.
  • Silver coins or silver bars that can be bought directly in Switzerland are suitable for storage. They can be sold again at any time.
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