All goods brought into Switzerland are subject to duty. If you only transit through Switzerland with personal goods, you generally have to pay a deposit to cover the duty on entry, but it will be refunded when you leave the country.
On entry, you have to declare the personal goods intended for transit.
No declaration is required for the following goods:
- Duty-free personal effects and travel provisions
- Goods in quantities that are within the tax-free limit of CHF 300 and the duty-free allowances for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs and that can be imported into Switzerland duty-free
Please note that the transit of certain goods is prohibited or allowed only with permits (e.g. weapons, counterfeits and goods subject to species protection). Information is available at the following link: Restrictions.
Personal goods up to CHF 5,000
When personal goods whose total value does not exceed CHF 5,000 are transported through Switzerland, customs clearance at the border is usually carried out without you having to pay duties. However, this is not the case for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs that exceed the duty-free allowances. If the customs office suspects that the goods will not be re-exported, it may demand a deposit even if the total value is less than CHF 5,000.
Deposit for personal goods worth a total of more than CHF 5,000
You have to pay a deposit for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs that exceed the duty-free allowances, as well as for personal goods worth a total of more than CHF 5,000. This deposit will be refunded to you by the customs office of exit if you re-export all of the goods within the set timeframe (time required for transit).
On entry, the border customs office issues a transit receipt and collects a flat-rate deposit equivalent to approximately 10% of the value of the goods. If the deposit is paid in cash (CHF, EUR, USD, GBP), it will always be refunded in CHF (Swiss francs). It can also be paid by credit card; the sum is credited to the same credit card upon re-exportation.
You must leave Switzerland via a manned border crossing in order for the exportation of the goods to be confirmed and for your deposit to be refunded. The detailed opening hours are available in the list of customs offices.