Tea from Asia, furniture from Sweden or computers from America: every day, several thousand tonnes of the most diverse goods cross the Swiss border. They arrive in our country by road, rail, waterway, air or even pipeline.
Approximately 1,400 customs experts are responsible for check-ing some 70,000 goods consignments daily. They check to see if the goods have been correctly declared, determine the applicable taxes and duties and ensure compliance with numerous provisions aimed at protecting people and the economy.
They compare the goods declaration with the commercial invoice or delivery note with the help of IT applications, and clarify inconsistencies directly with the carriers.
As a further measure, customs experts can also inspect goods directly in lorries or freight buildings. With these onsite checks, they protect Swiss consumers from counterfeits, products that pose a health risk or any epidemics. To do so, they work together with legal experts and analysis laboratories.
Other civil employees have various occupations. In order to be able to carry out all of the duties delegated by the legislator, lawyers, economists, chemists and some 900 administrative employees work at the Federal Customs Administration.
Together, they do everything they can to facilitate border-crossing for companies and thus boost Switzerland as a business location. This includes carrying out customs clearance of goods directly at the premises of the sender or recipient, as well as providing individual pieces of information. At the same time, the foreign trade statistics provide companies with important market analysis data.