Temporary exportation

Temporary exportation (ZAVV) ZAVV: temporary admission procedure

Generally, import duties should be levied only once. It is usually not justified to levy duties if the exported goods are re-imported after being used temporarily abroad. The customs temporary admission procedure (ZAVV) was created for cases such as this.

In general, no special authorisation is needed for the temporary admission procedure upon exportation.

Temporary admission procedure forms

Form no. 11.73 is to be used for a written customs declaration. Form no. 11.87 (see Termination of the customs procedure) is to be used upon re-importation to complete the procedure.


No security is required for temporary exportation.

Scope of application

Almost all goods can be exported with the temporary admission procedure. From the outset, however, they must be goods that are used abroad solely on a temporary basis. Moreover, it must be possible to determine the identity. The main categories of goods for the temporary admission procedure include professional equipment, goods for exhibitions and trade fairs, certain means of transport (e.g. racing motor vehicles and boats) and packaging.

Changes to the goods are not permitted, with the exception of usage and maintenance measures. The temporary admission procedure may not be requested for defective goods that are exported in order to be repaired. The outward processing procedure is to be used for that purpose. Information is available at the following link: Processing traffic.

ATA carnet

In certain cases, an ATA carnet may also be presented for customs declaration purposes. Special provisions apply for the ATA carnet; more information on this is available on the ATA carnet site: ATA carnet.

Duration of temporary admission

The temporary admission procedure is generally restricted to two years.

A one-year extension of the duration of the temporary admission procedure may be requested no more than three times. Extension requests must be submitted in writing to the customs office that carried out the temporary admission procedure before the current period has expired.

If the goods are brought back to Switzerland after the temporary admission procedure has expired, the import duties generally have to be paid again. Under certain conditions, however, exemption from customs duty and tax is possible with classification as so-called domestic returned goods. This customs treatment has to be requested in the customs declaration. Information on this is available under Domestic returned goods.

Special rules apply for horses; information is available at: Horses - Temporary exportation.

Single or multiple border crossings

The temporary admission procedure is generally applied for one-off exportation and re-importation (return to the customs territory); partial imports are possible. Horses, commercial samples and means of transport may be brought across the border repeatedly if this is specifically requested.

Termination of the customs procedure

Upon termination of the temporary admission procedure, the goods are re-imported. Conclusion as such has to be requested at the import customs office using form no. 11.87, Customs declaration "Temporary admission / Conclusion". The original counterfoil from form no. 11.73 must also be presented.

If goods remain abroad permanently, they must be declared for exportation.

Value added tax

If any value-increasing work is carried out on the goods abroad (e.g. treatment, overhaul, etc.), the costs incurred will be subject to value added tax. It should not be forgotten to declare this work when the goods are re-imported into Switzerland. Information is available at: Value added tax.


Although the temporary admission procedure does make it possible to save on duties, it is associated with costly monitoring measures. Depending on the circumstances, permanent exportation followed by normal (re-) importation and payment of the applicable import duties could be less expensive.

Looking to the future
The temporary admission procedure is still processed using forms at present. This will soon change, however, as we are integrating the temporary admission procedure in our freight application "e-dec". It is expected that customs declarations for the temporary admission procedure will have to be submitted electronically: Customs declaration - e-dec Export.