Article 15 of the Customs Act (ZG; SR 631.0) and the other legal foundations governing stocks of goods (especially Articles 7 and 23 of the Ordinance on the Import and Export of Vegetables, Fruit and Garden Produce (VEAGOG; SR 916.121.10)) are relevant to businesses which, at the beginning of the controlled period for commerce, still have agricultural products on stock ("stocks of goods"). To prevent a circumvention of the import regulations justified on grounds of agricultural policy, a new customs declaration must be submitted for stocks of goods still in existence at the beginning of the controlled period for commerce, and the difference in customs duties between the quota customs rate and the non-quota customs rate must be paid additionally to the Federal Customs Administration.
The new customs declaration must be submitted by the affected businesses themselves. This also applies to the owners of stocks of goods, such as distribution centres.
The submission of a customs declaration for stocks of goods proceeds as follows:
The customs declaration must be received via the secure website of the Directorate General of Customs (see right under the heading "Services") by midnight at the latest of the second day after the beginning of the controlled period.
If this second day is a Sunday or a holiday recognized under federal law, the deadline is extended until 8 a.m. of the following business day.
An Internet application is available for submitting this customs declaration. Detailed information relating to the customs declaration (declaration, login, etc.) will be provided by the DGC to applicants once they register.
Attribution to tariff quota shares
Persons required to submit the customs declaration are exempt from paying the difference in customs duties if the existing agricultural products can be attributed to their personal share of the tariff quota.
The person who is required to submit the customs declaration and is the owner of the shares of the tariff quota must, for this purpose, personally book the attributable stocks of goods on his or her general import permit using the secure website of the Federal Office for Agriculture, AEV14online. Once the booking is successfully completed, the AEV14online system automatically generates a confirmation in PDF format. This confirmation must be submitted together with the customs declaration by the person required to submit the declaration. Moreover, the person must expressly apply for exemption from the payment of the difference in customs duties in the customs declaration.
Notice to buyers
Anyone who passes on agricultural products imported during the free period to a third party must notify that party in writing of the obligation to submit a new customs declaration pursuant to Article 55 of the Customs Ordinance (ZV; SR 631.01).
Under "Legal foundations", you will find an excerpt of the relevant provisions in the laws and ordinances.
Fresh products for further processing
The free periods are also used for the import of fresh products for processing. The provisions governing stocks of goods likewise apply to these goods. Products not yet processed as well as goods that remain fresh when processed (e.g. products for mixed salads, many finished kitchen products, etc.) are deemed stocks of goods.
Only products which have already been processed to the extent that they are no longer deemed fresh fruit or fresh vegetables (e.g. deep-frozen or pasteurised) are not considered stocks of goods. This also applies to products not subject to approval (e.g. mashed fruit or fruit that has become mush due to transport). Decisive in this regard is the tariff classification of the processed product in accordance with the electronic customs tariff Tares of the Federal Customs Administration.