(Country code: CH)
Maximum Coverage = Maximum Declared Value for Carriage for the Priority™ Worldwide service.
An import permit is required for many goods. Before posting any item, senders should confirm that the addressee has any necessary permit. Senders should determine import restrictions from the country's authorities before posting:
- animals and animal products
- feathers and down
- fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic invertebrates
- hides and skins, raw
- live animals
- live insects, acarida and nematodes
- metals, precious, articles made of
- plant products
- pharmaceutical products
- serums and vaccines
- shoulder rifles (exception of hunting/sporting)
- vegetable products
- young potatoe plants
Intellectual Property Rights
Switzerland is a signatory to the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty and protects the rights of those holding patents from other member countries as well as those of their citizens. Strong protection is also afforded to trademarks and service marks as well as other intellectual property rights.
Swiss law permits the owner or authorized licensee to object to the importation of goods that allegedly infringe upon their intellectual property rights. The request must be presented in writing to Customs and include a number of details including a copy of the registration document and a precise description of the goods. Requests are subject to a fee, and Customs requires surety in case a third party claims damages. Customs will investigate and, if the objection is supported, will seize the offending goods. Information regarding the fee and the details to be included in the request are available on the Customs website under Importation Notices.
Goods Subject to Import Controls
The following goods are restricted by law and subject to import approval and/or must meet other regulatory requirements but are acceptable for importation on PriorityTM Worldwide service:
- alcoholic beverages
- watches, jewelry.
Exemption from duty and tax is granted to unsolicited gift shipments valued at 100 CHF per person or less providing they are between private parties and do not contain tobacco, liquor, coffee, tea, oil, meat or poultry products.
In addition to items considered non-mailable matter, the following are prohibited:
- absinthe and related products
- cash and securities
- counterfeit items
- cultural hertiage
- lottery tickets
- foreign currency
- offensive items and propaganda
- plant products infested by pests or pathogenic agents
- potatoes of non European origin
- radar detectors (Although these goods are forbidden for import and export, they may be designated for return if properly requested and declared to customs and the goods have not already been given a directive to be destroyed.)
- spying devices, miniature.
Information regarding Customs can be found in "Customs Requirements" of the Canada Postal Guide.
Required for all import and export shipments. The gross weight of the goods is required including the net weight may benefit the importer by reducing duty or taxes on certain goods and may exempt certain low weight shipments from license or permit requirements.
Certificate of Origin
Certificates of Origin are used by Switzerland to determine shipments eligible for preferential duty treatment. The EUR1 form is required under trade agreements with certain European trade groups. The GSP Form A is required when preferential treatment under World Trade Organization agreements is requested for shipments from developing countries. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in the possession of the importer at the time of entry. Copies are not acceptable. The country of origin of the goods must also be detailed on the commercial invoice.
Declarations / Notifications
Certain goods require that the importer or exporter provide the government with particular shipment information after customs clearance of the goods. These goods may be exempt from license or other regulatory requirements.
Certain goods require import approval from one or more government ministries. The importer must submit an application form to the regulating ministry, which will apply its stamp/seal to the import approval application form when it grants approval. Although there is one primary import approval application form, certain commodities (textiles, whale products, food, plant products, animal products, etc.) require a form specific to the commodity.
This is certification from the appropriate government agency in the country of export that certifies that the plant or plant product is free from disease. Swiss regulations may also require that the foreign agency certify that the area in which the plant was grown or processed is free from particular pests or diseases.
This is certification from the appropriate government agency in the country of export that the animal or meat product is disease free and/or that the area where the animal lived or the product was processed is free from particular pests or diseases.
The “Mail Order Regulation” came into force on 1 January 2019. As a result, foreign mail order companies with an annual turnover of CHF 100,000 and above originating from small consignments(tax amount equal to CHF 5.00 or less) sent to customers in Switzerland will now be liable to pay value added tax to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. The arrangements you need to make as a retailer affected by this regulation – be they one-off or recurring – for the sending of international postal consignments into Switzerland are set out as follows.
Obligation to register
As a foreign mail order company, you need to register with the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) at Registration for VAT as well as with Swiss Post (see next section) in order to send international postal consignments to Switzerland. Please also refer to the information provided by the Federal Tax Administration at www.estv.admin.ch (search term “mail order business”). Registration with Swiss Post is required to ensure correct customs clearance and invoicing for your consignments. In the absence of registration, import tax may be wrongly charged to the recipient or the consignment may be returned.
Registering with Swiss Post
A dedicated website will be available to you for online registration from October 2018. Registration is performed in two steps:
- You need a “Swiss Post Customer Login” to ensure import tax is charged correctly.
- Once successfully registered, you can then apply for a billing relationship at “Post CH Ltd customer invoice”.
Registering for a “Swiss Post Customer Login”
Register at www.swisspost.ch under “Login” as a foreign mail order company with Swiss Post. Your contact data will be verified following registration. Using your “Swiss Post Customer Login”, you can download the electronic tax assessment decisions (eVV) for your consignments being sent into Switzerland.
“Post CH Ltd customer invoice” registration
After successfully registering at “Swiss Post customer login”, the next step involves registering at “Post CH Ltd customer invoice”.
This opens the billing relationship between you, the foreign mail order company, and Swiss Post. You will need to provide a guarantee
deposit following registration.
Labelling of international postal items
As a foreign mail order company, you will have registered with the Federal Tax Administration (FTA). However, to ensure your consignments are properly processed, cleared through customs and billed, consignments need to be labelled in accordance with certain specifications. If the labelling is incorrect, import tax may be wrongly charged to the recipient or the consignment may be returned.
Swiss Post cannot detect collective items and is not logistically able to collectively process individual packaged items from a consignment.
This means you need to attach the following documents and labels to each parcel:
- CN22/23 declaration according to UPU specifications
- Address label
- Label for identifying the sender: this only contains the name of the foreign mail order company and its value added tax number (EU VAT ID no.) It may not contain any address data VAT-compliant invoice with indication of domestic tax or a proforma invoice. This must be attached to the outside of the consignment in a document pouch.