Logistic and forwarding services in Great Britan and Northern Ireland

United Kingdom and Nord Ireland

Capital City

64 Mio.

National languages
English (officially recognized regional languages: Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish.)

Pound Sterling (GBP)

Gross national product (GNP)
GBP 1591,5 Mia.

GNP per person
GBP 23’543

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 10’835 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 6’821 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–the United Kingdom

Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK) have maintained close relations over many years founded on similar ideas in areas such as the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, social and economic order, and good governance, and with a special focus on economic and financial market issues.
For Switzerland and the UK, the decision by a majority of UK voters to leave the EU (Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016) means that numerous provisions which are currently regulated under EU law will have to be agreed bilaterally in future.

Economic cooperation

Switzerland and the UK are important to each other as trading partners and have close economic ties. Liberal economic systems and open markets are high priorities for both countries.
In 2015, the UK was Switzerland’s fifth most important export market in the world (approx. CHF 13 billion) and the eighth largest source of Switzerland’s imports (approx.  CHF 31 billion), which amounts to a trade volume of CHF 44 billion.
At the end of 2014, Swiss direct investments in the UK stood at CHF 59 billion, which makes the UK the fourth most important destination for Swiss direct investments. Almost 95,000 jobs in the UK depend on Swiss investments.
At the end of 2014, UK direct investments in Switzerland stood at CHF  21.7 billion. The number of jobs in Switzerland that can be attributed to British investments stands at approximately 27,000.
Both Switzerland and the UK have large, strong financial centres. There are consequently regular exchanges between supervisory authorities, the central banks and banking associations.


Business language


Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency Pound Sterling (£) = 100 new pence (p).
ISO code: GBP

Customs tariff (for non-EU goods)

Harmonised system; customs clearance based on the transaction value.

Import control

EU goods are freely available. There is almost entirely liberalised import of non-EU goods (open general licence). In addition to this, an individual import licence is required for the few non-liberalised goods. Two copies of invoices containing all standard information and an indication of the country of origin are required. Special regulations for the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar and for the import of plants, animals, medicines, weapons and munitions. Reporting obligation from the import of EUR 10.000 in cash (GBP 10.000 evidence of legitimacy needed).
Standard VAT rate: 20% (reduced rate: 5%).
Reimbursement of VAT paid is possible.

Terms of payment and tenders

Depending on the creditworthiness of the customer; terms of payment are subject to free agreement (bank references are widely used, reservation of title clauses are recommended). EUR invoicing. Debt recovery is possible via the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Introduction of the “Prompt Payment Code” to protect suppliers.

Designations of origin

In the case of trade names in English “Made in …” must be added. In many cases, designations of origin are also required for neutrally opened goods which are not subject to labelling in accordance with the Merchandise Marks Act of 1887. Ask the CIC for details, including related to the “Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and 1972” and the Textile Labelling Act.

Packaging and markings

No special regulations for the marking of packages. Designations of origin for goods are regulated and are prescribed for special goods distributed on a wholesale level in GB (e.g. textiles, TVs). Special labelling regulations for foods. The EU Directive sets out that packaging materials made of wood must be manufactured from round logs. This EU regulation goes beyond the necessary treatment set out in the ISPM 15 standard.

Product samples

With no retail value = duty free; with a retail value = subject to duties. Special rules for trade fair goods and consumption patterns. Cigarettes and alcohol are in principle excluded from this.