Animals and plants

The protection of animal and plant species starts at the border.

The FOCBS monitors compliance with the legislation on the protection and welfare of animals and plants. The conservation of animal and plant species is therefore also part of border control activities.

It is not a good idea to bring mangos from Mexico in your luggage. It is prohibited to import most plants originating from third countries (outside the EU and EFTA). The only exceptions are pineapples, coconuts, durian fruit, bananas and dates. Bringing in souvenirs made of ivory is no better. In goods trade, importing a species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) requires a certificate, whereas articles intended for private use may be prohibited. These measures are designed to protect the Swiss population, environment and economy.

Finds (consignments reported to the FSVO*





Species conservation (animals and plants)




Animal welfare




* Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office

The FOCBS detected 4,873 prohibited consignments of plants, fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, foliage or seeds originating from third countries (2021: 4,451).


More prohibited consignments were discovered in 2022.

Products from protected animals cannot be imported into Switzerland without authorization.