Tea from Asia, furniture from Sweden or computers from the United States: every day, several thousand tonnes of the most diverse goods cross the Swiss border. The FOCBS specialists check to see if the goods have been correctly declared, determine the applicable taxes and duties, and ensure compliance with numerous provisions aimed at protecting people and the economy. Together with domestic and foreign partner authorities, the FOCBS also performs tasks in the area of security and migration, both in border areas and rail traffic, as well as at airports.

Tasks of the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security

Contribution towards national security

Combat illegal activities

Increased security by way of mobile presence in the border regions; combat of crime and illegal migration (e.g. people and vehicle searches); combat against drug trafficking and document forgery etc.

Protecting the population and the environment

Food inspection at the border; protection of animals, plants and endangered species; inspection of traffic carrying hazardous goods and radioactive and poisonous substances; precious metal assaying etc.

Public security

Control of the trafficking in arms and combat equipment as well as of goods used for both military and civil aims and explosive substances; enforcement of traffic regulations for incoming and outgoing traffic; enforcement of embargoes etc.

Economic tasks

Protection and checks

Control of the import and export of certain goods, protection of agriculture; protection of trade marks, indications of geographical origin, design and copy rights; national economic supply etc.


Customs duties; value added tax; mineral oil, car, tobacco and beer taxes; spirits tax; incentive tax, heavy vehicle tax and national road tax etc.

Various services

Statistics on foreign trade and transit traffic etc.

Cooperation with foreign authorities and organizations

International transit; official and legal assistance; participation in international missions etc.