Moving to Switzerland

Country Guide: Switzerland

Switzerland Flag

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.


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.

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