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- The customer must have arrived in Switzerland and taken up residence prior to customs clearance as registration with local authorities is required.
- The importation of used household goods and personal effects into Switzerland is usually duty and tax free.
- All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are affected.
- If documents are missing, Customs formalities can only arrange a temporary clearance.
- In these circumstances, Swiss Customs will levy an appropriate fee or ask for a deposit which is laid down according to the volume of the removal.
- The "Carte de Légitimation" takes approximately 2 months to obtain.
- Used household goods may be imported if it is in the owner of the goods’ possession, has been used abroad for at least 6 months, are for the continued use of the owner of the goods, and correspond to the normal requirements of an intended resident after importation.
- Personal office goods and papers belonging to the owner of the goods are considered household goods.
- Returning Swiss citizens qualify for duty-free entry if the duration of employment abroad exceeded 12 months.
- If possible, all goods should be imported in one consignment.
- Later consignments should be listed on the inventory of the first shipment.
- If a later shipment is to follow, it should be noted on the owner of the goods’ declaration of personal household goods under the appropriate section.
- If the owner of the goods can prove that he is unable to proceed with the clearance of a second shipment, Customs will extend a delay for clearance up to 24 months from the date of the first clearance.
- Unaccompanied hand baggage may be imported duty free, provided it consists only of used personal effects and/or books.
- The shipment should be accompanied by an inventory and is subject to Customs inspection.
- If a secondary home is bought or rented, import of removal goods is free of duties and taxes.
- However, importation must occur close to the time of the issue of the purchase or lease contract.
- Cars do not fall under this rule and are not duty and tax-free, even if used.
- Copy of passport for client and all co immigrating persons (wife/husband and children)
- Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / CMR (Road) / air waybill (AWB)
- Swiss customs forms 18.44 (‘Declaration/application for clearance of household effects’) , completed and signed (original document is required with original signature) For Copy of 18.44, click here and a copy of the declaration for free importation, click here.
- Supplemental declaration for alcoholic products
- Detailed inventory list
- Separate list of Paintings (click here for a inventory list to fill out) and Declaration for Works of Art (click here for sample) - if any
- Separate list of Food - if any
- Separate list of Wine (click here for form) - if any
- Signed and filled Import, Transit and Export of cultural Property (LTBC) Form (click here).
- Copy of residence permit (except for Swiss citizens and immigrants from the 15 initial EU states and from the EFTA states)
- Attestation of Arrival/Registration Certificate issued by local townhall (Gemeinde) - it is important that this document mentions the origin country that the shipper is moving from.
- Copy of lease agreement / purchase contract (property title) fully signed by all parties
- Detailed packing list in German, French, Italian, or English
- Proof of stay more than 1 year outside of Switzerland (military booklet, attestation from Swiss Consulate or earlier de-registration) (returning citizens)
- Copy of the work contract or letter of employment confirming the relocation (residents of European Union (EU) countries). Note that transferees from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Malta & Cyprus do not require the working permit, but must provide a copy of working contract and either a copy of residence rental/purchase contract, or a copy of the registration in the commune of residence).
- Original Customs form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed, and stamped (diplomats)
- Copy of "Carte de Légitimation" (diplomats)
Automobiles and other vehicles can be imported duty free provided they are imported within 18-months of the household goods moves and the vehicle has been owned and used over six months. The following documents are required in addition to household goods requirements (above):
- Copy of the Registration Title (Original must travel in the vehicle)
- European Union Conformity Certificate (if available)
- Vehicle must be mentioned on Form 18.44
- Vehicles manufactured after January 2007 that do not comply with EU Conformity will require a “Crash Test Certificate” obtained from the manufacturer.
- Vehicles owned and used for less than 6-months are subject to duties and taxes based upon the weight and value of the vehicle. In addition any vehicle owned for less than 6-months and not conforming with EU standards is subject to CHF 3,500 in approval costs.
- All cars must comply with Swiss Government regulations
- Permission to import is granted on case-by-case basis
Clearance will take place:
- At the same time as the household goods if loaded in the same container
- By appointment if driven over the border by the customer
- Vehicle must be registered with the Swiss Authorities as soon as possible following full customs clearance but within 6-months of import.
- For countries with urban rabies, a blood analysis is required.
- The import of the pet can only be done 4 months after the vaccination.
- The veterinary health certificate must include the following information:
- Name and address of owner of the goods
- Description of animal (breed, sex, age, color)
- An attestation that the animal was clinically examined by a veterinarian prior to vaccination and found to be healthy
- Date of the preventive vaccination against rabies, type of vaccine, name of vaccine producer, and serial number of vaccine
- Stamp and signature of the veterinarian
- The import of pets is allowed with some restrictions; check with the destination agent for details.
- Potential owners of the goods should contact a Swiss Customs authorities or a local agent in Switzerland no less than 6 months prior to import if it has not been determined the pet will be permitted for import.
- The vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days prior, but no more than 12 months after entering Switzerland.
- Vaccination record
- Veterinarian health certificate in German, French, Italian, or English
- Blood analysis
ANTIQUES, ARTIFACTS, CARPETS, PAINTINGS
- For all pictures and paintings, the owner of the goods must submit a letter to Customs attesting that none of the imported items are original artwork.
- Written letter of confirmation
- List of paintings with artist names and values
- Food products
- New articles and consumer goods, which do not correspond to normal household requirements
- Furnishings, which do not correspond to normal household requirements
- Weapons, including firearms (a permit is required)
- The following items are admitted duty and tax free, provided they are destined for one’s own requirements:
- Used motor cars and/or used motor boats (at least 6 months)
- Maximum 12 liters of hard liquor over 25% volume
- Maximum 200 liters of red / white wine, champagne
- Hunting rifles
- The following conditions apply to the import of alcohol:
- Swiss Customs authorities will personally assess whether the quantity of alcoholic beverages imported corresponds with the size of the shipment.
- The maximum duty-free allowance for:
- Spirits and liquors exceeding 25% alcohol by volume is 12 liters
- Red or white wine is 200 liters
- Champagne or other alcohol less than 25% alcohol by volume, depends on the size of the shipment
- Drugs and narcotics
- Weapons (sporting and hunting guns may be imported with a permit)
- Anti-radar equipment
- Animals products from protected/endangered species (ivory, skins, etc.)
- Cleaning fluids
- Fake items (e.g. watches, faked brand name & model items)