Centralised settlement procedure (CSP) of the FCA

For whom is the centralised settlement procedure suitable?

It is recommended for all importers and carriers who regularly have to pay duties on imported goods.

Advantages of the centralised settlement procedure for the account holder

  • Cashless payment of customs duties
  • Shorter waiting times at customs offices: consignments are released upon reicipt of the corresponding application for clearance and after any inspection of the goods.
  • Pament deadline for customs duties: 5 days.
  • Payment deadline for VAT: 60 days.

Terms of registration

Simply fill out the registration declaration form and send it to the Finance and Accounting section (FIRE) of the Directorate General of Customs (DGC) in Bern. Should you decide to opt in to payment via LSV direct debit, please fill out the middle part of the debit authorisation and send it to your bank. The bank will then complete the bottom part and forward section B to the FIRE section at the DGC.

In addition, security must be provided in one of the three following ways:

  • General guarantee on the attached form 22.10, issued through a bank or insurance company headquartered in Switzerland coming under the supervision of the Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) or listed in the directory of private insurance facilities under federal supervision.

Guarantees of this kind must be sent by the institution providing the guarantee directly to the Directorate General of Customs, FIRE section.

A fee is charged by the customs administration for the acceptance of the guarantee.

  • Deposit of security papers (= good Swiss bonds or medium-term notes, issued to the bearer) in a blocked guarantee safekeeping account, for which a fee is payable, in the name of the Federal Customs Administration with the Swiss National Bank in Bern. If you wish to consider this form of security deposit, you should first contact the FIRE section of the DGC, which has decision-making power over acceptance of security papers.

  • Cash deposit (without interest) via payment into the postal account of the Directorate General of Customs, No. 30-704-6 

or

  • into account number SNB 15100.02202, IBAN CH56 0011 5001 5100 0220 2, 
  • BIC SNBZCHZZ80A with the Swiss National Bank in Zurich

or

  • via bank cheque to the Federal Directorate General of Customs, FIRE section, 3003 Bern.

Your account will be opened only once your registration declaration, security provision and, if relevant, the LSV direct debit authorisation are received by the FIRE section of the DGC.

How is the security calculated?

The amount of the security is calculated as follows:

Customs duties

50% of two weeks' average customs duties

Value added tax

  • You are subject to value added tax payments to the Federal Tax Administration (Art. 21 ff VATA): as a rule, and provided that the conditions in these guidelines are observed, the amount of the security is fixed at a minimum of 20% of the value of VAT accumulated over a period of 60 days.

  • You are not subject to tax, in accordance with Art. 78, para. 2, VATA: the security amounts to 100% of the value of VAT accumulated over a period of 60 days.

If, in addition to final tax assessments, guaranteed temporary customs clearance procedures are also foreseen (customs declaration for temporary admission [ZAVV], the Swiss Geleitschein transit certificate, provisional customs declarations), part of the security must be set aside to cover that. Indicate the corresponding amount on the registration declaration. The amount of the security to be provided is the total of the three above-mentioned items.

It should be rounded up to the next CHF 1,000.

The minimum security amount is CHF 1,000.

When can I start to use the account?

As soon as we receive the registration declaration and, depending on the chosen form of payment, the LSV direct debit authorisation, and the security is provided, the FIRE section of the DGC will issue you with an account number. This number is communicated in writing to you, your paying agent and the customs offices. Upon receipt of this information, customs declarations may be made using the account.

Where must the account number be indicated?

In the interests of the smooth running of operations, it is important that you always indicate the account number attributed to you on the customs declaration, on the documents of payment transactions and in all correspondence with us. You must also inform your haulage firm.

At which customs offices can customs declarations be made?

Customs declarations of merchandise can be made at all Swiss customs offices, as part of their customs clearance competence.

Who may use my account?

You may authorise third parties (haulage firms, foreign suppliers etc.) to carry out customs declarations with your account. The authorisation must be given in writing, mentioning whether it is a single authorisation or whether it is a long-term agreement valid until revoked. The customs offices carry out spot checks on authorisations.

Any misuse of your account number should be announced immediately to the FIRE section of the DGC, for your own security.

What happens if the conditions are not adhered to?

In cases of non-adherence to payment deadlines or exceeding the amount of the security provided, the account holder receives a warning. In the event of a repeat occurrence, it will be considered whether to block the account, either temporarily or indefinitely.

Default interest is charged in cases of late payment. In addition, the payment deadline for the value added tax is no longer guaranteed.

As a final measure we may order the cancellation of the account.

What is the procedure in cases of differences or inconsistencies?

For cases of inconsistencies, differences, missing or incorrect documents etc. in order to gain time we kindly ask you to refer to the points listed below:

Missing customs duties statements and receipts (customs duty/VAT)
Copies can only be requested from the processing centre for technical reasons. You can find the details of the processing centre (office) responsible on our invoices.

Errors in the customs duties statements and receipts
Only the issuing customs office may correct errors. Provided you are not making a self-declaration, send the original documents to that effect to your declarant/haulage firm, who will request the correction on your behalf at the customs office concerned. For questions on how the amounts are calculated or calculation bases in general, similarly please contact your declarant/haulage firm first.

Missing DGC invoices and irregularities in payment transactions
In such cases, contact the Finance and Accounting section (FIRE) of the DGC. You will find the phone and fax numbers on our invoices. In this regard we would like to point out that separate invoices are issued for customs duties and VAT.

Transfers to other accounts (use of an incorrect account number)
Transfers are only possible if the original documents (customs duties statements and receipts) are supplied to the issuing customs office. Provided you are not making a self-declaration, send the original documents to that effect to your declarant/haulage firm, who will request the correction on your behalf at the customs office concerned.

Credit in your favour
Amounts are credited to your account and adjustments made as follows against a similar type of charge, i.e. customs credits are offset against customs receivables and VAT credits against VAT receivables only. We kindly request you to never deduct credits from invoices yourself. Independently of that, you may request the FIRE section of the DGC to refund sizeable credits to you.

Misuse of your CSP account
If your CSP is misused or used for customs declarations by unauthorised persons or companies, please alert the FIRE section of the DGC immediately, enclosing copies of the evidence.

Information about suppliers, invoices and references
Declarants and haulage firms may stamp customs documents accordingly on your behalf. Address any enquiries directly to the declarant or haulage firm you have contracted. We are unable to provide information on this matter.

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