Import conditions for vehicles

Vehicles of those moving to Switzerland that are considered household effects are imported duty-free.

Household effects include vehicles that have been used by the person moving to Switzerland for everyday personal activities or professional or commercial activity for at least six months in the foreign country and that are intended for further use in the customs territory. 

For this, fill in the application form (18.44 Household effects). You can then present this to the customs office upon arrival.

As regards importing vehicles, please note the following:

Registering the vehicle: You must register your vehicle with the transport office in your canton for enrolment in Switzerland. 

Vignette: Vehicles that go on motorways or high-speed roads need a “vignette” in Switzerland. The vignette can be purchased from post offices, petrol stations, garages and TCS offices, as well as transport offices, for 40 CHF.

Road tax: In Switzerland, you need to pay tax on registered road vehicles. The amount varies from canton to canton. In addition, you need to take our liability insurance.

Submission of driving licence: 12 months after arrival at the latest, you will need to change your foreign driving licence for a Swiss driving licence at the transport office in your canton. After 12 months of being in Switzerland, your foreign driving licence will no longer be valid.

Importing vehicles that do not count as household effects (e.g. new vehicles)

When importing vehicles that are not counted as household effects, you normally need to pay a duty. This depends on the weight and value of the vehicle upon crossing the border. 

Have the following documents ready:

  • Invoice or purchase agreement
  • Vehicle papers; in addition, the “Zulassungsschein” for vehicles with German licence plates and the “Foglio complementare” for vehicles with Italian licence plates
  • Proof of identity (passport, identity card, driving licence, etc.)

Customs duty-free: “Vehicles manufactured in a state of the EU, EFTA or a country with which Switzerland has concluded a free trade agreement are assessed as customs duty-free upon import from one of these states” (Leaflet on moving private motor vehicles and trailers as part of customs-free transport (payment of customs duty and tax)).

Other taxes and fees upon import:

  • Vehicle tax of 4% of the vehicle value.
  • Value added tax on the purchase price or current value of the vehicle of 8%
  • Fees for weighting: 30 CHF and issue of the test report form 13.20 A for the transport office: 20 CHF 

All duties and fees must be paid upon assessment, directly to the customs office.

CO2 emission regulations for new cars:

Upon initial registration of new cars, you must pay a fine (sanction) if you do not achieve a certain target emission value (130g CO2/km on average). If due, this sanction is levied retroactively by the Federal Roads Office (ASTRA).