Version: 18 February 2021
Biera is a digital service provided by the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) via the internet-based ePortal of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF). It is used for digital beer tax declarations, as well as for beer tax refund applications.
Registration and administration assignment
Registration in ePortal
In order to use the Biera digital service, users must register themselves and the business partner for which they wish to act in the FDF ePortal. FCA business partners can be legal entities or natural persons.
Letter containing the onboarding code
After registration on the FDF ePortal, FCA business partners receive a letter with an onboarding code to verify the business partner for the Biera digital service.
Registration and administrator assignment
The person who redeems the onboarding code definitively registers the FCA business partner and becomes the administrator for this FCA business partner for the Biera digital service.
The administrator is authorised to represent the business partner in electronic business transactions with the FCA within the framework of the Biera digital service and to designate further authorised persons (internal/external) for this business partner.
Further authorised persons
Further authorised persons are also authorised to represent the business partner in electronic business transactions with the FCA within the framework of the Biera digital service.
Electronic business transactions
Beer tax declarations
Beer tax must be declared periodically in accordance with the legal requirements. The business partner declares beer tax electronically using the Biera digital service. Declarations received in any other form or by any other means will not be accepted.
Delivery of decisions and invoices
The FCA sends the business partner both the decision relating to the declared beer tax, including instructions on how to appeal, and the invoice for this via the Biera digital service. The business partner is also sent the decision and the invoice by post.
Discretionary assessment in case of late declaration
If beer tax is not declared on time, a reminder is automatically sent to the business partner in the Biera digital service. A reminder is also sent by email and/or text message (depending on the selected setting). If the declaration is not made following the final reminder, a discretionary assessment is automatically issued in the Biera digital service, together with a corresponding invoice. The business partner is also sent the decision and the invoice by post.
The FCA decides on appeals. If an appeal is accepted, the business partner is notified via the Biera digital service and by post and can resubmit the beer tax declaration via the Biera digital service. If an appeal is rejected, an appealable decision is sent to the business partner electronically via the Biera digital service and by post.
Electronic payment reminders
If a beer tax claim is not paid, a payment reminder will be sent automatically via the Biera digital service. A reminder is also sent by email and/or text message (depending on the selected setting).
Any beer tax refunds must be applied for via the Biera digital service. Claims by post or by email will not be accepted. The legitimacy of the claim must be documented beyond doubt with appropriate documentation, which must also be submitted via the Biera digital service.
Content of entries and submissions
The content of entries sent by the business partner to the FCA in electronic business transactions must be complete and true. Once the entries and documents have been submitted via the Biera digital service, no further changes to the data are possible until a decision has been issued.
Information provided in an entry is attributed to the person whose access rights were used to enter the information.
The FCA endeavours to ensure that access to and use of the Biera digital service is available at all times. However, it cannot always guarantee unrestricted access to or unrestricted use of the Biera digital service. The FCA reserves the right to carry out maintenance work and to suspend the Biera digital service for this purpose. The FCA keeps the business partners informed about forthcoming maintenance work.
The FCA declines all liability for damage and/or consequential damage which may result from access or wholly or partially limited or defective access to the Biera digital service, or individual elements thereof and, more generally, from the use of the Biera digital service. The FCA further declines liability for its auxiliary persons and appointed agents to the extent permitted by law.
Data is processed in compliance with data protection legislation. Tax data (taxpayer, quantity brewed, tax amount and refund amount) is kept for a maximum of five years from the date of entry. It is destroyed after expiry of the retention period unless it is archived. Archiving is governed by the Archiving Act of 26 June 1998 (SR 152.1).
Within the FCA, the tax data is accessible to employees in financial accounting, the Tobacco and Beer Tax Section, the internal audit section and the Swiss Federal Audit Office. It is also made available to the operational inspection teams. The system developers of the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication and external system administrators have access to the data where necessary.
Unless otherwise provided, the FCA treats any information that is not generally known and that is made available to it via the Biera digital service as confidential. The following data is made widely available to third parties: brewery list with brewery name and town/city, taxable aggregated net output per quarter, brewing year and calendar year, aggregated gross output by container type per quarter, brewing year and calendar year, taxable aggregated output of SBV breweries (but only for the Swiss brewery association, SBV). In principle, third parties do not have access to detailed address data or statistical data on individual breweries. However, the FCA reserves the right to disclose address data to the relevant federal and cantonal authorities, in particular in the context of administrative and mutual assistance requests.
Applicable law and place of jurisdiction
All disputes that arise in connection with the contract concluded under administrative law on the use of the Biera digital application between the business partner and the FCA shall be governed exclusively by Swiss law. The place of jurisdiction is Bern.
Federal Customs Administration FCA
Alcohol and Tobacco Division
Tobacco and Beer Tax Section
Route de la Mandchourie 25
Tel. +41 58 462 65 00