Swiss efficiency and a steady stream of new arrivals mean that shipping goods to Switzerland is fairly straightforward. Buying new items in the country can be expensive and even used goods can cost a fair amount, so many expats bring household effects with them.
Shipping can be done by air or sea and each method has its pros and cons. Shipping by air is faster but more expensive, while sea shipping is cheaper but takes longer.
Expats can import household goods to Switzerland duty-free if they've owned and used them for at least six months and they complete the relevant paperwork. This must be submitted to the removals company along with an itemised inventory, a copy of their passport, residence permit, and rental agreement.
Customs officials may require other documents like employment contracts, so it's best to supply as much information as possible. Expats should also keep copies of all the documents they submit, as they may be needed when exporting goods back home.
A good removals company can minimise delays and complications in getting expats' goods through customs.
Shipping pets to Switzerland
Expats can import numerous kinds of pets to Switzerland – even crayfish appear on the government-approved list. In most cases, expats can bring several pets with them to their new home. There are, however, special rules for importing certain species. For example, dogs have to be microchipped and taken to a vet to be registered with the Swiss Animal Identification Service (ANIS) within 10 days of arriving.
► Find out more about Relocation Companies in Switzerland
Are you an expat living in Switzerland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Switzerland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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