Import tax on possessions?

When moving to Switzerland

Import tax on possessions?

If you are moving to Switzerland, you can bring a lot of your valuables into the country without paying import tax. To avoid fines and/or tax, make sure you are aware of the process, regulations and special conditions concerning certain goods.

What can I import duty-free?

You can import any household goods (furniture, personal items, books etc.) duty-free as long as you:

  • Have owned them for more than 6 months
  • Will continue to use/keep them when in Switzerland (i.e. do not plan to sell them)

The process

To move your household goods duty-free, you must:

  • Transfer your permanent address (domicile) to Switzerland
  • Fill out the 18.44 household effects application form 
  • Show the form at the Swiss customs office of importation at the border (use the commercial lane)

If you don’t follow the procedure and declare your goods, or if your goods don’t meet the requirements, you can be fined.

Some possessions have specific rules


If you are bringing art for personal use, it can be imported without duty. If you are planning to exhibit the art, you have to fill out a separate form . Not all moving companies have the capability to move valuable art safely; AGS Movers have a specialised fine arts removal service  with experience up to museum-level.


Cars owned for more than 6 months can be imported duty-free. You also don’t need to pay duty if you have acquired a car as a newly married couple, have inherited it or you have diplomatic status. Find out more about importing your car here.


Pets are also classed as a household good and must meet some extra requirements in order to be brought into the country duty-free. If you’re moving from a country within the EEA, pets like dogs, cats or ferrets, must have an official animal passport and be vaccinated against rabies. It’s forbidden to import dogs with docked ears and/or tails. If you have another type of pet (e.g. a bird or protected species), are moving from a non-EEA country or want to move with more than five animals, different rules apply .

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: