The Border Guard generally performs the same tasks as Customs and works closely together with it. The specific skills of each are shared with each other. BG and Customs employees are sworn in.

The Swiss Border Guard has three strategic areas of responsibility:

  • Customs
  • Security
  • Migration

At the borders, these are the Swiss Border guards core areas of responsibilities, i.e. they fall within its primary remit. In the border regions, in rail traffic, and at airports, the primary core responsibility is customs, in addition to the tasks delegated by the cantons.

Customs responsibilities

Customs responsibilities include:

  • Combatting smuggling of goods subject to duties or licences as well as prohibited goods such as weapons, narcotics, etc.
  • Levying of taxes and duties such as value added tax, customs duties, and road traffic duties.
  • Fulfilment of responsibilities in the fields of economic, trade, health and environmental policing, such as combatting black market labour, trading in counterfeit trademarked articles and counterfeit drugs, as well as trading in protected animal and plant species.

Security police responsibilities

Security police responsibilities include:

  • Searches for persons, property, and vehicles and exposure of counterfeit documents in the fight against cross-border crime.
  • Control of cross-border cash transactions in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Security operations to defend against punishable acts on board Swiss aircraft on international commercial flights.

Migration responsibilities

Migration responsibilities include:

  • Passport controls as customs police at Schengen external borders of Switzerland at the international airports of Geneva, Basel, and Lugano-Agno.
  • Prevention of illegal entry, transit, or departure as well as illegal stays.
  • Combatting human smuggling and trading.

Integration in the Federal Customs Administration

As the BG is part of the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) in organisational terms, the integration and close cooperation are reflected in:

  • Joint actions with Customs and Customs Investigation.
  • Shared use of resources and infrastructure with Customs.
  • Integration in the Federal Customs Administration's support structures (e.g. finances, IT, personnel, etc.).
  • Shared use of the training centre in Liestal (AZL).