Portable musical instruments

Travellers to and from Switzerland may temporarily import/export portable musical instruments for personal use without formalities.

Important information

Please note: If a musical instrument is composed of parts of or materials from plant or animal species which are subject to CITES species protection, the corresponding provisions must be complied with. To simplify matters, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) can issue a musical instrument certificate. More information

Importation of instruments considered as personal effects

The following musical instruments are also considered as personal effects:

  • portable musical instruments which are to be used for concerts in Switzerland or for teaching purposes; and
  • instruments on loan to a person for their use, irrespective of whether they are domiciled in Switzerland or abroad.

This is also valid for instruments when they are re-exported temporarily and then re-imported into Switzerland.

If you are entering Switzerland via an airport, you may go through the green channel with the aforementioned musical instruments.


However, this does not apply to:

  • portable musical instruments which are temporarily imported or exported for other purposes, for example for revision/tuning, repairs, valuation or possible sale;
  • new or used portable musical instruments purchased abroad by persons domiciled in Switzerland and imported definitively into Switzerland. If they do not exceed the duty-free allowance of CHF 300, they can be imported duty-free;
  • musical instruments, which consist of parts of or materials from plant or animal species which are subject to CITES species protection;
  • non-portable new or used musical instruments (e.g. pianos).

The regulations apply exclusively to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. You can obtain information about foreign import and export provisions from the respective customs administrations.