Declaring goods

Verbal customs declaration

When the border crossing is manned by Customs staff, you must spontaneously declare all goods (including animals and repairs carried out abroad) that you are carrying with you. The verbal declaration is binding.

Written customs declaration

In less frequented locations, there are more and more border crossings that are manned only from time to time, or not at all. To enable you to enter Switzerland even at these border crossings, we have introduced the new option of a written self-declaration. For the procedure, see declaration box

This form of customs declaration is permitted only for goods which are not intended to be sold or traded, which are not subject to any restrictions or bans, and require neither a certificate nor an authorisation. Merchandise must be declared at a competent customs office.

N.B. Customs inspections may also be carried out in Switzerland itself. In the case of such an inspection, it will no longer be possible to carry out a customs declaration which should have been done beforehand. Consequently, you are committing a criminal offence if you do not declare or falsely declare prohibited or dutiable goods or ones that require authorisation.

Red/green channels in airports

Cf. customs declaration air travel

Signage for unmanned border crossings

WITH possibility of written self-declaration:

You can use border crossings that bear this sign at all times, even if you are carrying declarable goods.

If Customs staff is present, you can declare your goods verbally.

If no Customs staff are present, you must declare your goods in writing.

WITHOUT possibility of written self-declaration:

You may use border crossings that bear this sign only if the following conditions are met:

The goods you are carrying

  • must be within the duty-free allowances and limits,
  • are not subject to any restrictions or bans, and
  • require neither a compulsory certificate nor authorisation. More

If you are carrying other goods, please use the nearest border crossing indicated on the sign.