If you are clearing Swiss customs, there are formalities that you need to be aware of. Queuing at a Swiss border post for paperwork can be time-consuming and laborious, but there’s an app for everything.

These days there is a smartphone app that simplifies the process for getting through Swiss customs, but there are limitations. The procedure is fairly easy too and before you cross the border, you register on the app the goods you want to import, pay the taxes and duties by using your phone.

To make sure that no time is wasted when passing through customs, there is some basic information needed. This includes the product’s customs tariff number.  All merchandise must be declared.

The Swiss customs tariff is based on the internationally valid Harmonized System (HS). This customs tariff is available free of charge on the Internet.

There are a lot of shipping options for moving your goods to Switzerland. You can drive your goods over the border or fly into the country. As long as you can prove that the items you have are for your use and not for sale, you will experience no hiccups. Sensitive items will be subjected to restrictions.

Any item falling under the following categories may be subject to customs restrictions –

  • Narcotics
  • Medicines
  • Cash, foreign currency
  • Plants
  • Radar warning devices
  • weapons
  • Cultural property

If you bring a vehicle into Switzerland, the vehicle must be declared at the Swiss borders. There are documents you will need.

Pets coming with you must have proof of rabies vaccine. Pets must also be micro-chipped with a 15-digit ISO compatible chip. Puppies and kittens less than 8 weeks old can’t be brought into Switzerland.

General rules for travelers

Any merchandise that is subject to tax must be declared. If you are caught not declaring something, there is a fine for you plus the duty.

If you’re driving, always carry identity papers. Check the Swiss Office for Migration Office website.

If you’re flying –

Don’t ever attempt to walk through the green channel and declare nothing. You will be caught.

The Swiss are very sharp when it comes to bringing in fake goods,  If you’re caught with such a product, it will be confiscated.

If you’re driving –

Customs officers check occasionally that rules on importing goods are respected. Always carry identity papers.

If you don’t have anything to declare, take the green channel.  You can get green ‘rien a declarer’ symbols to attach to your front windshield which gives you the right to take the green lane.

All customs offices have a small booklet in French providing details on certain restrictions on goods. For cash, for instance, large amounts can be subject to international crime laws.

The Swiss have customs regulations that travelers have to abide by and it is important to declare any taxable merchandise.

Flying is the usual way of transport to Switzerland, so upon arrival at the Swiss airport declare your taxable items and prevent being pulled over for questioning. If you are driving to the country, customs officers too are constantly checking the rules on importing goods and they want to see your ID papers.

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