Drugs and narcotics are prohibited. There are restrictions on importation of firearms, ammunition, ivory, skins and food.


Household goods can be imported duty free providing that:

  • All items (incl. car, aircraft or boat) have been in the use and possession of the immigrant for at least 6 months
  • The immigrant continues to keep all items for his own and personal use (motor vehicle for at least one year).
  • The importation takes place during the 1-year period of transfer of the residence.
  • Any foreseen subsequent consignment must be reported and listed at the time of the first importation.
  • Up to 200 liters of alcohol below 25º can be imported duty and tax-free and a maximum of 12 liters for alcohol over 25º.


  • Immigrant’s personal customs declaration (Customs form18.44). (English explanation page)
  • Detailed inventory of the goods (in French, German or Italian). New items must be listed and valued separately on the inventory.
  • Photostat copy of the passports basic data.
  • Lease or property title of the residence in Switzerland.
  • The Swiss residence permit (or equivalent official certificate).
  • Copy of the registration card and licence of motor vehicle.


Cars must have been owned (not just used) for six months preceding importation and must not be sold for twelve months following importation into Switzerland.
Cars may be imported duty free provided that the owner has used them for at least 6 months overseas. New cars are subject to VAT, duty and statistical tax.


Dogs and cats do not require quarantine provided that they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before. A certificate to this effect must be produced together with a copy of the passport.
Under certain circumstances, when these documents cannot all be met at the time the shipment is being cleared, it is possible to obtain a temporary entry. In such cases it is required to put up a bond with Swiss customs for as long as the entry is not finalized. The missing document has been presented within 6 months. Please note that customs will charge additional cost for the temporary clearance, around SFr.100.00-300.00.

IMPORTANT: This information is intended for general guidance. Forward Van Lines International cannot take responsibility for any errors or oversights or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. It is advisable to contact the Switzerland Embassy at https://www.eda.admin.ch/washington for more information prior to your shipping.

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