How do I declare merchandise? Which goods can be imported duty-free or with reduced duty? In this section, you will find the topics which are asked about most often. This is split up into importation into Switzerland, exportation and transit.
Merchandise, as well as private goods not transported in personal luggage or a private vehicle, must be declared upon importation and exportation. The customs tariff Tares contains all the information you need for the declaration, including costs.
The Federal Office for Customs and Border Security levies taxes and other duties on goods in cross-border traffic (e.g. customs duties and VAT) on behalf of Switzerland. These levies account for approximately a third of the general government's total receipts on an annual basis.
In a number of exceptional cases, a reduced rate of duty applies or no customs duties are levied at all. Depending on the procedure, other taxes such as VAT are not payable either. Please note the different regulations for importation, exportation and transit.
To protect the population, some goods may not be imported, exported or transported through the country (e.g. narcotics and protected animal and plant species). Special authorisation is required for others (e.g. weapons).
Goods imported into or exported from Switzerland, as well all those in transit through the country, must be declared to Swiss Customs via a written form or online. The value of the goods must be indicated in Swiss francs.
To enter Switzerland, you need a valid travel document and, depending on the country of origin, a visa. A motorway charge is levied for vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes and a heavy vehicle charge is levied for lorries. Please also note the transport regulations.
Customs declarations can be made during normal clearance times on working days; some customs offices are also open on Saturday mornings. On Sundays and national holidays, the customs offices are closed for commercial goods traffic and there is a driving ban on lorries.