Supply Chain in Switzerland

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Customs Procedures

The Government of Switzerland regulates the export, import, and transit of goods usable for civilian and military purposes and is an active member of all major export control regimes, including the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), the Australia Group (AG) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).The Office of Export Controls and Sanctions within the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is responsible for implementation of Swiss commitments pursuant to the multilateral export control regimes.


SECO can deny an export license if there is reason to assume that goods proposed for export would be used for the development, production, or use of biological or chemical weapons; serve for the development, or contribute to the conventional armaments of a state, which, by its behavior, endangers regional or global security.

Export Taxes
Value-added tax (VAT) is levied according to EU guidelines (although Switzerland is not a member of EU) virtually on all goods and services. VAT was introduced in the country in 1995.
Export Clearance
The documentation required in Switzerland for export clearance of goods is at par with the European Union (EU) standards, which broadly includes commercial invoice, bill of lading, packing list, certificate of origin and special certificates in case of food, livestock & animal products.
Necessary Declaration
All imported goods must be presented to the appropriate Customs office and declared for clearance. Goods imported into Switzerland must be declared within the following time limits from arrival in the country by various means of transportation: road, 24 hours; river, 48 hours; rail, 7 days; and air, 7 days. The importer may examine goods before submitting them for clearance. For Swiss Customs purposes, an ordinary commercial invoice in duplicate or triplicate is considered sufficient documentation. The invoice should contain the following details: description of the products and packaging, gross and net weight of each package, quantity (in metric terms), country of origin, and CIF value to the Swiss border.

Special health certificates, stamped by the competent authorities of the country of origin, are required for animals and animal products (including fish and bees). Official plant health certificates of the country of origin must accompany shipments of some vegetables, fresh fruits, and wild plants. Switzerland is gradually aligning its import requirements for agricultural products with those of the European Union.


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