Anyone who produces or imports alcohol, products containing alcohol or products made with alcohol that have an alcohol content of more than 1.2% vol. is liable to pay spirits tax. The Alcohol Sector of the the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security FOCBS is responsible for collecting this tax.
The same tax rates have been applied for domestic and imported distilled spirits since 1999. These are levied per litre of pure alcohol (100%).
The tax is CHF 29 per litre of 100% alcohol.
The reduced tax rate of CHF 14.50 per litre of 100% alcohol applies to:
- Natural wines made of fresh wine grapes with an alcohol content of more than 18% but maximum 22% vol.
- Wines made from fruits, berries or other raw ingredients with an alcohol content of more than 15% but maximum 22% vol.
- Speciality wines, sweet wines and mistelles with a maximum alcohol content of 22% vol.
- Vermouth and other wines made from fresh grapes flavoured with plants or other substances with a maximum alcohol content of 22% vol.
Alcopops are subject to a special tax of CHF 116 per litre of 100% alcohol.
In contrast to spirits, natural wine made from grapes with a maximum alcohol content of 18% vol. and beer are subject to the Foodstuffs Act rather than the Alcohol Act. The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), rather than the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security, is responsible for questions relating to wine and fruit wine.
The tax liability for some products is not always obvious and questions may arise. On these pages we therefore offer additional information on selected products.