Permanent Exhibition: a 1,935 km border in a museum

Illegal trade flourished along the unmanned "green" border with Italy up until the middle of the twentieth century. The lives of the border guards and their families in Cantine de Gandria were characterised by the cold, solitude and occupational risks.

Swiss Customs back then: review of old times at the Swiss border

The current Customs Museum building served partly as a border guard post up until 1993.

The historic section of the exhibition shows how the border guards in Cantine di Gandria used to live and what instruments they used to crack down on smugglers. A collection of border stones in the gardens of the museum, and information about the creation of the Swiss border since the founding of the Confederation in 1848 up to now, provide the finishing touches to the historical portrait of Swiss Customs.

Dauerausstellung: Uhren

Swiss Customs today: for the economy, security and health of the nation

Through their goods and people checks, Customs and the Border Guard help to protect the health and safety of the public. They also help to ensure the ongoing appeal of Switzerland as a business location.

Switzerland lies in the middle of Europe. It shares the total length of its 1,935 km external border with five neighbouring countries, the respective sections of which are distributed as follows:

  • France 585.28 km
  • Germany 363.71 km incl. the enclave of Büsingen and Lake Constance
  • Austria 180.08 km incl. Lake Constance
  • Principality of Liechtenstein 41.28 km
  • Italy 800.22 km incl. enclave of Campione d'Italia

How does the Border Guard go about a cross-border drug search? What effects does organised commercial smuggling have on the economy? Why does Customs control precious metals? Amazing installations and exciting short films explain the tasks of Customs and the job of the Border Guard in today's world.

Dauerausstellung: Artenschutz Raubtierkopf

Smuggled goods: expensive, sought-after, prohibited

Fake brand-name watches, medicines and textiles brought illegally into Switzerland cost the country billions in damage to its economy every year. The permanent exhibition shows how Swiss Customs uncovers white- collar crime.

No to the selling-off of cultural property

Cultural property is the source of our identity. Torn out of its natural context by unscrupulous dealers and unsuspecting collectors, it is robbed of the cultural and academic value it once had. Since 2005, through the implementation of the Federal Act on the International Transfer of Cultural Property, Switzerland has been making an important contribution to the preservation of the world's cultural heritage, and Customs and the Border Guard play an important role in that.

Yes to species protection

More than 30,000 animal and plant species are considered endangered, and many are threatened with extinction. Through its controls and its dissemination of information, Customs helps to uncover illegal trade, and in so doing protects endangered species of animals and plants worldwide from extinction.