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Import duty & taxes when importing into Switzerland

Overview

Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into Switzerland whether by a private individual or a commercial entity.  Import duty is calculated based on weight, a trait particular to Switzerland.  In addition to duty, imports are subject to sales tax (VAT) which is calculated based on CIFD, i.e. the cost of goods, insurance, freight and any applicable duty.   Certain goods are also subject to excise duties.

Duty Rates

Duty rates in Switzerland vary by weight and by product.  For example, sports shoes have a duty rate of CHF206.00 per 100 kg, and a cotton dress has a duty rate of CHF171.00 per 100 kg.  Some goods can be imported free of duty (e.g. books, laptops and other electronic products).                       

Sales Tax

VAT is levied on imports at a rate of 8% calculated on the sum of the CIF value and duty.  Some basic necessities such as foodstuffs are subject to a reduced rate of 2.5%.

Minimum thresholds

For imports into Switzerland, there are minimum thresholds below which duty and VAT are waived.

Duty is not charged if:

  • the amount of duty payable does not exceed CHF5.00 
     
VAT is not charged if:
 
  • the amount of VAT payable does not exceed CHF5.00


Other taxes and customs fees

Excise duty is applicable on some goods such as alcohol and tobacco products. 

Local Customs office and contacts

More information on import declaration procedures and import restrictions can be found at Swiss Federal Customs Administration.