Redesign freight/taxes and duties

Brief summary

The aim of the project Redesign freight/taxes and duties is to simplify, harmonise and digitise the processes for importing, exporting and transiting goods (freight) and for levying taxes and duties (domestic taxation). A new unified IT platform (goods traffic system) will be made available for this purpose. The ultimate aim is to accelerate the flow of goods, reduce regulatory costs for business and allow more targeted checks.

Status and outlook

The new goods traffic system (GTS) will replace the existing freight applications e-dec and NCTS, as well as various tax collection applications. The GTS will be set up in stages and in numerous parallel activities (agile project method). Aside from the groundwork, concrete functionalities will be provided and introduced, first as a minimum viable product (MVP, first version covering the core requirements), and then gradually expanded (increments):

In the area of freight, two main directions are being pursued: fully digital prior notification of consignments and automatic identification of goods at border crossings (so-called activation).

Among other things, e-accompanying documents and e-com should contribute to fully digital and seamless communication between customs declarants and the Customs Administration. These are currently being tested in practice with pilot companies and will be introduced for all customs declarants on a voluntary basis in the first half of 2020. 

Various technical solutions are being sought for the automatic activation of customs declarations at border crossings. A pilot test with the GPS-based smartphone app Activ was launched in summer 2019. The same technology should be used for the regular importation of bulk goods such as gravel (periodic collective declaration); the Periodic app should be introduced gradually in the second half of 2020 following successful field tests.

Alignment with the EU's new Union Customs Code (UCC) is also part of the project. This is being achieved, among other things, through participation in the EU ICS 2 (Import Control System 2) project. ICS 2 reflects the stricter international standards for the prior notification of goods from third countries in a new IT system (introduction from 2021). This leads to better data quality and improves risk analysis. Another key international transit project is the alignment of the data models with international standards within the framework of the European project NCTS Phase 5. The new version of NCTS is to be introduced at the end of 2023 as part of the new GTS.

At the same time, existing applications will be stabilised and optimised until they are completely replaced by DaziT. One measure is the creation of a cloud-based "DocBox" in order to make obtaining electronic assessment decisions more customer-friendly.

The simplification and digitalisation of domestic tax collection will commence with the area of beer. Starting at the beginning of 2020, the first breweries should be able to declare their taxable beer volume and beer tax electronically (pilot).

International coordination has a high priority for the Redesign freight/taxes and duties project. To this end, the FCA maintains close contact with customs administrations in our neighbouring countries and with the European authorities. There is also a regular dialogue with business representatives. DaziT offers various working groups in which interested companies can share their practical experience. 

Object and purpose

The Redesign freight/taxes and duties central project contributes significantly to the simplification and acceleration of customs and tax collection procedures at the border and within Switzerland.

Eliminating disruptions, international compatibility and extensive automation reduce regulatory costs and increase flexibility for businesses.

Better monitoring of the flow of goods increases security for the public, businesses and the state.

The joint implementation in the areas of freight and taxes and duties brings many synergies. This saves time and effort and provides greater benefits for customers.

Results to date

In 2018, the Redesign freight project was initiated and the domestic taxation study (future operating model in the field of tax collection) was carried out. Many similarities between the areas of freight and taxes and duties became apparent. Numerous functionalities, such as the declaration of goods, can be used both for domestic production and for import, export or transit. For these reasons, the previous "Redesign freight" and "Redesign taxes and duties" projects will now be implemented as the joint "Redesign freight/taxes and duties" project.

The following interim results are already available:

  • Domestic taxation study (future operating model in tax collection 2026, 2018)
  • QuickZoll: Smartphone app for customs clearance of private goods in tourist traffic (2018)
  • Pilot projects with e-accompanying documents and e-com (regional tests and survey of optimisation needs, 2018)
  • DaziT and the business community: Eight working groups have been announced and operative project work has started with the business community
  • Activ app pilot project: Smartphone app for the automatic identification of goods when crossing the border

Questions and answers (FAQ)