I live abroad and am travelling to Switzerland


What documents do I need to enter Switzerland?

Nationals of EU- and EFTA countries may enter Switzerland provided they are in possession of a valid identity card or a recognised passport.

As the competent authority for entry regulations, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is the main point of contact for questions relating to entry into Switzerland. Accordingly, the SEM offers a handy FAQ on this topic.

What COVID-19 measures apply to entry into Switzerland?

For entry into Switzerland you can take the Travel-Check online entry test. This will tell you quickly and simply which restrictions currently apply for Switzerland. For further questions concerning COVID-19, consult the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH website.

What charges apply when travelling on Swiss roads and motorways?

If you are travelling by car in Switzerland, you will quickly realise, perhaps with some relief, that there are no toll booths. Nevertheless, you have to pay a levy when you drive on Swiss motorways and expressways. This fee is paid in the form of a motorway tax sticker , which costs CHF 40. They are available at many locations in Switzerland, for example at staffed customs offices, post offices and petrol stations. A list of points of sale abroad and options to buy online can be found on our website. To prove that you have paid the fee, affix the motorway tax sticker to a clearly visible part of your vehicle. A motorway tax sticker is valid from 1 December before the year printed on it until 31 January after the year printed on it.

What charges apply when travelling with a motorhome or trailer?

In Switzerland, a mileage-related heavy vehicle charge (LSVA) is payable for transporting motor vehicles and trailers with a total weight of over 3.5 tonnes. For heavy campervans, motorhomes and caravans, Customs levies the charge in the form of a lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA).

You can use the FOCBS's free Via app to quickly and independently pay the PSVA for a foreign vehicle before you enter the country. This means that you are not dependent on the opening hours of customs offices when travelling. Further information on Via, including a download link, can be found here.

Further information on the collection, costs and regulations of the LSVA and PSVA can be found on our website.

What do I have to declare when entering Switzerland and which goods are subject to authorisation?

When you enter Switzerland, you may import goods for private use or as gifts up to a total value of CHF 300 VAT free. This is the so-called tax-free limit.

The tax-free limit applies only once per person, per day. If the total value of the imported goods exceeds CHF 300 after deduction of the foreign VAT, you must pay VAT on all the goods. You can find a detailed overview, including practical examples of the tax-free limit, here.

For certain goods, there are additional provisions regarding the quantity of imports; these include foodstuffs, alcohol and tobacco. These "sensitive goods" are subject to duty-free allowances, which are listed in this table. As long as the sensitive goods do not exceed the duty-free allowances, they are deemed to be duty-free and no charges apply. Anyone who exceeds the allowances on entry must clear the goods through customs.

The QuickZoll app allows you as a private individual to declare your goods for import independently and to pay any tax and duties directly – without having to register. In addition, QuickZoll summarises everything you need to know about entering Switzerland briefly and concisely. You may then import your goods via all Swiss border crossings.

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Please note, however, that there are goods that require authorisation, are subject to restrictions or are prohibited. These include, for example, weapons, cultural goods, narcotics and fireworks. There are also import bans on animals and plants, and souvenirs made from animal or plant parts. Find out about the relevant rules here.

What happens to counterfeit goods at Customs? 

A pair of Gucci shoes for EUR 20 may sound like an irresistible offer, but it is too good to be true: you have probably bought a counterfeit product. It is prohibited to bring counterfeit brands or designs into Switzerland, or to export them from Switzerland. This also applies to goods that you import or export for private use. If you bring counterfeit goods with you – regardless of whether they are new or used – Customs can confiscate and destroy them when you cross the border.

Further information on counterfeit goods can also be found here: Stop Piracy press release.

What risks do animal and plant species that I bring into Switzerland pose?  

There are animals and plants that do not exist naturally in Switzerland but have been introduced by humans. Some of these species are "invasive" and therefore problematic for humans and the environment, can cause crop losses and threaten biodiversity. For this reason, plants and animals do not belong in your luggage. The new Don't pack any risks! Protect yourself and the environment website offers practical information and guidance on this topic.

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