The centralized billing procedure is recommended for all importers and shippers who, on a regular basis, have to pay taxes on tradable goods.

Benefits of the centralized counting procedure for the account holder

  • Customs clearance without cash payment of taxes
  • Reduced waiting time at customs offices. Consignments are released for removal at the time the respective proposal for customs clearance is accepted and after a possible inspection of the goods
  • Payment deadline for VAT: 60 days

Membership mode

You just need to download and fill out the accession statement from this link and send it to the Finance and Accounting Section of the General Directorate of Customs (DGD). If you opt for debit authorization (LSV), fill out the central part of the debit authorization and send it to your bank. The bank fills in the lower part and transmits the coupon to the DGD, Finance and Accounting Section.

You must also give a guarantee in one of the following three forms:

  • General surety issued on the attached official form (22.10) by banking institutions based in Switzerland, placed under the supervision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, resp. by insurance companies based in Switzerland that are on the list of private insurance companies under supervision. This surety bond should be sent directly from the guaranteeing institution to the General Directorate of Customs, Finance and Accounting Section.
  • For acceptance of the guarantee, the Customs Administration levies a fee.
  • Deposit of Swiss securities (= bonds or cash bonds, in bearer form) placed in favor of the Customs Administration under a blocked deposit subject to tax, at an office or branch of the Swiss National Bank. If you choose such a guarantee, you must first get in touch with the Finance and Accounting section of the DGD, which will decide about the acceptance of the securities.
  • Cash deposit (which does not bear interest): deposit to the postal account of the General Directorate of Customs, no. 30-704-6 or Account 1530.00236, IBAN CH81 0011 0001 5305 0023 6, BIC SNBZCHZZ30A at the Swiss National Bank or by bank check to the General Directorate of Customs, Finance and Accounting Section.

Your account will be opened only when the Finance and Accounting section of the DGD has received the membership declaration, guarantee and, given the case, the LSV debit authorization.

How should the guarantee amount be calculated?

The amount of the guarantee is calculated as follows:

Customs fees

50% average of two weeks’ tributes

Value Added Tax (VAT)

  • provided that you are subject to the obligation to pay VAT to the Federal Tax Administration (Art. 21 ffsegg. LIVA). The amount of the guarantee must generally be set–provided the conditions of these instructions are fulfilled–at 20 percent of the VAT levies accumulated during 60 days;
  • always that right art. 78 cpv.2 LIVA you are not liable to pay VAT, the guarantee ascends to 100% of the accumulated VAT taxes in 60 days.

If, in addition to final customs clearances, there are also intermediate customs clearances with guaranteed amounts (pass cards, bond bills, provisional customs clearances), a portion of the guarantee must be reserved to cover the guaranteed amounts. The respective amount should be indicated in the accession statement. The total of the above three items constitutes the amount of the guarantee to be provided and should be rounded up to the next higher 1,000.- francs. The minimum amount of the guarantee is CHF 1,000.

From what time can the account be used?

The Finance and Accounting Section of the DGD will assign you an account number as soon as it is in possession of the accession declaration, as well as–depending on the payment method chosen–the debit authorization and the guarantee has been provided. This number will be notified in writing to you, the payment office and customs offices. Customs clearances can be made to the new account from the date of delivery of said notice.

Where should the account number be indicated?

In the interest of smooth operation of the procedure, it is important that you indicate the account number assigned to you in customs declarations, documents concerning payment traffic, and correspondence with the customs administration. You should also inform your shipping house to this effect.

At which customs offices can you make customs clearances?

You can perform customs clearances at all Swiss customs offices, limited to their customs clearance responsibilities.

Exception: customs-post offices are not allowed to make office clearances with PCD accounts.

Who can dispose of your account?

The account holder may authorize third parties (e.g., shipping houses or foreign suppliers) to make customs clearances through his or her account. Authorization must be issued in writing. It must also be specified whether it is a single authorization or a permanent assignment valid until revoked. Customs offices occasionally check that permission has actually been granted.

It is in your best interest that illicit use of the account number be reported immediately to the Finance and Accounting Section of the DGD.

What accounting cannot be done through this account?

Only mail items cleared through customs ex officio cannot be accounted for through this account.

What happens if the conditions of the accession declaration are not observed?

In case of non-compliance with the payment deadline or exceeding the guarantee amount, the account holder shall be warned to comply with his obligations. In case of recidivism, the account may be blocked temporarily or for an indefinite period. Interest is charged for delinquent payments. In addition, the payment deadline for VAT can no longer be granted. As an extreme measure, it is decided to abolish the account.

How should one proceed in case of discrepancies and irregularities?

In case of differences, irregularities, lack of documents, etc., please follow the following guidelines only. You thus avoid inconvenience to both you and our services.

For technical reasons, missing tax bills and certificates (customs/VAT) can only be obtained from the processing center. The name of the relevant treatment center can be inferred from our invoices. Errors on the tax bill and certificates can only be corrected by the issuing customs office. If you have not personally carried out customs clearance, send the original documents to your registrant/shipper for this purpose. The latter requests its rectification at the relevant customs office. Even dealing with questions concerning gender and the basis of calculation you must first contact the registrant/shipper. If invoices from the Directorate General of Customs (DGD) are missing, or if differences and irregularities are found in payment traffic, please contact the Finance and Accounting Section (FICO) of the DGD. Phone and fax numbers appear on invoices. We also draw your attention to the fact that two separate invoices are drawn up for duty and VAT.
Transfers to other accounts, e.g. if the wrong account number is used, can only be made by the issuing customs office (processing center) against presentation of the original documents (tax bill, certificates). If you have not personally carried out customs clearance, send the original documents to your registrant/shipper for this purpose. The latter requests rectification at the customs office.
Any balances in your favor resulting at customs offices are credited to your account and offset against subsequent debits of the same kind. This means that customs assets are offset only against customs credits and VAT assets only against VAT credits. Therefore, please never deduct assets from bills to be settled on your own initiative. Regardless of this order, assets of a certain importance can be claimed by you at the FICO section of the DGD.
If you find that the PCD account is being misused by unlicensed third parties to carry out customs clearance, notify the FICO section of the DGD without delay.
At your request, notations concerning suppliers and invoices or references can be made by declarants and shippers on customs documents. Additional information should therefore be requested directly from the registrants and shippers you appoint. The Customs Administration is unable to explain this. We recommend that you brief those concerned in this regard.


Posted on

3 June 2016