SWITZERLAND

Logistic and forwarding services in Switzerland

Esportazione in Svizzera

Swiss commune register

Map of Switzerland with a list of each municipality, including post code, speech and potential supplements for disadvantaged areas (high mountain areas). Various possibilities for an accelerated search.

Capital City
Bern

Population
8,6 Mio.

National languages
German, French, Italian. Romansh

Currency
Swiss Francs (CHF)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 644 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 77’000

Financial exports to Switzerland
USD 296 Mrd.

Financial imports from Switzerland
USD 281 Mrd.

Overview of the bilateral agreements

Switzerland has close relations with the European Union (EU) on the political, economic and cultural levels. These relations are governed by a whole structure of bilateral agreements and arrangements concluded over the years between Switzerland and the EU or its predecessors (EEC=EC, ECSC, Euratom).

Concluded Bilateral Agreements

Within the framework of EFTA free trade agreements with third countries, Switzerland maintains preferential relationships in the sector of the services with the following countries (in alphabetical order): Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Georgia, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, which comprises of the following countries: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar end Kuwait), Guatemala, Hong Kong, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, and partially with Canada and Peru. The main objective in these free trade agreements is for Switzerland to gain more advantageous treatment than granted in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Beyond that, Switzerland has concluded a free trade agreement with China as well as a bilateral agreement on free trade and economic partnership with Japan, outside of the frame of the EFTA.

 

Free Trade Agreements

In addition to the EFTA Convention and the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU) of 1972, Switzerland currently has a network of 28 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 38 partners outside the EU. Switzerland normally concludes its FTAs together with its partners Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, in the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Nevertheless, Switzerland has the possibility to enter into FTAs outside the EFTA framework as well, as it has been the case of Japan and China.The aim of Switzerland’s free trade policy is the improvement of the framework conditions for economic relations with relevant economic partners. The objective is to provide Swiss companies with an unobstructed, stable and non-discriminatory market access in these countries compared to their main competitors. Foreign trade policy measures aiming at further opening export markets are of great importance and in accordance with the stabilization policy pursued by the Federal Council.

 

Business language

German, French, Italian, Romanish.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency Swiss Francs (sfr) = 100 Rappen (Rp), Centimes (c).

ISO code: CHF

Customs tariff

Harmonised system, customs clearance is generally based on the gross weight.

Import control

More than 90% of goods imports have been liberalised. The importer requires approval for goods for which import is restricted (negative list). Low voltage products must comply with Directive 2006/95/EC and 2004/108/EC. Pharmaceutical products must be registered with Swissmedic. Small shipments up to 20 kg can be imported without a licence provided they are not specific goods for which there is an exemption limit of just 2.5 kg. Incentive taxes must be taken into account when importing goods which are subject to the VOC. Simplified customs registration procedure for small shipments possible using the “e-dec-easy” registration procedure. Small shipments are deemed to be shipments with a maximum weight of 1.000 kg and a value of 1.000 CHF. There are no foreign currency controls, so imported goods can be paid for without any problems.

Standard VAT rate: 8%

Terms of payment and tenders

Tenders and invoices in EUR, CHF or USD free-at-frontier or free to the door.

Designations of origin

Required for foods and drinks.

Wood and wood products must also be labelled with the country of origin.

Marking/labelling

Standard marking. The labelling must generally be in at least one official language of Switzerland. The Swiss Department of the Internal can provide information on special labelling regulations.

Packaging

The ISPM standard no. 15 is used for wooden packaging. Deliveries from the EU are the exception to this.

Product samples

Product samples are duty free if:

a) they do not have an independent value due to their dimensions (such as small pieces of wood), presentation (such as buttons on cards, only one item from each variety) or preparation (such as devaluation using a coloured stamp or holes) or

b) they are imported for clarification, inspection or testing for an order to be confirmed and the following limits are not exceeded:

consumable goods up to a value of 100 Francs per sample; the number of samples of the same type contained in a shipment is not important;

non-consumable goods up to a value of 100 Francs of any nature and quality;

tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, medications and cosmetic products up to a value of 100 Francs per shipment; wine only in sample bottles of up to 3 dl, spirits only in sample bottles up to 2 dl (portion bottles excluded).

The sending of advertising samples to be given to an anonymous group of likely customers is subject to duty, including where these are provided free of charge. ATA Carnet procedure permissible.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices (2 copies) with all standard information including country of origin, uncertified;

b) Certificates of origin (simple) only at the request of the recipient, indicate the following for the country of origin.

c) For postal items up to 31.5 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in German/French/Italian, include commercial invoices; in the case of airmail packages up to 20 kg international dispatch note “airmail” label.

d) Movement certificate EUR. 1 for freight shipments within the free trade agreement with the EU including the Agreement on Pan-European Cumulation; shipments worth more than EUR 6.000 form EUR. 1.

When importing goods of a value of up to EUR 6.000 the exporter must make the following declaration in the invoice or another commercial document: “The exporter of the goods to which this commercial document refers states that these goods, unless otherwise indicated, are … (indicate country of origin) goods of preferential EU origin”. Place and date, signature of the exporter and name in block capitals. (originating products from Ceuta and Melilla are to be labelled with the initials “CM”). This regulation does not apply to agricultural products.

e) EUR-MED

f) The cross-EU “common transit procedure“ (NCTS) can be used. However, the procedure described under dot d) must be complied with to provide evidence of the entitlement to preference.