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Switzerland Country Snapshot

FedEx Service Availability

International Service Availability* Export U.S. to Switzerland Import U.S. from Switzerland
Document/Package/Mail Services    
FedEx® International Next Flight
FedEx International First®
FedEx International Priority®
FedEx International Economy®
FedEx International Ground®    
FedEx International MailService®
     
Freight Services    
FedEx International Priority® Freight
FedEx International Economy® Freight
FedEx Freight® Priority    
FedEx Freight® Economy    
FedEx International Premium®  
     
Distribution Services    
FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution®
FedEx® International DirectDistribution  
FedEx International Ground® Distribution    
     
Value-Added/Industry-specific Solutions    
FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents  
Dangerous Goods  
Dry Ice  
FedEx Priority Alert™
SenseAware®    
FedEx International Broker Select®  
FedEx® 10kg Box and FedEx® 25kg Box
FedEx® Third Party Consignee
     
Switzerland Domestic Services Yes

*Availability of particular services may vary by origin and destination. Availability of particular solutions may vary by service selected. All services subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide.

Country Information

Capital: Bern
Population: 7,952,600 (est.)
Language: German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romanic
Weights and Measures: Metric
Currency: Schweizer Franken or "Swiss Francs" (CHF)
100 Rappen = 1 Swiss Franc
Time Zone Operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Daylight Savings Time is observed April through October (plus 1 hour).
Switzerland GMT +1 (Central European Time - CET)

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Trade Group Member

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) between Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway Switzerland and Singapore provides for the elimination of duty on industrial products that are the manufacture of a member country.Although not a member of the European Union, as a member of the EFTA, Switzerland has trade agreements which eliminate duty on certain industrial, farm, and fisheries products with the European Union (EU), Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Israel,  Hong Kong, Jordan, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, Singapore, Turkey, and West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Switzerland also holds a Bilateral Trade Agreement with Faeroe Islands.

As a member of the World Trade Organization, Switzerland provides preferential duty treatment to developing nations under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Switzerland is a signatory to the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (Flora and Fauna), the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances and various agreements relating to non-proliferation of weapons and military equipment including the Wassenaar Agreement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group, and the Chemical Weapons Convention

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General Import Clearance Information

Clearance Process

Customs clearance for Switzerland is usually done electronically through a system called Model 90 that provides a link between Customs and the importer's customs broker. (Manual entry is normally used only for goods that accompany a person entering Switzerland.) A formal entry is required for all non-document shipments. Although entries are submitted electronically, a waybill and a commercial invoice are required for all goods except for a few goods that are classified as documents and are non-dutiable.

Prior to submitting the entry electronically to Customs, the customs broker reviews the shipment information and uses the description and weight of the goods to calculate the amount of duty and tax and to determine if any of the contents are subject to regulatory controls such as licenses or inspections. The customs broker also arranges payment of duties and taxes since Customs requires payment prior to customs clearance. The presence of the importer's Value Added Tax (VAT) number and Centralized Customs Clearance (ZAZ) number on the customs documents helps the broker determine if the importer will pay Customs directly through a deferment account or whether the broker will need to submit payment on behalf of the importer.

Customs reviews the electronic entry and responds with one of the following clearance messages, usually in 60 minutes or less.

  • Free / without (Entry is complete using electronically submitted information.)
  • Free / with (Entry is permitted, but additional documentation must be submitted within regulatory deadlines.)
  • Blocked (Entry is not permitted until the documents and/or shipment contents are examined and approved.)

The statistics for how often the above entry types are applied are as follows:

Free without & Free with = ca. 80.0%

Blocked = ca. 20.0%

Examination of all imports = ca. 2%

Shipments which are designated "free" or as "free / with" are eligible for immediate release. For shipments designated as "free / with" or "blocked", the customs broker will submit any required documents in their possession. For "blocked" shipments, if Customs or one of the regulatory agencies set additional conditions (such as an inspection or a license) that must be accomplished prior to customs clearance, the customs broker will assist their client in fulfilling the requirements.

Switzerland allows entries to be submitted prior to arrival of a shipment and is able to release a majority of those shipments before arrival.

Swiss importers are required to retain commercial documents relating to a transaction for five years from the date of entry. These documents may be required for Customs audit purposes. Importers who fail to keep records may be fined.

Import Controls

When imported goods are subject to regulatory controls and an import license or permit is required, the importer is responsible for requesting import permission from the appropriate department or agency. Although very few goods require that a license be obtained prior to import, shipments lacking required licenses are subject to clearance delays.

Some regulated goods are eligible for a weight tolerance exemption that allows importation of shipments of low weight without a license or permit. Although tolerance limits are generally based on gross weight, Customs does authorize tolerance exemption for some goods based on net weight. Customs Authorities are obligated to perform extensive and/or random review of all goods. They are obligated to process the full handling of the investigation of the goods selected for examination. They are to insure consistency in application of all necessary restrictions and exercise reasonable care in their determinations. If upon examination, goods are determined to be of a pornographic or violent nature they are subject to detainment and/or confiscation.

Customs Authorities are obligated to immediately notify the public prosecutors office in the Kanton (province) where the addressee resides or the public prosecutors office having jurisdiction over the community in which the addressee resides. Films requiring an import permit/license are not subject to these measures. The final determination and enforcement of these detained goods are made through the government regulations and processes of the Kantonal Government and punishable by their laws. The lodging of complaints regarding these measures taken by customs authorities is not permissible.

Weight Declarations

Customs duties for most goods are based on the gross weight of the item (weight of the good plus the weight of its packaging) so it is important that the weight of each commodity be provided for Customs purposes. It is also beneficial to include the net weight because certain commodities subject to high duty rates (such as tobacco, watches, jewelry, etc.) have duty rates based on the net weight.

Document Requirements

Air Waybill

An air waybill (naming the importer or exporter for customs purposes)

Commercial Invoice

Required for all import and export shipments. The gross weight of the goods is required including the net weight may benefit the importer by reducing duty or taxes on certain goods and may exempt certain low weight shipments from license or permit requirements.

Certificate of Origin

Certificates of Origin are used by Switzerland to determine shipments eligible for preferential duty treatment. The EUR1 form is required under trade agreements with certain European trade groups. The GSP Form A is required when preferential treatment under World Trade Organization agreements is requested for shipments from developing countries. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in the possession of the importer at the time of entry. Copies are not acceptable. The country of origin of the goods must also be detailed on the commercial invoice.

Carnet

The ATA (Admission Temporaire - Temporary Admission) carnet is an international customs document that may be used for the temporary duty-free importation of certain samples, trade show goods, and professional equipment that will be re-exported in the same condition by the same party within a limited amount of time. The carnet is usually issued by a Chamber of Commerce in the owner's country and is valid for one year. The carnet serves as a guarantee against the payment of duty which would be due if the merchandise is not re-exported. It must be validated by Customs, beginning with Customs in the owner's country, at time of import and re-export in order to qualify for duty-free treatment. Improper validation may lead to fines and penalties in addition to assessment of normal duties and taxes. Shipments subject to a carnet are not acceptable on any of FedEx's International Priority Services.

Declarations / Notifications

Certain goods require that the importer or exporter provide the government with particular shipment information after customs clearance of the goods. These goods may be exempt from license or other regulatory requirements.

Import Approval

Certain goods require import approval from one or more government ministries. The importer must submit an application form to the regulating ministry, which will apply its stamp/seal to the import approval application form when it grants approval. Although there is one primary import approval application form, certain commodities (textiles, whale products, food, plant products, animal products, etc.) require a form specific to the commodity.

Phytosanitary Certificate

This is certification from the appropriate government agency in the country of export that certifies that the plant or plant product is free from disease. Swiss regulations may also require that the foreign agency certify that the area in which the plant was grown or processed is free from particular pests or diseases.

Veterinary Certificate

This is certification from the appropriate government agency in the country of export that the animal or meat product is disease free and/or that the area where the animal lived or the product was processed is free from particular pests or diseases.

Textiles Certificate of Origin - Certificates of Origin maybe required for the importation of textile products valued at or over 45 Euro. Exceptions from this includes: textiles products falling under section XI of the Nomenclature, marked and mutilated samples; luggage made up of textile materials, canvas bags, bona-fide gifts and personal effects. The country of origin is required to be stated on the Commercial Invoice.If preferential duty is being claimed, supporting documents such as a Form A is required. 

Customs Valuation While there are several methods of valuing goods for Customs purposes, the method most applied (transaction value) is based on the price actually paid (or payable) for the imported goods subject to certain adjustment.

A major condition for using the transaction value is that there is no relationship between the buyer and seller, which may influence the price.  

Import Duties

All goods entering or exiting Switzerland must clear Customs. Imports are subject to customs duty, value added tax, and excise duty except for those exempted under law. In some circumstances imports may also be subject to anti-dumping or countervailing duties, which result in the imposition of additional rates of duty. Duties and taxes must be paid before Customs will release goods for import.

Duty Rates

Customs duties are assessed at a "specific" rate (i.e. a set amount) and are usually based on the gross weight of the imported product (inclusive of weight of packaging).

However, because Customs may use their discretion and base duty on the net weight instead of the gross weight for certain goods (tobacco, watches, jewelry, etc.) that have very high duty rates, it is recommended that the exporter include both net and gross weight of each product on the commercial invoice and waybill whenever possible.

Rates of duty vary based on the specific commodity and are available in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of Switzerland. Although the rate is as high as 3,999 CHF/kg gross, import customs duties usually are between 0 and 40 CHF/kg gross. In some circumstances, anti-dumping or countervailing measures, which result in the imposition of additional rates of duty, may also apply.  

It is recommended that before you send Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipments to Switzerland; verify the local customs/VAT requirements at the EU destination country.  

Antidumping

Switzerland does observe the GATT rules under article VI with reference to antidumping measures as well as the WTO standards for complying with these measures.

Excise Duties

Switzerland does apply excise taxes on tobacco and tobacco products, mineral oils, automobiles and their parts.

Additional Duties

Switzerland reserves the right to apply additional duties to some goods including agricultural goods used for animal feed.

Import Taxes

Value Added Tax (VAT/TVA)

Value Added Tax is levied on imported goods. The normal VAT rate is 7.6%, but some goods are exempt from VAT or are eligible for a reduced rate. VAT is calculated on the transaction value of the goods, plus all charges to the port of entry (including freight and insurance) plus the amount of customs duty, if any. Most importers have a VAT number. Although supplying the VAT number at time of entry or export is not a requirement, having it on the shipment documents can assist Customs and the importer's customs broker in the customs clearance process.

Refunds

Importers may be eligible for VAT refund on goods that are re-exported from Switzerland within 60 days of import. (For example, the goods do not meet order requirements and are returned to the foreign shipper). The importer must be able to provide proof that the goods were imported and re-exported within the 60 days period for them to be VAT-free. Proof that the goods arrived in the shipper's country may also be required. Some goods are also eligible for refunds on customs duties depending on the circumstances and providing that the refund claim is submitted within regulatory deadlines.

Other Taxes

Switzerland imposes additional taxes on certain commodities. A monopoly tax is applied to most alcoholic products. Products subject to veterinary and/or phytosanitary controls are subject to tax. Tobacco, mineral oils and lubricants, vehicles, and volatile organic chemicals are also subject to additional taxes at time of import.  

Customs Fees

There are additional fees assessed when examination of goods is required, this applies to many commodities made of and or containing animals, plants and their products.

Exchange Controls

Switzerland has no exchange controls in place.

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)

Switzerland does use control measures and has specific agencies assigned to enforce these controls for Precious Metals and Mineral/Fuel Oils. For controls on oils and fuel products contact; Swiss Group of Lubricating Oils and or Carbura. For controls related to precious metals see contact information for the Agency for Precious Metals Control (EMK) located at the end of this document.

Consular Fees

Switzerland has no consular fees.

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Switzerland Import Prohibitions

Prohibited Goods

Goods that are absolutely prohibited include the following: Radar Detectors (Although these goods are forbidden for import and export, they may be designated for return if properly requested and declared to customs and the goods have not already been given a directive to be destroyed.)

All products containing the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)

Animals and animal origin products from third countries (non-EU member states & Norway)

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General Import Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

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Switzerland Restrictions

Intellectual Property Rights

Switzerland is a signatory to the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty and protects the rights of those holding patents from other member countries as well as those of their citizens. Strong protection is also afforded to trademarks and service marks as well as other intellectual property rights.

Swiss law permits the owner or authorized licensee to object to the importation of goods that allegedly infringe upon their intellectual property rights. The request must be presented in writing to Customs and include a number of details including a copy of the registration document and a precise description of the goods. Requests are subject to a fee, and Customs requires surety in case a third party claims damages. Customs will investigate and, if the objection is supported, will seize the offending goods. Information regarding the fee and the details to be included in the request are available on the Customs website under Importation Notices.

Goods Subject to Import Controls

The following goods are restricted by law and subject to import approval and/or must meet other regulatory requirements but are acceptable for importation on FedEx Express International Priority Service:

  • Milk and dairy products including cheese
  • Cereals and forage products
  • Meat, game, seafood
  • Foodstuffs
  • Drugs and other chemicals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Precious metals, watches, jewelry

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Special Import Provisions

Temporary Imports

Goods imported for public exhibition are eligible for duty-free entry but customs usually requires certification from the sponsors of the exhibit or trade show before a Freipass is granted. Eligible goods must be re-exported within 1 month of the end of exhibition.

Goods that are imported on a temporary basis that are covered by a Carnet or T1/T2 dispatch declaration are allowed duty-free entry provided they are re-exported within the specified time limit and are exported in their entirety. Shipments moving under a Carnet are prohibited on any of FedEx's International Priority Services but may move via FedEx Airport-to-Airport Service on a 023 Air Waybill. Goods may be imported into a free port without duty assessment or customs inspection providing that they are only stored, unpacked and repacked, or undergo processes such as sorting, sampling and analysis.

Repair/Processing

Goods imported for repair or processing are eligible for preferential duty treatment but authorization is granted only to Swiss residents who do the actual repair or processing or who commission a third party. Eligible goods may be required to meet special conditions in order to meet customs requirements. Goods that are an upgrade or a replacement of goods that have reached the end of their operational life are not eligible.

There are two separate classifications used for the transportation of repaired goods

  • Active Repair Traffic (ARV)
  • Passive Repair Traffic (PRV)

It is critical that the repair classification be indicated on the invoice as either ARV or PRV. ARV- used for goods imported into Switzerland for repair and re-exported after repair PRV- used for goods exported to a foreign country for repair and then returned to Switzerland

For PRV shipments to be processed, the following documents are required for proof of Export:

  • Copy of Invoice
  • Copy of Air Waybill

A declaration must be on invoice that states that goods are true repair and return goods. The export papers must clearly show value of goods at time of export. This value can represent an approximate value at time of export. This value is used for statistical purposes and is not subject to duties upon re-import of the goods providing all documents are properly prepared as noted. The invoice used for the re-import of the repaired goods must include the following:

  1. Cost of repairs
  2. Cost of materials used for repair
  3. Approximate value of goods (this should match the value used for export)

Antiques

Most goods that are older than 100 years are eligible for duty-free entry as an antique. Antiques are subject to VAT tax. To request duty-free status, the description of the contents should include a declaration on the commercial invoice stating the age of the goods. Swiss Customs will recognize signed declarations from either the importer or the exporter.

Imports that qualify for customs duty exemptions (but may be subject to tax)

  • Containers used to transport goods (i.e. pallets, crates, etc.)
  • Low value merchandise transported in the postal system in typical packaging
  • Merchandise in small quantities transported across the border by travelers
  • Samples not exceeding 50 CHF per shipment
  • Goods exported and returned in an unaltered condition (proof of export may be required)
  • Personal goods accompanying a Swiss or foreign traveler
  • Inherited goods

Personal Effects

Shipments that are the personal property of a Swiss citizen are eligible for duty and tax free entry providing that the customs invoice for the shipment has a declaration that the contents are personal property owned by the importer for at least 6 months. Duty-free duty exemptions are also available on items inherited by a Swiss citizen from someone abroad and for foreigners who are marrying Swiss citizens providing that the proper customs forms are completed and submitted to Swiss Customs at time of entry.

Samples

Goods imported into Switzerland as samples are eligible for exemption from duty and VAT tax providing the shipment is valued at 50 CHF or less. Sample goods must also comply with the regulatory requirements associated with the specific goods being entered.

Gifts

Exemption from duty and tax is granted to unsolicited gift shipments valued at 100 CHF per person or less providing they are between private parties and do not contain tobacco, liquor, coffee, tea, oil, meat or poultry products.

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Standards

Switzerland has formally subscribed to ISO 9000 and has announced its intention to follow all subsequent ISO 9000 standards. Products meeting WTO standards of labeling and marking should have little difficulty in complying with relevant Swiss regulations. Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) is the government office in charge of enforcement of regulations on marking, labeling and quality controls.

Labeling/Marking

Consumer goods must be marked with the country of manufacture prior to sale. Packaged goods must also indicate the quality of purity, the ingredients and the net weight of measure of the contents.

Rules of Origin

Switzerland uses the World Trade Organization's rules of origin to determine the country of origin for goods transported internationally. The country of origin can affect whether or not a good is subject to particular regulatory requirements. It is also a key factor in determining duty rates (some goods are eligible for a reduced rate, some goods are subject to additional charges such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties).

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General Export Clearance Information

Clearance Process

Customs clearance for Switzerland is usually done electronically through a system called Model 90 that provides a link between Customs and the importer's customs broker. (Manual entry is normally used only for those goods that accompany a person exiting Switzerland.) A formal export entry is required for all non-document shipments. Although entries are submitted electronically, a waybill and a commercial invoice are required for all goods except for a few goods that are classified as documents.

Prior to submitting the entry electronically to Customs, the customs broker determines if any of the contents are subject to regulatory controls such as an export license. Certain commodities (rough tobacco, goods that were imported temporarily, etc.) are excluded from the electronic submission process. For those shipments, the customs broker or the exporter will submit the customs documents manually to customs officials at the port of export.

Customs reviews the electronic entry and responds with one of the following clearance messages, usually in 60 minutes or less.

  • Free / without (Export is completed using electronically submitted information.)
  • Free / with (Export is permitted, but additional documentation must be submitted within regulatory deadlines.)
  • Blocked (Export is not permitted until the documents and/or shipment contents are examined and approved.)

Shipments that are "free" and "free / with" are eligible for immediate export. For "free / with" and "blocked" shipments, the customs broker will submit any required documents in their possession. For "blocked" shipments, if Customs or one of the regulatory agencies sets additional conditions (such as an inspection or a license) that must be accomplished prior to customs clearance, the customs broker will assist their client in fulfilling the requirements.

Swiss exporters are required to retain commercial documents relating to a transaction for five years from the date of export clearance. These documents may be required for Customs audit purposes. Exporters who fail to keep records may be fined.

Examination of export cargo

Cargo, which is received for export is subject to Customs control and as such is liable for examination. Customs officers examine export cargo for a variety of reasons such as verifying the goods against the documentation, to detect prohibited goods, etc.

Document Requirements Export Permits / Licenses

Certain goods require permission from a government agency before they can be legally exported. Application to the appropriate agency is the responsibility of the exporter and should be initiated at least several days prior to the anticipated date of export. Approval of license requests is not always granted.

Cites-Export
Permit

This form is issued by the Federal Veterinary Office (BVE) and must be completed when  exporting goods protected under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in order to receive an export permit.  If the product you are shipping is derived from an endangered animal or plant species, a CITES  Export Permit is required. 

Application for Export License and or Permit for Radioactives.  

The Federal Office of Health, (BAG), issues licenses for the export of  radioactive products exported from Switzerland. This form is used to obtain the appropriate export license. This is to be completed by the exporter and if a license is required the form will be stamped and returned to the exporter and the exporter is responsible to provide this license to customs upon export.  

General Export Clearance Process

Export Controls

When exported goods are subject to regulatory controls and an export license or permit is required, the exporter is responsible for requesting export permission from the appropriate department or agency. Some regulated goods are eligible for a weight tolerance exemption that allows exportation of shipments of low weight without a license or permit. Although tolerance limits are generally based on gross weight, Customs does authorize tolerance exemption for some goods based on net weight. 

Goods Subject to Export Controls

The following goods are restricted by law and subject to export approval and/or must meet other regulatory requirements but are acceptable for exportation on FedEx Express International Priority Service:

  • Certain agricultural goods
  • Goods that have both military and civilian uses (i.e. "dual-use")
  • Drugs and other chemicals
  • Fuels
  • Certain knives (HS#8211)
  • Motors, turbines (HS8409->)
  • Certain articles made of steel/Iron (HS#7326.90), Copper
  • Radar and other navigation devices
  • HS#8537 & 8538
  • Vehicles (ground, air, water)

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Switzerland Export Prohibitions

Prohibited Goods Goods that are absolutely prohibited include the following:

  • Radar Detectors (Although these goods are forbidden for import and export, they may be designated for return if properly requested and declared to customs and the goods have not already been given a directive to be destroyed.)

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General Export Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

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Switzerland Restrictions

Goods that are controlled for Export from Switzerland generally require licenses and or additional documentation or application to export. Some of the commodities subject to controls are watches, precious metals, military goods, drugs, waste products, agricultural goods, and oil and automobile products.

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Regulatory Contact Information

Branch or Agency Name Areas of Responsibility

Federal Customs Office / Eidg. Zollverwaltung
Monbijoustrasse 40
3003 Bern Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 6511
Fax: 41-31-322 7872

  • Responsible for administering customs law including collection of duty and taxes and enforcing legislation related to agricultural, national security, etc. on trans-border traffic.

Federal Department of Justice and Police
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 2111
Fax: 41-31-322 7832

  • Responsible for law enforcement, police matters, legislative support, national security,

Federal Office of Police 
Taubenstrasse 16
CH-3003 Bern Switzerland

  • Responsible for explosive and pyrotechnics goods.

Central Office for Weapons (ZWS)
Tel: 41-31-322 4511
Fax: 41-31-322 9876

  • Responsible for enforcing import and export controls on weapons such as guns, knives, etc.

Central Office for Explosives and
Pyrotechnics (ZSP)

Tel: 41-3D1-324 2027
Fax: 41-31-324 7948

  • Responsible for enforcing import and export controls on chemical compounds that can explode.

Office of the Secretary of State for Economics;
Economic Controls and Sanctions
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Bundesgasse 8
3003 Bern

  • Responsible for war materials and industrial products used in the manufacture of war products. Kimberly Diamond Certifications
  • Export Controls and Embargos.

War Materials Division (KMAT)
Tel: 41-31-324 5036 and 324 5069
Fax: 41-31-324 5019

  •  
Industrial Products Division (INPR)
Tel: 41-31-324 8486
Fax: 41-31-324 9532
  •  

Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS)
House of Parliament Eastern Wing,
3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 2111

  • Responsible for all Swiss military forces, including peacekeeping operations and medical operations.
  • Responsible for taking measures to care and rescue the population in case of armed conflicts, disasters and other emergencies. Promotes sports and physical fitness.

Federal Department of Home Affairs / Eidg. Department des Innern
General Secretariat
Inselgasse
3003 Bern Switzerland
Tel.: 41-31-322 80 41
Fax: 41-31-322 79 01

  • Responsible for administering legislation related to insurance, food control, culture, statistical data, etc. that affect its citizens.

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
Information Office
Federal Palace (west wing)
CH-3003 Berne, Switzerland
Tel: 41-31- 322 21 11
Fax: 41-31- 312 53 17

  • Responsible for negotiating and archiving international treaties; developing policies on foreign trade, human rights, security and peace, etc.; and coordinating Swiss embassies and consulates located abroad. Provides fact sheets to citizens planning to travel abroad.

Federal Department of Finance
Bundesgasse 3
CH-3003 Bern Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 60 33
Fax: 41-31-323 3852

  • Responsible for the federal budget, taxes, customs, economic policy and financial markets.

Swiss Federal Tax Administration
Eigerstrasse 65
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 7124
Fax: 41-31-322 7349

  • Responsible for applying federal tax laws, collecting taxes, collecting and using information concerning fiscal policy and legislation.

Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
Einsteinstrasse 2
CH3003 Bern
Tel: 41-31-325 2525
Fax: 41-31-325 2526

  • Responsible for questions relating to patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property rights.

Federal Department of Economic Affairs
Federal Palace (east wing)
Effingerstrasse 27
CH-3003 Berne Switzerland
Tel. : +41 31 322 20 21
Fax : +41 31 322 43 70

  • Responsible for maintaining a stable economy and promoting economic development. Formulates policy and legislation related to the economy including agriculture, housing, national supply, price controls, coordination of economic standards and agreements between Switzerland and other European countries and trade groups.

Federal Office for Agriculture (BLW)
Mattenhofstrasse 5
CH-3003 Bern Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-322 2511
Fax: 41-31- 322 2634

  • Responsible for agricultural policy related to land use, production methods, price supports, food safety, etc.
  • Responsible for inspection of imported plants and flowers, for issuing Phytosanitary certificates for export shipments, etc.

Federal Office for Veterinarian Products (BVE)
Schwarzenburgstrasse 161
CH- 3003 Bern
Tel: 41-31-323-8524 and 323 8509
Fax: 41-31-323 8522

  • The BVE assumes full responsibility for Animal Health, Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, Consumer Protection and Endangered Species.
  • Responsible for enforcing controls through the granting of permits and licenses for import and export, and to providing information and advice.

Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL)
CH-3003 Berne
Tel.: 41-31-322 6960
Fax: 41-31-322 7054

  • Responsible for policy (domestic and foreign) related to the environment including issues such as pollution, chemical substances, waste. Collects data on environmental impact of radiation, noise, energy use, etc.

Swiss Alcohol Board (SAB)
Swiss Federal Alcohol Administration
Länggassstrasse 31
CH-3000 Berne 9 Switzerland
Tel: 41-31-309 1211
Fax: 41-31-309 1500

  • Responsible for implementing legislation related to spirits and high-proof alcohol used for industrial purposes

Carbura
Postfach 3818
CH- 8021 Zürich
Tel: 41-01-217 4111
Fax: 41-01-221 2633

  • Responsible for fuel oil and gasoline

ReserveSuisse-Narungsvorsorge
Trust Place of Swiss Grain Importers (TSG)
Postfach 8523
CH- 3001 Bern
Tel: 41-31-328 7272
Fax: 41-31-328 7273

  • TSL is responsible for approving license applications for importation of food. TSG is responsible for approving license applications for importation of grain.

Trust Place of Antibiotic Importers (TSA)
Postfach 5032
CH- 3001 Bern
Tel: 41-31-320 6161
Fax: 41-31-320 6843

  • Responsible for approving license applications to import antibiotics

Trust Place of Fertilizer Importers (TSD)
Postfach 5032
CH- 3001 Bern
Tel: 41-31-320 6161
Fax: 41-31-320 6842

  • Responsible for approving license applications to import fertilizers.

Federal Office for Health (BAG)
Schwarzenburgstr. 165
CH- 3097 Liebefeld

  • Head office for Health, responsible for all divisions.

Radiation Protection Division
Tel: 41-31-322 9614
Fax: 41-31-322 8383

  • Responsible for Radiation Protection Goods

Blood Products Division
Tel: 41-31-324 9035
Fax: 41-31-324 2507

  • Responsible for Blood

Vaccines Division
Tel: 41-31-324 8820
Fax: 41-31-324 2507

  • Responsible for Vaccines

Narcotics, Precursors and other Chemicals Division
Tel: 41-31-324 9188
Fax: 41-31-324 9200

  • Responsible for Narcotics, Precursors and other Chemicals

Poisons and Toxic Substances Division
Tel: 41-31-322 9640
Fax: 41-31-324 9024

  • Responsible for Poisons and Toxic Substances

Food Division
Tel: 41-31-322 6889
Fax: 41-31-322 9574

  • Responsible for Foodstuffs

Federal Office of Energy (BFE)
Monbijoustrasse 74
CH-3003 Bern
Tel: 41-31-322 5611
Fax: 41-31-323 2500

  • Responsible for Energy

Agency for Precious Metals Controls (EMK)
Monbijoustrasse 40
CH- 3003 Bern
Tel: 41-31-322 6586
Fax: 41-31-322 8441

  • Responsible for inspection of goods made of gold, silver, platinum & palladium

Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Switzerland (CCIS)
47, avenue d'Ouchy
P.O. Box 205
CH- 1000 Lausanne 13
Tel: 41-21-613 3558
Fax: 41-21 613 3505

  • Responsible for Trade promotion and information

Federal Office for the Environment, Forest and Agriculture (BUW)
Address
Tel: 41-31-322 2511
Fax: 41-31-322 2634

  • Responsible for Environment, Forest and Agriculture

Swiss Association for Standardization
Buerglistrasse 29
CH-8400 Winterthur
Tel: +41-52-224-5454 Fax: +41-52-224-5474

  • This agency regulates trade and industry standards marking and labeling (NORMS).
  • Standards
  • Norms

Head office for Customs Office, Section Tobacco and Beer Taxation
Tel: +41-31-322-6612
Fax: +41-31-323-3926

  • Responsible for Beer and Tobacco Taxation and Controls.

Swiss Medic
Schweizerisches
Heilmittelinstitut
Erlachstrasse 8
CH-3000 Bern 9
Tel: +41 31 322 02 11
Fax: +41 31 322 02 12

  • Responsibilities for imports and approval for the import of human biological products, samples, blood and reagents.

 

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