Exemptions, reliefs and preferential tariffs

Below are the exceptions where reduced rates apply upon importation.

Goods that were originally definitively exported and that are being returned to Switzerland, so-called domestic returned goods, can be re-imported duty-free under certain conditions, e.g. defective goods. Duty-free is not to be confused with VAT-free or tax-free.

Other duty-free goods include, for example, objets d'art and exhibition objects for museums as well as household effects.

Goods which meet the provisions of free trade agreements or the provisions for developing countries (GSP) are subject to a reduced rate of duty or are completely exempt from customs duty.

Goods can be admitted temporarily with a customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV) or an ATA Carnet. The goods must be re-exported within a specific timeframe.

Processing traffic refers to the temporary importation of goods into Switzerland for treatment, processing or repair. Examples include gold-plating and re-exporting foreign items of jewellery, carrying out repairs in Switzerland and re-exporting, etc.

Further exceptions can be found under tariff reliefs.