Importation into Switzerland

When you enter Switzerland, personal effects, travelling provisions and fuel in the tank of your vehicle are tax and duty-free. For other goods being carried, VAT and duty will be levied depending on their total value (over CHF 300) and according to the quantity. However, duty will only be levied on foodstuffs, tobacco, alcohol and fuel. Please note that not all goods are allowed to be imported. Further information can be found under bans and restrictions.

Goods exempt from tax and duty

When you return from abroad or enter Switzerland, you may import the following goods tax and duty-free:

Personal effects
These include personal effects which:

  • people living in Switzerland take along when going abroad;
  • persons living abroad use during their stay in Switzerland and re-export when they leave.

Included, for instance, are items of clothing, underwear, toiletries, sports gear, photo and film cameras, camcorders, mobile phones, portable computers and musical instruments.

Travelling provisions
Foodstuff ready to eat and non-alcoholic beverages for the day of travelling.

Fuel that is in the tank of private vehicles is tax and duty-free. Additional fuel (e.g. in a spare fuel can) up to a maximum of 25 litres is also tax and duty-free. The allowances are granted only once per vehicle per day. More information

Other goods

Other goods for your personal use or intended as gifts can be imported exempt from customs duty and VAT so long as you can answer «no» to the questions in the two sections in the following chart.

From 1 July 2014, there are new provisions for goods which you import into Switzerland. You can check in two steps whether or not you will have to pay duty and how much duty you will have to pay: 1. Does the total value of all goods exceed CHF 300? No: exempt from VAT. Yes: VAT due on the total value. 2. Have the duty-free allowances been exceeded? No: duty-free. Yes: the excess quantities are dutiable: More than 1 kg of meat and meat products: up to 10 kg: CHF 17 per kg; more than 10 kg: CHF 23 per kg More than 1 kg/litre of butter or cream: CHF 16 per kg/litre More than 5 kg/litres of oil, fats or margarine: CHF 2 per kg/litre More than 5 litres of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content by volume of up to 18%: CHF 2 per litreMore than 1 litre of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content by volume of more than 18%: CHF 15 per litre More than 250 units of cigarettes/cigars: CHF 0.25 per unitMore than 250 grammes of other tobacco products: CHF 0.10 per gramme


  • Our QuickZoll app is a convenient way to declare goods for importation for your own use/as a gift and to pay any applicable duties and taxes directly.
  • You can also use the app to calculate in advance the costs for importing goods. 

Notes: It is forbidden to import

  • animal products from countries other than the EU and Norway 
  • plants (including fruit, vegetables and seeds) from non-EU countries (the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and the French overseas territories are not regarded as EU countries).

More detailed information and the tolerated exceptions can be found here:

Infographic tourist traffic (PDF, 70 kB, 16.02.2018)Open the graphic as PDF for better legibility or to print it.

Refund of foreign VAT

We are unable to refund foreign VAT. Information on this and on other countries' duty-free allowances can be obtained from the WCO or from the corresponding foreign representation in Switzerland.

Prohibitions and restrictions

Attention: Certain goods (e.g. counterfeits, weapons and certain plants, animals, animal products and goods subject to species protection) are subject to import bans or to specific restrictions. Further information

Other information which must be heeded when entering Switzerland can be found at the following links:

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