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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Copy of passport with clear photo
  • Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / CMR (Road) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Originally signed Customs form 18.44 (application for duty & tax-free clearance of removal goods)
  • Supplemental declaration for alcoholic products
  • Detailed inventory list
  • Copy of residence permit (except for Swiss citizens and immigrants from the 15 initial EU states and from the EFTA states)
  • Registration at local Swiss town hall
  • Coy of lease agreement / purchase contract (property title)
  • 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)
  • Original Customs form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed, and stamped (diplomats)
  • Copy of "Carte de Légitimation" (diplomats)


Specific Regulations

  • 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. 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Official foreign driver’s license
  • Original certificate title
  • Original bill of sale / purchase invoice
  • Condition report

Specific Regulations

  • Items may be imported into Switzerland duty free if:
    • They are in the owner of the goods’ possession
    • Used abroad for at least 6 months before the legal date of entry date shown on the work permit
    • Will be used in Switzerland for a minimum period of 1 year
  • It is necessary for the owner of the goods to provide an official foreign license showing the date of issue.
  • Company cars may be imported duty free.
    • In order to do so, the company will need to provide a written confirmation that the automobile has been for exclusive use of the owner of the goods since a given date and state that the owner of the goods is relocating to Switzerland.
    • This letter should be written and sent to Swiss Customs authorities 6 months prior to shipment.
  • Used motor cars and/or used motor boats may only be admitted duty and tax-free provided they are destined for one’s own requirements.
    • Used vehicles must be in the owner of the goods’ possession for at least 6 months.
  • First registration date abroad needs to be proved to the Motorvehicle Authorities (MFK)


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinarian health certificate in German, French, Italian, or English
  • Blood analysis

Specific Regulations

  • 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.

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Written letter of confirmation
  • List of paintings with artist names and values

Specific Regulations

  • 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.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Food products
  • Tobacco
  • 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

Prohibited Items

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Weapons (other than sporting and hunting guns)
  • Ammunition
  • Anti-radar equipment
  • Animal products from protected / endangered species (ivory, skins etc.)
  • Fake items (e.g. watches, faked brand name & model items)

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

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Movguru note: These policies can change as per customs regulations at any time without notice. Treat this document as informative guide. Movguru has published this document as guide only for information purpose on its sole discretion and holds no depiction of expressing or inferred to the precision or applicability of its content.
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