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Moving to Switzerland


Capital: Bern
Population: Bern
Area: 15,940 sq. mi
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Zurich 2. Geneva 3. Basel 4. Bern 5. Lausanne
Lanuage: German, French, Italian and Romansh
Climate: Temperate and Mediterranean
Motto: “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno” / “One for all, all for one”

Moving to Switzerland? Let Nationwide Van Lines make it a great experience. Our staff specializes in providing you honest and professional service. We are ready to hold your hand each and every step of the way. Contact us today to begin your stress-free international move!

Required Documents for Import

Documentation is very important for your overseas venture. Please take a look at some of the expected documents.

Customs Form 18.44 – Your declaration of your household goods

Swiss Customs Form 14.60 – Provided by your employer with signature and stamp

Import Requirements and Documentation

Below, you will find many of the documents Customs will be expecting. Please take a look to familiarize yourself with such documents.

  • A copy of your Bill of Lading
  • A copy of your Passport with a clear photo
  • Residence Permit if you are a non-EU resident or a foreigner
  • Your registration from your local town hall if you are not a Diplomat or returning citizen
  • A detailed Inventory List stating the quantity of packages and weight if you are a Diplomat
  • Your Packing List in the English, French, German or Italian language
  • 3 copies of your Inventory List in the English, French, German or Italian language
  • A Letter of Employment if you are a residence of an EU state
  • Your Lease Agreement
  • A copy of your Carte de Legimation (takes 2 months to process) if you are a Diplomat
  • Proof of living abroad for no less than a year if you are a returning citizen
  • Your Purchase Contract

Additional detailed document requirements

  • Your goods must be in your possession for at least 6 months abroad prior to import, used by you continuingly and meets the normal requirements for importation.
  • An Attestation of Arrival that’s delivered by the Controle de l’Habitant of city of residence if you are a returning citizen.
  • Personal office goods and papers owned by you are considered household goods.
  • A copy of your Work Permit, Swiss Pink Form and a Demande d’Autorisation de Sejour that’s delivered by the Citizens Control (Controle de l’Habitant) from the city of residence if you are a foreigner.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in Switzerland along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

Once your items has arrived to Switzerland, duties and fees may be enforced. Duties averages to 3.2% and your Valued-added Tax of 8%. If you are a returning citizen, you must have been employed abroad for at least a year for duty-free import. Unaccompanied hand baggage can be imported free of duties if contents are used personal effects and/or books and accompanied with an inventory. Wedding gifts must be shipped no less than 3 months after the wedding date for free duty. Antiques that are older than 100 years can be imported without a charge of duty. Artwork properly documented is also duty-free. You must be present with residency in Switzerland in order to have a duty-free shipment.

Duty-free Items

You must be 17 years of age or older to import the following duty-free.

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
  • 2 liters of alcohol with 15% or less volume
  • 1 liter of alcohol with over 15% volume
  • $314.38 USD or less worth of gifts

Labeling and Marking Requirements

The correct labeling and markings are very important for Customs. Each mark and label should be in the English language. Please take a look below to discover the marking and labeling requirements.

  • The name and address of the importer
  • The country of Origin
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list
  • The quantity

Prohibited Items

There are certain prohibited items when it comes to importing. Please take a look below at some of the items deemed as prohibited.

  • Narcotics
  • Ammunition
  • Counterfeit items
  • Cash
  • Drugs
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Foreign currency
  • Cultural property
  • medicines
  • Protected and endangered animals and their parts
  • Anti-radar equipment

Restricted Items

There are certain restrictions when importing items into Switzerland. Please take a look at some of the restrictions below.

  • Weapons and firearms require permits.
  • Foodstuff
  • New items will have extra fees
  • Spirits will be charge duties
  • Jewelry must have a detailed description of the components.
  • Artwork and paintings must have written confirmation and a list of paintings with the artist name and values. None of the artwork can be originals.
  • Plants, seeds, vegetables and fruits will need a Phytosanitary Health Certificate
  • Tobacco
  • Knives have restrictions of blade length. A permit may be needed.

Receiving your Household Goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Switzerland, please take a look at the websites below.

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.