Arrival by boat

Travelling by boat to Switzerland?

For persons crossing the border in a private boat registered in Switzerland, the following applies:

If you are only carrying goods that are intended for your private use or as a gift,

passing the landing point (customs border) is considered to be an informal customs declaration.

For all other cases, the following applies:

You must report to a Swiss customs dock and declare the boat and the goods you are carrying. You may then moor the boat to the Swiss shore or to an anchored buoy.

Special provisions for Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano:
When entering Switzerland by boat via Lake Maggiore or Lake Lugano in Ticino, you are obliged to make a declaration to customs immediately upon entering Swiss customs territory. The skipper must also report directly to the respective customs dock.

Travel documents

All passengers on board must hold a valid travel document recognised by Switzerland. This applies even if the boat does not call at a port or does not land or moor elsewhere in Switzerland.

Information on entering and staying in Switzerland can be obtained from the State Secretariat for Migration.

Declaring boats

If you enter Switzerland via boundary waters, you must report to a customs dock and declare the boat at the customs office responsible.

Further information can be found at the following link:

Work (repairs) carried out on private boats registered in Switzerland

Any work (repairs/conversions) carried out on your boat abroad must be declared at the customs dock. Additional information is available at the following link:

Private boats registered abroad

Please note the special regulations for boats

Swiss customs dock

The customs docks are marked with a corresponding sign. The current opening hours are available in the list of customs offices.

On Lake Geneva (Lac Léman):

  • Lausanne-Ouchy
  • Genève (Centrale d'engagement Ouest, tel. +41 (0)800 22 20 40)
  • Hermance

On Lake Constance, Untersee and Rhine:

  • Romanshorn
  • Rheinkilometer 170 Basel-Kleinhüningen (Basel Nord border guard post)

On Lake Lugano (Lago di Lugano):

  • Arriving from the eastern side of the lake (Porlezza and surroundings): Gandria
  • Arriving from the western side of the lake (Porto Ceresio - Ponte Tresa, Italy): Ponte Tresa and Brusino (outside office opening hours, use the self-declaration box)

On Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore):

  • Madonna di Ponte