Bringing pets and plants

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Switzerland

Pets

Pets are defined as animals accompanying their owners or a person authorised by the owner. They may not be sold or transferred to new owners. The following are considered as pets: dogs, cats, ferrets, rodents and rabbits, birds, reptiles and amphibians, ornamental aquatic animals, invertebrates (except bees, bumble bees, molluscs and crustaceans).

Almost all pets that meet the definition can enter Switzerland from any country without approval from the veterinary health authority or without a health certificate. Special conditions apply to dogs, cats, ferrets and birds. Not more than 5 pets may be imported from third countries.

Pets may be imported duty free as relocation goods (see Customs). Protective measures against epidemics may have to be implemented.

There are special regulations for dogs, cats and ferrets because these pets can be affected by rabies. Before entering Switzerland please read the regulations of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office carefully.

Other animals

The following documents are required for horses from EU countries or Norway that are to remain permanently in Switzerland:

  • Commercial invoice or contract of sale

  • Equine passport

For further information and to download the forms, consult the Federal Customs Administration website.

Plants and vegetable products

The majority of plants 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 EU/EFTA countries are subject to a phytosanitary control or may be prohibited entirely.