Moving to Switzerland

Country Guide: Switzerland

Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Copy of Passport with clear photo
  • Copy of Bill of Lading (OBL) / CMR / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Original Customs Form 18.44 (Owner’s Declaration of Household Goods) signed by the shipper
  • Lease Agreement / Purchase Contract
  • Packing list in German, French, Italian or English
  • Attestation of Arrival delivered by the Contrôle de l’Habitant of city of residence (returning citizens)
  • Proof of stay more than 1 year outside of Switzerland (military booklet, attestation from Swiss Consulate, etc.) (returning citizens)
  • Copy of Work Permit / Swiss Pink Form / Demande d’Autorisation de Séjour delivered by the Citizens Control (Contrôle de l’Habitant) from the city of residence (foreigners)
  • Inventory verifying the number of packages and weight stated on the transit documents provided by the agent at origin (Diplomats)
  • Original Swiss Customs Form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed and stamped
  • Copy of “Carte de Légitimation” (Diplomats)
  • Detailed inventory (Diplomats)
  • Registration from local town hall (residents of EU countries)
  • Letter of Employment (Residents of European Union (EU) countries)
  • Residence Permit (non-EU residents, foreigners)
  • Registration from local town hall (non-EU residents, foreigners)

Specific Regulations

  • The “Carte de Légitimation” takes approximately 2 months to obtain (Diplomats).
  • Used household goods may be imported if in the owner’s possession and used abroad for at least 6 months, are for the continued use of the owner, and correspond to the normal requirements of an intended resident after importation.
  • Personal office goods and papers belonging to the owner are considered household goods.
  • If all paperwork is not available at Customs clearance, the shipment may be cleared on a provisional basis through a bonded Customs clearance procedure. However, additional charges may apply.
  • Returning Swiss citizens qualify for duty-free entry if the duration of employment abroad exceeded 12 months.
  • If possible, all goods should be imported in one consignment.
  • Later consignments should be listed on the inventory of the first consignment.
  • If a later shipment is to follow, it should be noted on the Owner’s Declaration of Personal Household Goods under the appropriate section.
  • If the owner can prove that he is unable to proceed with the clearance of a second shipment, Customs will extend a delay for clearance up to 24 months from the date of the first clearance.
  • Unaccompanied hand baggage may be imported duty free, provided it consists only of used personal effects and/or books. The shipment should be accompanied by an inventory and is subject to Customs inspection.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Official foreign Driver’s License
  • Original Title
  • Original Bill of Sale / Purchase Invoice

Specific Regulations

  • Items may be imported into Switzerland duty free if in theowner’s possession and used abroad for at least 6 months before the legal date of entry date shown on the Work Permit and will be used in Switzerland for a minimum period of 1 year.
  • It is necessary for the owner to provide an official foreign license showing the date of issue.
  • Motor vehicles must be owned for a minimum of 6 months prior to export from the origin country and registration in Switzerland.
  • Company cars may be imported duty free. In order to do so, the company will need to provide a written confirmation that the automobile has been for exclusive use of the shipper since a given date and state that the shipper is relocating to Switzerland.
  • This letter should be written and sent to Swiss Customs authorities 6 months prior to shipment.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinarian Health Certificate in German, French, Italian, or English
  • Blood analysis, if applicable

Specific Regulations

  • For countries with urban rabies, a blood analysis is required. The import of the pet can only be done 4 months after the vaccination.
  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must include the following information:
    • Name and address of owner
    • Description of animal (breed, sex, age, color)
    • An attestation that the animal was clinically examined by a veterinarian prior to vaccination and found to be healthy.
    • Date of the preventive vaccination against rabies, type of vaccine, name of vaccine producer, and serial number of vaccine
    • Stamp and signature of the veterinarian
  • The import of pets is allowed with some restrictions; check with the destination agent for details.
  • Potential shippers should contact a Swiss Customs authorities or a local agent in Switzerland no less than 6 months prior to import if it has not been determined the pet will be permitted for import.
  • The vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days prior but no more than 12 months after entering Switzerland.

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Written letter of confirmation
  • List of paintings with artist names and values

Specific Regulations

  • For all pictures and paintings, the shipper must submit a letter to Customs attesting that none of the imported items are original artwork.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Food products
  • Tobacco
  • New articles and consumer goods which do not correspond to normal household requirements
  • Weapons, including firearms (a permit is required)
  • The following conditions apply to the import of alcohol:
    • The duty-free allowance for alcohol under 12.5% depends upon the size of the move.
    • Swiss Customs authorities will personally assess whether the quantity of alcoholic beverages imported corresponds with the size of the shipment.
    • The maximum duty-free allowance is 200 liters (wine).
    • The maximum duty-free allowance for alcohol exceeding 12.5% is 12 liters alcohol by volume.

Prohibited Items

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Weapons (other than sporting and hunting guns)
  • Ammunition
  • Anti-radar equipment
  • Animal products from protected / endangered species (ivory, skins etc.)

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

Helpful Website(s):

http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/sz

http://bern.usembassy.gov