Customs and taxes: What import costs are incurred when shipping to Switzerland?

Many people encounter unexpected costs when importing goods into Switzerland. The following table highlights the various customs duties, additional fees and taxes that can affect your budget.

Cost item

eCommerce relevant variants



Customs duties

Postal customs duties (DAP)

These are simply the fees charged by the respective service providers (e.g. customs clearance agencies) to carry out customs clearance


Commercial customs duties


Additional customs duties

Precious metal control

Precious metal control is relevant for all retailers who sell goods containing precious metals. However, the precious metal control is also relevant for retailers who sell costume jewellery or accessories whose product description indicates a potential precious metal content. Precious metal content - here a colour specification such as: "gold bracelet" is sufficient

àcosts per shipment, for a corresponding separate customs clearance process, are sometimes enormous and amount to CHF 50.00 per shipment

Border veterinary inspection (GTU)

This ensures that no foodstuffs or food supplements classified as critical are imported. In this context, the origin also plays a decisive role.

àinvestigation also leads to significant extra costs for many carriers - see DHL (CHF 50.00)

Species protection control (Cites)

This ensures that no goods containing materials classified as critical in terms of species protection are imported. These include, for example, skins or leather from exotic animals under species protection.    


Customs duties


Correctly stands for those duties that are levied as taxes by the Swiss customs authorities in accordance with the Fiscal Code.

Duty rates are given in CHF/100kg and vary from product to product


Incentive taxes


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used as solvents in numerous industries and are contained in various products, such as paints, varnishes and various cleaning agents. The cost here is CHF 3.00 per kg. The decisive factor here is the actual weight of the pure VOC content in the product. This can sometimes only be a few grams per article. However, if this pure VOC weight cannot be communicated to customs, customs will take the gross weight of the article as the basis for calculation. This can lead to massive additional costs.

This blog article explains everything in detail.

Here is the link: VOC blog article

Special taxes


For private goods in consignments of no more than CHF 1000 and 10 kg gross CHF 29.00 per consignment will be charged.



CHF 29.00 per litre of pure alcohol is deducted. For a 1 litre bottle of a spirit with 40% vol. 0.4l *29.00CHF = 11.16 CHF in tax.