Horses - Temporary importation

Horses that stay temporarily in Switzerland for specific purposes can be imported with a customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV). The applicable import duties are secured with a cash deposit or surety bond that is refunded once the temporary admission procedure has been duly completed.

The possible purposes are summarised in the table "Equine animals – temporary importation and exportation" (--> further info). It contains the relevant prerequisites, periods of validity and necessary security. Moreover, details are provided on whether the temporary admission procedure can be extended and whether multiple border crossings are allowed with the same document.

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

If the horse owner is domiciled abroad and the documents for the declared purpose are not meaningful, the temporary admission procedure can be requested only for "other purposes".

If the animal is not re-exported by the deadline, the applicant undertakes to pay the highest amount of import duty (out-of-quota tariff rate, AKZA) applicable at the time of issue or definitive assessment.

Abusive use of the customs declaration for temporary admission, e.g. specification of incorrect intended use, will result in cancellation of the procedure and the levying of import duties. If the customs office has doubts concerning the temporary use in Switzerland, it can refuse clearance with a customs declaration for temporary admission and require a permanent customs declaration.

The customs declaration for temporary admission is a national customs document and is intended only for temporary importation into and re-exportation out of 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.

Deadline extensions

The table mentioned above indicates whether a deadline extension is possible for the purpose in question. A written request for a deadline extension has to be submitted to the customs office before the existing deadline expires. The original ZAVV form and all associated documents must be enclosed with the request.

ATA carnet

Horse owners resident abroad may use an ATA carnet under certain conditions (see the "Temporary importation of horses" table in German, French or Italian). Further information on the ATA carnet is available at the following link: ATA carnet.

Information on permanent importation into Switzerland is available at the following link: Horses - Permanent importation.

Our opening hours and addresses

Please note the customs office opening hours for the declaration (customs clearance) of merchandise. Declarations can be made from Monday to Friday during clearance hours; some customs offices are also open on Saturday mornings.

The detailed opening hours are available in the list of customs offices.