Switzerland

Customs

Information

 

​Country Guide: Switzerland

  • Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Copy of passport with clear photo

  • Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / CMR (Road) / air waybill (AWB)

  • Originally signed Customs form 18.44 (application for duty & tax-free clearance of removal goods)

  • Supplemental declaration for alcoholic products

  • Detailed inventory list

  • Copy of residence permit (except for Swiss citizens and immigrants from the 15 initial EU states and from the EFTA states)

    • If not yet available, copy of the work contract or letter of employment from Swiss employer (all confidential data such as salary, bonus, etc may be deleted)

  • Registration at local Swiss town hall

  • Coy of lease agreement / purchase contract (property title)

  • Detailed packing list in German, French, Italian, or English

  • Proof of stay more than 1 year outside of Switzerland (military booklet, attestation from Swiss Consulate or earlier de-registration) (returning citizens)

  • Original Customs form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed, and stamped (diplomats)

  • Copy of "Carte de Légitimation" (diplomats)

 

Specific Regulations

  • The importation of used household goods and personal effects into Switzerland is usually duty and tax free.

  • All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are affected.

    • If documents are missing, Customs formalities can only arrange a temporary clearance.

    • In these circumstances, Swiss Customs will levy an appropriate fee or ask for a deposit which is laid down according to the volume of the removal.

  • The "Carte de Légitimation" takes approximately 2 months to obtain.

  • Used household goods may be imported if it is in the owner of the goods’ possession, has been used abroad for at least 6 months, are for the continued use of the owner of the goods, and correspond to the normal requirements of an intended resident after importation.

  • Personal office goods and papers belonging to the owner of the goods are considered household goods.

  • Returning Swiss citizens qualify for duty-free entry if the duration of employment abroad exceeded 12 months.

  • If possible, all goods should be imported in one consignment.

  • If one or more documents are missing, generally the residence permit, import clearance can be arranged on a temporary basis, but a certain amount will need to be granted to Swiss custom’s. This amount will be refunded once all missing documents are provided, but within a maximum delay of 6 months. Swiss mover might ask you to advance the money

  • Diplomats must have the Carte de Legitimation, which takes approximately 2 months to obtain. Clients who are not officially changing residence from abroad will have to pay duties and taxes

  • People officially changing residence from abroad to Switzerland, can import duty free, all their effects. These have to be in their possession and being used at least 6 months prior to their official date of change of residence Effects can not be sold for a period of 1 year(date that will be shown on their residence permit) All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are done.

  • Later consignments should be listed on the inventory of the first shipment.

    • If a later shipment is to follow, it should be noted on the owner of the goods’ declaration of personal household goods under the appropriate section.

    • If the owner of the goods can prove that he is unable to proceed with the clearance of a second shipment, Customs will extend a delay for clearance up to 24 months from the date of the first clearance.

  • Unaccompanied hand baggage may be imported duty free, provided it consists only of used personal effects and/or books.

    • The shipment should be accompanied by an inventory and is subject to Customs inspection.

  • If a secondary home is bought or rented, import of removal goods is free of duties and taxes.

    • However, importation must occur close to the time of the issue of the purchase or lease contract.

    • Cars do not fall under this rule and are not duty and tax-free, even if used. 

 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Official foreign driver’s license

  • Original certificate title

  • Original bill of sale / purchase invoice

 

 

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record

    • Rabies required

  • Veterinarian health certificate in German, French, Italian, or English

  • Blood analysis may be requested depending on country of origin

 

Specific Regulations

  • For countries with urban rabies, a blood analysis is required. 

    • The import of the pet can only be done 4 months after the vaccination.

  • The veterinary health certificate must include the following information:

    • Name and address of owner of the goods

    • Description of animal (breed, sex, age, color)

    • An attestation that the animal was clinically examined by a veterinarian prior to vaccination and found to be healthy

    • Date of the preventive vaccination against rabies, type of vaccine, name of vaccine producer, and serial number of vaccine

    • Stamp and signature of the veterinarian

  • The import of pets is allowed with some restrictions; check with the destination agent for details.

  • Potential owners of the goods should contact a Swiss Customs authorities or a local agent in Switzerland no less than 6 months prior to import if it has not been determined the pet will be permitted for import.

  • The vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days prior, but no more than 12 months after entering Switzerland.

 

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Written letter of confirmation

  • List of paintings with artist names and values

 

Specific Regulations

  • For all pictures and paintings, the owner of the goods must submit a letter to Customs attesting that none of the imported items are original artwork.

 

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Food products

  • Tobacco

  • New articles and consumer goods, which do not correspond to normal household requirements are dutiable. Purchas invoice is required.

  • Furnishings, which do not correspond to normal household requirements

  • Weapons, including firearms (a permit is required)

  • The following items are admitted duty and tax free, provided they are destined for one’s own requirements:

    • Used motor cars and/or used motor boats (at least 6 months)

    • Maximum 12 liters of hard liquor over 25% volume

    • Maximum 200 liters of red / white wine, champagne

    • Hunting rifles

  • The following conditions apply to the import of alcohol:

    • Swiss Customs authorities will personally assess whether the quantity of alcoholic beverages imported corresponds with the size of the shipment.

    • The maximum duty-free allowance for:

      • Spirits and liquors exceeding 25% alcohol by volume is 12 liters

      • Red or white wine is 200 liters

      • Champagne or other alcohol less than 25% alcohol by volume, depends on the size of the shipment

 

Prohibited Items

  • Drugs and narcotics

  • Weapons (other than sporting and hunting guns)

  • Ammunition

  • Anti-radar equipment

  • Animal products from protected / endangered species (ivory, skins etc.)

  • Fake items (e.g. watches, faked brand name & model items)

NOTE - Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The customs information provided is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to each destination country and is being provided for general guidance. We are not liable for any costs, damage, delays, duties, taxes or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance, errors or omissions. Customers should always check full requirements with the local embassy or consulate.