Versand in die Schweiz (Symbolbild)
Versand in die Schweiz (Symbolbild)
Versand in die Schweiz (Symbolbild)

Transportation and shipping to Switzerland

Foreword + facts and figures

Would you like to send goods to Switzerland by mail order? We will be happy to explain the various options and special features of the process to you. As an EFTA country in the midst of countless EU countries, special rules and regulations apply to Switzerland. In contrast to shipping within the member states of the Schengen area (e.g. shipping from Germany to Austria), goods cannot “simply” be sent from an EU country to Switzerland. As Switzerland is not part of the EU customs union, the goods must be declared to customs beforehand and, if necessary, duty and tax must be paid. But more on this in detail later. First, some important basic information about Switzerland.

Important figures:

  • Area: 41,285 km²
  • Area code: +41
  • Population: approx. 8.5 million
  • Four national languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh

Interesting facts:

  • 71,520 km of road network, 5,200 km of railroad tracks
  • Approx. 1,800 tunnels in Switzerland
  • 3 international airports (Zurich, Geneva and Basel)

Sending letters, parcels and packages to Switzerland

Would you like to send a letter, parcel or package to Switzerland? You must then enclose the relevant accompanying documents. Depending on the value of the consignment, either a customs declaration or an export accompanying document must be issued.

Accompanying documents for postal dispatch to Switzerland

Regardless of whether you are shipping privately or commercially, you must always enclose the appropriate customs documents with your shipment. The SDR(Special Drawing Rights) unit is specified as the value limit for the creation of the documents. This is a unit from the forwarding industry. The value limit can therefore change depending on the exchange rate of the SDR in EUR.

Up to a goods value of 300 special drawing rights (currently approx. EUR 370), the customs declaration CN22 must be enclosed with each shipment. It must not be a parcel, but only a Deutsche Post letter or a Deutsche Post small parcel. You can download the customs declaration CN22 here: Download CN 22

If the value of the goods exceeds 300 special drawing rights (currently approx. EUR 370) or if it is a parcel, the customs declaration CN23 must be enclosed with each consignment instead. This can be downloaded here: Download CN23

An export accompanying document is only mandatory for goods worth more than EUR 1000. General information on the export accompanying document and more information on how you can create the ABD yourself free of charge can be found here: Create export accompanying document

If the goods are merchandise, you must always enclose a commercial invoice with the letter, parcel or package.

Transportation costs for goods that come to Switzerland as a parcel

Costs vary depending on which provider you choose to send your parcel with. The larger the parcel and the heavier it is, the more expensive the shipping will be. You can send a simple consignment for just a few euros(to the Deutsche Post price overview). A parcel can be sent to Switzerland from approx. 9 EUR. A parcel will cost you at least EUR 25 when shipped as a private customer via DHL.

Other shipping service providers such as Hermes offer parcel shipping from around EUR 18(to the Hermes parcel price list).

If you wish to send the parcel by courier, the costs will be charged in accordance with the delivery charges. time spent by the courier. In most cases, however, you will have to expect to pay several hundred euros. You are welcome to contact us in such a case and we will provide you with our best possible offer(to the contact form).

Shipping to Switzerland by truck transport / goods via forwarding agent to Switzerland

You don’t just want to send individual parcels to Switzerland but are planning to send entire pallets, possibly even as special transportation to Switzerland? Special regulations apply here compared to parcel shipping. The documents you need to create are more extensive. The import duties are higher for the recipient and the preparation of the accompanying documents is more demanding.

Accompanying documents for pallet transport to Switzerland

Similar to sending a parcel, you must enclose certain documents with the shipment. This includes, among other things, a CMR consignment note (your forwarding agent will usually take care of this), an invoice and, if necessary, export documents. Up to a goods value of EUR 1,000 and a weight of 1,000 kg, the invoice is sufficient as an export document. You also need a so-called export accompanying document. In some cases, a transit document must be created instead, e.g. if the goods come from a non-EU country, but more on this in section“4.1 Export accompanying document and T1“.

Transportation costs for goods arriving in Switzerland by truck

Shipping goods with a forwarding agent: Switzerland and Liechtenstein as the country of destination – what costs should you expect? Depending on the dimensions and weight of the shipment, shipping to Switzerland is possible from just a few hundred euros. However, it is important that you always find out about all the costs involved beforehand. In addition to the pure freight costs of transportation to Switzerland, there are also costs for customs clearance. Depending on the Incoterm, import duties such as customs duties and VAT are incurred either for the sender or for the importer. Under no circumstances should you overlook this in the overall cost calculation.

Are you interested in transportation to Switzerland by truck and looking for a reliable yet inexpensive forwarding agent (Germany – Switzerland)? Then contact us, we will be happy to advise you and provide you with a non-binding offer => to the contact form.

Pallet exchange

When exchanging pallets, as we know it from Germany or other countries, caution is advised: Switzerland is a non-exchange country. This means that if you deliver EURO flat pallets, they are effectively lost. Similar to sending the goods on one-way pallets, the shipper does not have to return the pallets to you empty after unloading. This should be taken into account when shipping, as EURO pallets are usually more expensive to manufacture and purchase.

Swiss toll / heavy goods vehicle charge (LSVA)

To drive on Swiss freeways, you need to have a maximum permissible weight of 3.5 tons. a highway vignette. This is available for 40 francs as an annual vignette. Daily and monthly vignettes are not available.

HGVs are subject to the so-called LSVA (heavy vehicle charge). This is always due, regardless of which roads are used. It depends on the emission level, the total weight and the kilometers driven. General information and tariffs can be found directly on the website of the FCA (Federal Customs Administration):

Heavy vehicle charge HVF – General information / Tariffs

Driving bans and permits

In Switzerland, the following applies to trucks with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 tons. a ban on driving on Sundays and at night. This means that trucks are not allowed to move between 10 pm and 5 am. You can find out more directly on the website of the Federal Office of Transport: Night and Sunday driving bans

Customs clearance for shipping to Switzerland

We have already briefly mentioned the documents that are required for the proper export of goods from Germany. We would now like to take a closer look at the more complex documents such as the export accompanying document and the import declaration.

Export accompanying document and T1

An export accompanying document must always be issued for the export of goods with a value of more than EUR 1,000 or a weight of more than 1,000 kg. A distinction is made between different procedures. We have taken a closer look at these for you in another article:

the single-stage procedure

the two-stage procedure

You can also find detailed information on this in our technical article on the export accompanying document. It also explains the finer points, such as registration for an EORI number for commercial exports.

If the goods come from a third country and have not yet been imported into the EU, a T1 transit document must be issued. This is created at the port of Hamburg, for example, if goods are to be delivered from China via Germany to Switzerland. The transit document allows the goods to be transported through Germany officially duty unpaid. This means that import duties only have to be paid once: in the country of the final recipient.

Import customs clearance

When importing into Switzerland, import customs clearance must also be carried out. This requires special software with a connection to the e-dec program. Import duties vary depending on the type of goods and weight. As a rule, 7.7% VAT is charged on the import of goods. Switzerland is one of the few countries in the world whose customs duties are not based on the value of goods but on the weight of the goods being imported.

We will be happy to prepare your import customs clearance at a Swiss customs office. Please contact us for this.