Animals and plants

Animals and plants are protected from the moment they cross the Swiss border.

It is not a good idea to adopt a cobra during a trip to Asia and bring it back in your luggage, to buy mangoes in Mexico to eat in Switzerland or to bring home items made of ivory to decorate your living room.

The conservation of animal and plant species is an integral part of border control activities. Importing specimens of protected animal species is possible only under certain conditions or is prohibited, as they are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). International trade in these species is controlled, and importing them requires a certificate for trade in goods. However, their importation may also be prohibited if they are intended for private use.

The importation of plants from third countries, i.e. outside the EU and EFTA, is prohibited for the most part, with the exception of pineapples, coconuts, durian fruit, bananas and dates.

These measures help to protect the Swiss population, environment and economy.

Finds (consignments reported to the FSVO*





Species conservation (animals and plants)




Animal protection and epizootic diseases1




* Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office
1) This category was adjusted as at 2023; the increase in 2023 compared to previous years is due to the expansion of the category and the change in the survey method.

In 2023, the FOCBS detected 4,074 prohibited consignments of plants, fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, foliage and seeds from third countries (2022: 4,873)


More prohibited consignments were discovered in 2023.

Products from protected animals cannot be imported into Switzerland without authorization.