Clearance of consignments of household effects can only take place in principle from Monday to Friday during the opening hours of the customs offices responsible for commercial goods (Saturday morning only some big customs offices are open).
The inventory list may be drawn up on a blank sheet of paper, mentioning for example xx boxes of books, xx boxes of clothes and xx boxes of dishes.
Bulkier articles such as furniture, objects of value, big appliances, etc., or articles subject to restrictions such as alcoholic beverages, weapons, etc., are to be listed individually and in detail.
The goods for which the tax exemption conditions are not met (e.g. a purchase made less than six (6) months before the transfer of domicile) must be indicated at the bottom of the list under the heading "Goods to be taxed" indicating the value; providing purchase receipts facilitates taxation.
In a case such as this, the customs office will proceed with provisional clearance of the consignment and a guarantee will be required. After the required documents have been submitted within a deadline of six (6) months, the guarantee will be refunded after a handling fee has been deducted.
Submitting the residence permit is not an absolute requirement. Proof that the transfer of domicile has taken place must be provided. The declaration of departure from the foreign country in connection with the contract of employment and the tenancy agreement may also act as proof. It is the customs office which is ultimately responsible for assessing whether or not the documents submitted are sufficient for the conditions for tax exemption to be met. In the case of insufficient documentation, please refer to question 8.
Subsequent consignments must already be declared to the customs office at the time of the initial consignment on a separate list. This may also concern a vehicle. The detailed formalities must be attended to directly with the customs office concerned. If the consignment was not reported at the time of the initial importation, please refer to question 11.
The household effects should be imported during the period of transfer of domicile. No problem is posed if this occurs within a period of 2 years. The main prerequisite that the articles should have been used for a period of at least six (6) months before the transfer of domicile must nonetheless be respected. With regard to subsequent consignments, tax exemption will only be granted under certain conditions.
The vehicle must be declared directly on importation into Switzerland. If the household effects and the car are imported separately, the procedure must be carried out as indicated under question 10; separate clearance at a different customs office is also possible.
This question has to be resolved independently of the customs formalities. Customs formalities must in all cases be carried out when the vehicle is imported before changing the registration number of the car. Registration can be carried out up to one year after the transfer of domicile. You will find further details on this topic at the Road Traffic Office in your canton of domicile.
In addition to the documents belonging to the vehicle a declaration from the person/company shown in the documents has to be submitted. It must be clear which person(s), from when and for what reason the vehicle was used by the person(s) other than those mentioned in the documents belonging to the vehicle.
No, customs formalities do not take account of the fact that the vehicle is leased but the number plate change may be affected. For more information, please enquire at the Road Traffic Office in your canton of domicile.
In terms of exemption from the payment of duties the same rules apply as for goods. The animals must therefore be mentioned in the inventory list. Nonetheless, please also note the veterinary regulations to be followed. You can obtain further information from the Federal Veterinary Office (FVO) in Bern (http://www.bvet.admin.ch/). If the animals are to be imported separately from the household effects, please see question 10.
Vehicles with a permissible maximum weight of up to 3.5 tonnes are subject to a charge for the use of motorways. For more details click here.
Heavy vehicle charge
Vehicles with a permissible maximum weight greater than 3.5 tonnes are subject to a heavy vehicle charge for the use of all roads. For more details click here.
Overloading Please ensure that the vehicle transporting the household effects is within the load weight indicated in the vehicle documents. In the event of excess weight, the customs office will not allow you to continue your journey.
Driving hours Vehicles with a permissible maximum weight of more than 3.5 tonnes are subject to a driving ban during the night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. as well as on Sundays and on public holidays.Importation of animals See question 20
Importation of protected plants and animals (Washington Convention - CITES). See question 22
All you need to do is to submit an inventory list in duplicate indicating your addresses to the customs office for commercial goods during opening hours. With regard to the entry formalities of your country of destination, the authorities of the foreign country will be able to provide you with more information.