Building with customs clearance companies at Weil am Rhein border - office for German imports

What do you have to declare at customs in Switzerland?

Switzerland is unique because the European Union surrounds it but still maintains its customs, territory and policy. You need to declare everything that passes through the Swiss border, to customs. An individual can have their belongings and goods in their luggage when they travel. That is the only exception as long as it is for their personal use, as depicted in this document. This blog aims to provide insight into customs declaration. This is especially if you are seeking an answer to what do you have to declare at customs in Switzerland?

Switzerland customs declaration

Customs declarations for imports and export in Switzerland happen through the Single Administrative Document (C88). The European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and most other countries adopt the same standard. In addition to the C88 customs declaration document, you must also submit Warenausweis. It is an administrative slip used to manage the queue and customer service at the border.

The remaining documentation depends on the commodity subject of export or import. There are three possible ways (routes) for bringing goods in and out of a Swiss customs territory. The documentation to support your customs clearance declaration depends on the customs clearance route you are eligible to use. The process does not rely on the kind of goods. They would, however, turn on the circumstances of the consignee and the consignor. Before you proceed to the list of routes, here is our blog titled customs clearance agent for removals from the UK to EU. You will find this helpful.

Route 1 – You bring your belongings to Switzerland in your luggage. These goods are for personal use, and their quantities remain within limits set by the Swiss government.

Route 2 – You are relocating your residency to Switzerland. You bring your personal effects with you using a service provider such as a removals company.

Route 3 – You are a professional consignor (exporter) or consignee (importer). You are registered for IORI and VAT and bring in goods to Switzerland as a commercial activity.

How long does customs clearance take in Switzerland?

Moving further on the topic of what do you have to declare at customs in Switzerland?, the process is pretty straightforward. In the three circumstances described in this article, the Swiss clearance segment should not take more than 10 minutes to complete. However, the actual time spent on declaring goods to Swiss Customs depends on how well-prepared the consignor and consignee are and the means of communication used in the process.

The most commonly used communication method between all parties involved in the Swiss customs clearance process is email. In this case, the customs clearance can take days to complete. Typically in this process, the consignee emails documentation to the customs agent, and the customs agent emails the consignor and consignee asking them questions and requesting relevant documentation. It’s an old-fashioned way of getting things done.

German customs counter at Weil am Rhein border crossing

What documents will I need for customs clearance?

Suppose you qualify for Route 1, described above, in bringing goods to Switzerland. In that case, you don’t need documentation to declare interests to customs. It’s usually a verbal process, and the customs officer at the border might ask you questions about what you keep in your language. Suppose you qualify for Route 2 described above. In that case, you must use a professional moving company, and they will declare your personal effects to customs in Switzerland. However, you must supply your removals company with the documents for them to prove that you are eligible for the Route 2 process. Follow the link in this sentence to check what documents you need to supply to your removal company that specialises in moves to Switzerland.

The Route 3 process comes into shape when the intention for goods brought to Switzerland is for commercial use. At Europe Express, we offer the service to facilitate Swiss imports and exports. We are an international courier service provider and as our customer, you will gain access to our online portal, where you can select the commodity you need from the customs clearance templates. You will receive guidance on what documents you need to complete the customs clearance declaration. You can also place an order for the required logistics. Europe Express covers the entire process from the collection and delivery of goods anywhere in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland, including customs clearance and transit. You can also take a look at the types of vehicles we employ to transport your goods safely.


What are the steps for customs clearance in Switzerland?

Still wondering about what do you have to declare at customs in Switzerland? Well, we’re not done here yet. So, here are the steps you will need to handle the customs clearance process and they include the following:

• Find the commodity code of goods you’re planning to export or import. You can use the European Union website for it or the British equivalent.

• The commodity code check websites will inform you whether the goods you plan to export or import are subject to sanctions.

• Get the invoice from the supplier of goods. An invoice must accompany all export/import goods because this is how the customs agent checks the value of goods.

The documentation needed

• Gather all the information and be ready to fill in the Single Administrative Document (C88). At this point, most inexperienced exporters and importers get stuck and choose to use the services of customs clearance agents. Professional customs clearance agents use software that guides them in filling out the C88 form.

• Exporting some commodities requires additional documentation, such as health certificates and certificates of origin.

• Register for the duty and VAT deferral account in Switzerland. It will enable you to pay import duties if duties are payable for your commodities, and VAT is nearly always payable. If you don’t want to register for a duty deferral account and VAT in Switzerland, you can ask your customs agent to make payments to Swiss revenue authorities on your behalf.

• Depending on where you import your commodities, you must arrange transit documentation (TAD) and pay relevant deposits, usually worth 30% of the value of exporting goods. It is always the case when it comes to the import and export of goods between Switzerland and the UK.