Tax exemption for exportation is decided by the Federal Tax Administration's Main Value Added Tax Division VAT (FTA). Questions in this regard should therefore be addressed to the FTA. The following information is provided solely for the sake of completeness.
Direct exportation is a prerequisite for tax exemption. This requires an item to be transported (exported) out of the country by the supplier, the buyer or a third party mandated to do so; or taken to an open customs warehouse or a bonded warehouse.
This means that the person registered as liable for taxation with the FTA:
- transports the item to be delivered directly abroad, to an open customs warehouse or to a bonded warehouse him or herself, or has it transported there by a third party (e.g. carrier); or
- hands over the item to be delivered to the recipient - who is not liable to taxation - or to a third party mandated by the recipient (e.g. carrier) in a location within Switzerland, who then exports the item out of the country or to an open customs warehouse or bonded warehouse.
When exporting items, the following services are exempt from domestic tax:
- the delivery of items to be transported directly abroad, unless for transfer of use: rental and charter, provided the items are transported directly abroad and are used by the recipient abroad.
For other tax exemptions, see Article 23 of the VAT Act (in French):
Proof of exportation
Those subject to tax must provide proof of exportation to the FTA. The following documents may serve as proof of exportation:
- electronic export tax assessment decision (e-dec Export) with digital signature;
- duplicate of the customs declaration for raw tobacco and tobacco products (form 11.44), stamped by customs;
- official customs document, with which the customs procedure was duly completed for temporary use in Switzerland or with which an item was cleared following temporary use abroad and for which the procedure was not duly completed within the specified period;
- export document in tourist traffic, approved by customs. For further information, go to the following FTA link: VAT-Refund - Tax free.
If you cannot provide proof of exportation with one of the documents listed above or by any other means, then the deliveries must be taxed in Switzerland.
Swiss Federal Tax Administration
- +41 58 462 71 06
Information office for customs regulations
- +41 58 467 15 15