Importation of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs

Last update: Decembre 2011

The quantities of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs which may be brought into Switzerland free of import duties are as follows:

  • for diplomatic missions in Bern and consular posts in Switzerland which are headed by a career consular representative, such quantities as are required for official purposes;
  • for diplomatic staff members and career consular officers (holders of legitimation cards B, C or K with pink and black band), such quantities as are required for personal purposes.

The term “official purposes”, means such quantities of alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs as are required for:

  • various functions and cocktail parties organised by diplomatic missions and consular posts which are headed by a career consular representative;
  • large scale official receptions (for example in connection with the World Economic Fo-rum in Davos), solely on the condition that the politicians of the receiving country in its capacity of host country are invited. On the other hand, events of a purely economic nature where the role of the diplomatic mission is purely representational are not considered “official purposes“.

The term “personal purposes” means quantities limited to what is reasonably required for the immediate and personal consumption of the eligible party (and family members who make up part of his/her household) and for their official functions.

On the other hand

  • administrative & technical staff members of missions (holders of legitimation card D)
  • career consular employees (holders of legitimation card K with blue and black band)
    are entitled to import free of duties alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs in quantities limited to what is reasonably required for their personal consumption but only at the time of their initial move to Switzerland. This right may only be exercised on one occasion and within one year from the time they commence their posting.

Important
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and foodstuffs may not be passed on to other per-sons. Customs privileges are personal and not transferable.

Procedure applicable to consignments
Please refer to Articles 2, 3, 7 and 13, 14 and 18 respectively of the http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/c631_144_0.htmlOrdinance relating to customs privileges for diplomatic missions in Bern and consular posts in Switzerland of 23 August 1989 (SR 631.144.0).

Competent authority
Bern Customs Inspectorate
Weyermannstrasse 12
3008 Bern

Tel. +41 (0)31-322 68 69
Fax +41 (0)31-323 58 41

Specialist Contact

Federal Customs Administration FCA

Customs Inspectorate of Aarau, Bern Subdivision

Bogenschützenstrasse 9B, Postfach, 3001 Berne

Tél. +41 (0)58 462 68 69

e-mail: diplomaten.aarau-zi@ezv.admin.ch 

Counters open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 10:30 am

Specialist contact

Privileges and Immunities Section

Bundesgasse 32
3003 Bern

Tel. +41-(0)31-322.30.26
Fax +41-(0)31-324.90.62
E-Mail: protokoll-priv-immu@eda.admin.ch