Horses - Temporary exportation

Horses that go abroad temporarily for specific purposes can be exported with a customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV) and be re-imported into Switzerland free of customs duties and VAT. This customs declaration can also be valid for multiple border crossings.

The following documents have to be presented to the customs office at the time of declaration:

The customs declaration for temporary admission is a national customs document and is intended only for temporary exportation and re-importation into Switzerland. It is also necessary to enquire about the customs formalities abroad.

Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO.

Value added tax

Expenses incurred abroad for schooling, training, dressage, covering, veterinary treatment, etc. are subject to VAT. It should not be forgotten to declare these when the horse is re-imported into Switzerland (Value added tax).

Deadline extensions

The temporary admission procedure is limited to two years. If a deadline extension request is submitted before the existing deadline expires, a one-year extension may be granted up to three times. Once the period of validity has expired, horses may only be re-imported duty-free as domestic returned goods if the applicable legal requirements are fulfilled (cf. Fact sheet 18.85 "Customs and tax treatment of domestic returned goods").

ATA carnet

The ATA carnet is an international customs document. The customs formalities for Switzerland and foreign countries can be completed with this document. Further information on the ATA carnet is available at the following link: ATA carnet.


A customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV) can be requested for ordinary cross-border riding excursions with a domestic horse.

Information on permanent exportation from Switzerland is available at the following link: Horses - Permanent exportation.