Horses

Permanent importation

For horses from EU countries or Norway that are to remain permanently in Switzerland, the following documents are required: 

  • Commercial invoice or contract of sale
  • Equine passport

Please also note the veterinary rules on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO.

The import tax is comprised of import duty an VAT (2,5%). The import duty is charged per animal and is as follows:

Pure-bred breeding and other animals (tariff nos. 0101.2110 and 0101.2991)  
with tariff quota share (fixed quota tariff rate, KZA) 120.00 CHF
with tariff quota share (fixed quota tariff rate, KZA) and within the scope of the preferential tariff quota no. 119 (only tariff no. 0101.2991, with documentary evidence of origin) 0.00 CHF
Pure-bred breeding animals (tariff no. 0101.2190)  
without tariff quota share (out-of-quota tariff rate, AKZA) 3834.00 CHF
Others (tariff nos. 0101.2995, 0101.2996, 0101.2997)  
without tariff quota share (out-of-quota tariff rate, AKZA)  
height at the withers exceeding 1.48 m 3834.00 CHF
height at the withers exceeding 1.35 m but no more than 1.48 m 2250.00 CHF
height at the withers not exceeding 1.35 m 900.00 CHF

Tariff quota shares (3,822 shares) are allocated according to the order of acceptance of import customs declarations (i.e. first come, first served).

The quota tranches will be released as follows:

1st   Tranche:       1 January to 31. December        3000 animals
2nd   Tranche:       1 October to 31. December        822 animals
  

The current status of collective quotas can be checked here.

If the first tranche is used up before the second tranche is released, imports at the quota rate can't be made until the second tranche is released on 1 October. Are both tranches used up, imports at the quota rate can be made again on 1 January in the following year.

Once you have found all the necessary information, you...

  • can declare the horse electronically with the appropriate application; or
  • have it declared by a customs clearance agency/freight forwarder (see SPEDLOGSWISS).

Temporary importation

Horses that stay temporarily in Switzerland for specific purposes can be imported with a customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV). The import tax is levied via a cash deposit or surety bond (security) and is returned only if the ZAVV is duly terminated.

The possible ZAVV purposes are summarised in a table (available in German, French and Italian). This shows the conditions, period of validity and necessary security. Moreover, details are provided on the procedure for extending the ZAVV and whether multiple border crossings are allowed with the same document.

For customs clearance for temporary admission, the following documents must be presented to the customs office:

  • Equine passport
  • Documents in accordance with the table proving that the purpose requested actually applies (e.g. schooling or training contracts)
  • Documents certifying the value
  • ZAVV (form 11.73 or 11.74)

Please also note the veterinary rules on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO

If the documents for the declared purpose are not meaningful enough and if the horse owner is domiciled abroad, only a ZAVV for "other purposes" is considered.

While the ZAVV is still valid and insofar as this is permitted in accordance with the table, a written request for a deadline extension can be submitted, together with the original ZAVV and the documents stipulated in the table, to the customs office that originally carried out the clearance.

If the animal is not re-exported during the period of validity of the ZAVV, the holder of the ZAVV undertakes to pay the highest amount of import duty (out-of-quota tariff rate, AKZA) applicable at the time of issue, expiry or import customs clearance from the ZAVV.

Improper use of customs clearance for temporary admission, e.g. providing false information regarding the purpose of importation, will result in cancellation of the clearance for temporary admission and the levying of import tax.

If there are doubts as to whether the case genuinely concerns temporary admission into Switzerland, the customs offices are entitled to refuse clearance with a ZAVV.

The ZAVV is a national customs document and is intended only for temporary importation into and re-exportation out of Switzerland. Therefore, it is necessary to enquire about the customs formalities in the country of origin.

Horse owners resident abroad may also use an ATA Carnet for certain purposes (see table). Additional information about the ATA Carnet can be obtained from your local chamber of commerce.

Permanent exportation

For horses that are permanently exported, an export declaration is to be requested from the Swiss Customs Administration. No further formalities are required in Switzerland and no taxes are levied.

You are advised to enquire about the customs regulations of the destination country and any transit countries prior to exportation. Information in this regard is to be obtained directly from the relevant customs administrations.

Once you have found all the necessary information, you...

  • can declare the horse electronically with the appropriate application; or
  • have it declared by a customs clearance agency/freight forwarder (see SPEDLOGSWISS).

Temporary exportation

A ZAVV that is valid for multiple border crossings or an ATA Carnet can be used for the temporary exportation of horses.

The ZAVV is a national customs document and is intended only for the temporary exportation of goods that are subsequently reimported into Switzerland. Therefore, it is necessary to enquire about the customs formalities in the destination country. Moreover, it should be noted that the ZAVV is valid for two years. It may be extended three times by one year each time if an application for an extension is submitted during the period of validity. Once this period of validity has expired, horses may be reimported free of customs duties as indigenous goods returned, provided the legal requirements are fulfilled.

Please note that clearance with a ZAVV must also be carried out for ordinary cross-border riding excursions.

The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that facilitates completion of the customs formalities in Switzerland as well as in all other countries that have signed the Convention Relating to Temporary Admission dated 26 June 1990. Additional information about the ATA Carnet can be obtained from your local chamber of commerce.

Note:

Expenses incurred abroad for schooling, training, dressage, covering, veterinary treatment, etc. are subject to VAT and must be declared upon entering Switzerland.

Contact

Opening hours + addresses

Customs Information Office

Tel.
+41 58 467 15 15

Monday to Friday
8am to 11.30am and 1.30pm to 5pm

Contact form

Print contact

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/content/ezv/en/home/information-individuals/animals-and-plants/horses.html