Selling and serving alcoholic beverages

Commercial purposes

Retail permit

If you wish to sell spirits in a shop or serve spirits in a restaurant or distribute them online or sell them in fast food stores, you will need a retail permit. This permit must be applied for from the competent canton, i.e. the canton in which trade will be conducted. For sales by private individuals to other private individuals, it is best to find out from the competent canton from which amounts you require a retail permit.

Age limits

In the case of selling and serving spirits, you must abide by the age limits. It is prohibited to sell spirits to under 18s.

Rules on advertising

In addition, you should acquaint yourself with the advertising regulations; happy hours or price comparisons for spirits, for example, are not allowed.

Trade ban

In accordance with Article 41 of the Alcohol Act, retail trade in distilled spirits is prohibited:

  • in itinerant sales;
  • on streets and in areas that are accessible to the public;
  • by peddling;
  • through vending machines accessible to the general public;
  • at prices which do not ensure that costs are covered; by granting extras and other advantages which are supposed to attract customers;
  • by selling to children and adolescents under 18 years of age;
  • by offering free of charge for advertising purposes to an unlimited number of people. 

Private individuals

For sales by private individuals to other private individuals, it is best to find out from the competent canton from which amounts you require a retail permit.

Contact

Federal Customs Administration
Alcohol and tobacco division
Route de la Mandchourie 25
2800 Delémont

Tel.
+41 58 462 65 00
Fax
+41 58 463 18 28

info.aat@ezv.admin.ch

Print contact

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/content/ezv/en/home/topics/alcohol/spirituosen_verkauf.html