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Category Logistic, Transport

Today we will discuss an important topic - the paperwork required for moving in or out of Switzerland. This country has strict rules of its own, and you have to play by them if you want to have anything to do with Switzerland.

You can download the fillable PDF document from our website here.
Also, we took the liberty to put together some fundamental info from the Federal Customs Administration for you.

Moving (household effects)

Transfer of domicile to Switzerland is essential to have your household goods and any collections, animals, or car imported into Switzerland duty-free. Further, the imported articles must have been used by you personally for at least six months, and they have to be continued to be used by you after importation.


Household goods, personal effects, and students' educational materials can be imported duty-free. This applies even if the domicile is not transferred to Switzerland.

Procedure in the case of importation
At the time of importation, the completed application form (18.44 household effects) was present to importation customs. Immigrants from the 25 initial EU states and the EFTA states do not have to assure a residence permit. They provide proof of the transfer of domicile using other means (employment contract, lease, confirmation of notice of departure from the country of departure).

Preliminary examination of household effects
By sending the relocation dossier in advance, customs clearance is faster when you cross the border. To this end, send your relocation dossier to the appropriate customs office at least two working days before you plan to cross the border. The dossier consists of the application form and the necessary accompanying documents. When you relocate, you must cross the border via the customs office that processed your dossier beforehand.

Here's something we're pretty sure many of you are passionate about to find out:

Traveling with pets

Anyone planning to travel with pets should complete the formalities well in advance. The travel regulations for pets are not the same as those governing import and export for commercial purposes.

Brexit news

Since 1 January 2021, animals and animal products from Great Britain are subject to imports from third countries. Animals and animal products from Northern Ireland are subject to the conditions for imports from the EU.
Entries or returns to Switzerland with pets when travelling from Great Britain are now subject to third-world rules. Direct access by air with dogs, cats, and ferrets is now possible only via the Geneva, Zurich and Basel airports. Direct entry by air with birds is possible only via the airports of Geneva or Zurich.
In the case of entry by land via the EU, checks will be carried out upon entry into the EU, for example, in France. Travellers may then enter Switzerland with the animals as usual.

The regulations for animals differ depending on whether an individual is travelling with a pet or animals are being imported or exported for commercial purposes. The information on these pages is intended solely for individuals with pets who do not intend to sell or give their animals to other people or institutions.

What are pets?

Pets are the following animals accompanying their keeper or a person authorized by the keeper. In any case, they must have been personally acquired by the keeper before entry:

• Dogs, cats, ferrets (Special regulations apply to travel with dogs, cats and ferrets because these pets can be affected by rabies. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent rabies from being introduced to Switzerland)
• Rodents and rabbits other than those intended for food production;
• Birds;
• Reptiles and amphibians;
• Ornamental aquatic animals;
• Invertebrates (except bees, bumblebees, molluscs and crustaceans).

The animals may not be sold or transferred to new keepers. Dogs, cats and ferrets and birds are subject to particular animal health regulations when travelling because there is a danger of introducing diseases from another country.

Exotic pets

Non-native wild animals are also kept as pets. This category includes unique bird species, reptiles, spiders, scorpions, rodents, corals, fish, wild cats etc. Please take note of the relevant sections below.

Leaving Switzerland

When leaving Switzerland, the regulations of the destination country must always be observed.

Leaving Switzerland with pets of a protected species
The FSVO issues ownership certificates to cover holidays or short stays in the EU with pets of protected species. The animal's owner (or a person authorised by the owner) must have the certificate stamped by the customs authority in Switzerland and the destination country every time a border is crossed with the animal. The certificate of ownership covers the animal's return to Switzerland.

The application form for the certificate of ownership must be completed in full, signed and scanned and can be sent by e-mail to Once issued (the fee is CHF 50), the certificate of ownership is not valid until the animal's owner has signed it. The certificate is valid for three years and can be extended after this period has elapsed.
When the owner and animal travel with this certificate of ownership to an EU country for the first time, the EU requires an equivalent European certificate of ownership. This is issued by the CITES authority in the first country of destination. The European certificate of ownership must be ordered in good time before the animal leaves Switzerland.

Entering Switzerland

Almost all pets that meet the definition can enter Switzerland from any country without approval from the veterinary health authority or a health certificate. Special conditions apply to dogs, cats, ferrets and birds. Not more than five pets may be imported from third countries.
These animals may not enter Switzerland if specific protective measures are in place.

Entering Switzerland with pets of a protected species
Approval is not required for holidays or short stays in Switzerland with an animal of a protected species. The animal is travelling with its owner (or a person authorised by the owner), and the owner holds a certificate of ownership.
Both entry and exit must be confirmed on the supplementary sheet by the customs authority. The necessary certificate of ownership is issued by the competent species conservation authority in the country of origin.

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