1. Entry Conditions

1.5 Bringing Animals And Plants


Pets are animals which are kept as companions, imported
under escort and not sold. They may be imported duty free
as relocation goods (see Customs) and without authorisation.
Protective measures against epidemics remain reserved.

The following are considered as pets: dogs, cats, guinea
pigs, hamsters, canaries, aquarium fish, dwarf rabbits, rabbits,
tortoises, parrots, snakes and the like but not horses, donkeys, mules,
cattle, sheep, goats or pigs.

There are special regulations for dogs, cats, ferrets: they must be vaccinated
against rabies (vaccination certificate) and marked (microchip or tattoo). An
additional authorisation is required from the police authorities for animals which come
from a high-risk rabies country and are imported via a Swiss airport. The importation of
dogs with cropped ears and/or docked tails is forbidden unless they can be considered as household effects (see Customs).

A veterinary certificate is required for birds from non-European countries and not more than 5 animals may be imported. These provisions are subject to importation restrictions regarding the protection of species (CITES Agreement).
You are advised to first consult the website of the Federal Veterinary Office.

Other animals

On presentation of the relevant proof (e.g. horse passport, invoice from a veterinary surgeon or animal home), other animals (e.g. horses) may also be imported under relocation goods (see Customs).

A border veterinary control is not required for animals imported from EU/EFTA countries. For wild animals there are additional regulations on the protection of species (IMES Convention on international trading in threatened species).
You are advised to first consult the website of the Federal Veterinary Office.

Plants and vegetable products

The majority of plants imported for your own personal use may be imported to Switzerland from the EU/EFTA without being subjected to a phytosanitary control. At present only the importation of cotoneaster and stranvaesia is prohibited from these countries.

Living plants or partial plants as well as bulbs destined for planting, garden earth and compost imported from countries other than the EU/EFTA are, in contrast, subject to a phytosanitary control or are completely prohibited.

The importation of plants to Switzerland is exempt from duty. It is, however, subject to the payment of a value-added tax of 2.4 % or 7.6 % for certain cultivated products. The presentation of a receipt will facilitate customs clearance.

For any further information on this subject, we advise you to consult one of the customs administrations listed below:

  • Northern Switzerland

    Directorate General of Customs Basel
    Elisabethenstrasse 31
    4010 Basel
    Tel +41 (0)61 287 11 11
    Fax +41 (0)61 287 13 13
  • Eastern Switzerland

    Directorate General of Customs Schaffhausen
    Bahnhofstrasse 62
    8200 Schaffhausen
    Tel +41 (0)52 633 11 11
    Fax +41 (0)52 633 11 99
  • Western Switzerland

    Directorate General of Customs Geneva
    Av. Louis-Casaï 84
    1216 Cointrin
    Tel +41 (0)22 747 72 72
    Fax +41 (0)22 747 72 73
  • Southern Switzerland

    Directorate General of Customs Lugano
    Via Pioda 10
    6900 Lugano
    Tel +41 (0)91 910 48 11
    Fax +41 (0)91 923 14 15