Tariffs and regulations

 

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Switzerland.

For further information, visit the Swiss Customs Administration.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers

Tariff

The Swiss customs tariff, is based on the internationally valid Harmonized System (HS). The first six digits of the eight digit Swiss tariff headings correspond to the HS.

The Swiss Federal Customs Administration lists the customs tariff (Tares) their website free of charge.

For further information, visit the Swiss Customs Administration.

Non-tariff barriers

For further information, visit the Swiss Customs Administration.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

CE marking is not required in Switzerland.

Although not part of the EU, Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). To facilitate free trade with the EU, Swiss legislation has adapted to EU law in several areas.

There are different requirements with regard to product safety. Suppliers and manufacturers need to ensure products are safe under Swiss regulations. Products have to:

  • meet relevant safety standards
  • have clear instructions for proper use
  • include warnings against possible misuse.

For further information, visit Product Safety.

You should translate your documentation to one or more of Switzerland’s four main languages; German, French, Italian or Romansch.

Being a member of European agency for standards (CEN), Switzerland adopts any new European standards in reconciliation with any conflicting national standards.

The harmonised standards may be ordered from the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV).

Methods of quoting and payment

Quotations should be in Swiss Franc (CHF) or Australian dollars.

The majority of import transactions by Swiss customers, especially those involving large Swiss distributors, take place under seller-buyer terms, such as:

  • 30, 60 or 90 day accounts
  • payment against documents.

The most popular payment method by which Swiss importers send payment to their foreign suppliers is by electronic funds transfer.

The letter of credit is still used in some industry sectors, but covers a fraction of total imports, largely due to its cost and time requirements and ease in obtaining credit ratings, which increases transparency and transactional safety.

Documentary requirements

Pro-forma invoice

This may occasionally be requested by the importer. A minimum of two copies is required.

Commercial invoice

No prescribed form and a minimum of two copies is required. The invoice must include:

  • the name and address of both buyer and seller
  • method of packing
  • marks and numbers
  • number of containers
  • description of the merchandise (including HS description)
  • net and gross weight
  • free on board (FOB) value (Incoterms 1990)
  • freight
  • insurance and other charges.

Bill of lading

No special requirements. To Order bills are acceptable.

Packing list

Not obligatory but simplifies clearance if a variety of goods are packed in different cases.

Certificate of insurance

Normal commercial practices apply.

Insurance

Normal commercial practices apply.

Weights and measures

Metric measurements (grams, kilograms, millilitres or litres) are used when selling packaged or loose goods.