Transit procedure

With the transit procedure, Customs monitors the movement of uncleared goods within the customs territory.

The transit procedure is subject to the following general conditions:

  • The goods are identified by means of a precise description (type of goods, quantity, article/serial number, etc.) or with a lock (a type of seal).
  • Any applicable bans or restrictions must be observed.
  • Transport is subject to a transit period within which the goods must be presented to the customs office of destination or to an authorised consignee.    
  • The import taxes and duties must be temporarily secured by means of a cash deposit or global guarantee/surety bond.

If a transit procedure is not duly completed, import taxes and duties on foreign goods are assessed at the highest rate applicable for the type of goods. The export declaration is revoked for Swiss goods.

Main procedures

International transit procedures apply for the cross-border movement of goods (e.g. transit through Switzerland). The most important procedures include the following:

In national goods traffic, the national transit procedure (NTP) is used for the transport of goods within the customs territory, whether uncleared or assessed for export.

Directive R-14 (available in French, German and Italian) contains the regulations governing the transport of merchandise under the transit procedure.

Haulage companies and customs clearance agencies have the necessary IT systems and can apply for transit procedures on your behalf.

Specific procedures apply to rail transport. For more information, see Directive R-16-01 (available in French, German and Italian). RailControl is used for summary declarations of goods in rail freight transport.

Road taxes are incurred when goods are transported in Switzerland. Please refer to the information on the heavy vehicle charges and the motorway tax sticker (vignette).

Entry permit/visas for individuals/drivers

Information on entry permits and visas can be found on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Questions on exportation and re-importation

For questions regarding the exportation and reimportation of goods into the EU, please contact the relevant foreign customs authorities:

For Italy:

For Germany:

For France:

For Austria:

For other countries: World Customs Organization