Personal goods which are liable to duty and are destined for transit through Switzerland must be declared verbally when entering Switzerland.
Personal goods worth a total of less than CHF 5,000
If the total value of the personal goods to be transported through Switzerland does not exceed CHF 5,000, clearance generally occurs informally at the border. This regulation does not apply for alcoholic beverages, foodstuffs and tobacco goods which are liable to duty.
When it is suspected that the goods will not be re-exported, customs offices may demand a deposit even for goods worth a total of less than CHF 5,000.
Deposit for personal goods worth a total of more than CHF 5,000
For alcoholic beverages, agricultural products (e.g. meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, oils, fats, cereals, flour, pome fruit juices), tobacco products and personal goods worth over CHF 5,000, a transit receipt is issued by the customs office when entering Switzerland.
Upon entry, the border customs office levies a flat-rate deposit equivalent to approximately 10% of the value of the goods. This deposit is refunded by the customs office of exit if the goods are re-exported in full. The customs office of exit and entry do not have to be the same.
If the deposit is paid in cash (CHF, EUR, USD, GBP), it will always be refunded in CHF. It can also be paid by credit card; the sum is credited to the same credit card upon re-exportation.
Departure from Switzerland must take place at a manned border crossing in order for the exportation of the goods to be confirmed (deletion of transit and refund of deposit).
The transit of certain goods is prohibited, restricted or possible only with authorisation. Information can be found at the following links: CITES species protection, weapons and ammunition, counterfeiting. General information is available at the following link: Customs information for private individuals - Transit.
You leave the EU Customs Union when transiting through Switzerland. To ensure unproblematic exportation and re-importation into the EU, contact all relevant customs administrations beforehand:
For Italy: http://www.agenziadogane.it/
For Germany: http://www.zoll.de/
For France: www.douane.gouv.fr
For Austriche: www.bmf.gv.at/zoll
For other countries: WCO - National Customs Websites