The Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) is going digital, and breweries are the first to benefit. The new Biera application in the Federal Department of Finance's ePortal will replace the previous beer tax form since March 2021.)
The procedure varies depending on the brewery category:
1. Breweries that were registered with the FOCBS before 31 December 2020 and declare beer tax annually
The FOCBS will send more detailed information on the registration process by post in the beginning of january 2022. The first digital tax declaration will be submitted in January 2022 for the 2021 calendar year.
2. Breweries that commence operations in 2021 or later
New breweries not yet registered with the FOCBS that start brewing in 2021 or later can register in ePortal since March 2021. The first digital tax declaration will be submitted in January 2022 for the 2021 calendar year. Further information on self-registration can be found under the following link: www.bazg.admin.ch/onboarding-en
Basic information on beer tax
Alcoholic beer and beer-based drinks are subject to beer tax.
For beer produced domestically, the producer is liable to pay the beer tax. Tax liability arises when the beer leaves the production plant or is used for consumption in the production plant.
For imported beer, the person subject to customs duty is liable to pay the beer tax. Tax liability arises when the beer is released into free circulation under customs law.
Beer tax is assessed according to the strength of the beer in degrees Plato, based on the original gravity.
The tax rate is divided into 3 categories:
Tax rate per hl
Light beer (up to 10.0° Plato)
Regular and special beer (10.1 to 14.0° Plato)
Strong beer (from 14.1° Plato)
The beer tax quantity scale with reduced tax rates (up to 40%) applies to small, economically independent breweries with an annual output of less than 55,000 hectolitres.
In the section Services/Information, you will find further information for breweries in Switzerland (customs territory), the commercial importation of beer and beer-based mixed drinks, as well as statistical data.