Shipping to Switzerland: Restrictions on what you can send

02 September, 2020

E-Commerce Customs

Who wouldn't want a Swiss customer base? With a per capita GDP larger than many other big European economies, the Swiss have considerable spending power. Although, in order to boost competitiveness, they've adapted many of their economic practices to fit with EU standards, the country is not a member of the Union. This presents some unique challenges for those looking to export and import goods into the country.

When targeting your e-commerce business towards the Swiss market, you should first check out the restrictions which may either slow down your shipping or completely stop your parcel in its tracks.

 

What do the Swiss classify as dangerous goods?

At first, a parcel may appear completely harmless, but there are certain characteristics of the goods or components that may be deemed dangerous. Anything that threatens the safety of the recipient, the transit handlers, the environment, or the infrastructure will not be accepted. Here, we're talking about flammables, explosives, and anything corrosive or poisonous.

Prohibited items:

Explosives

  • Fireworks
  • Bengal lights
  • Ammunition
  • Gunpowder
  • Luminaries
  • Emergency signals

Flammable solid materials

  • Matches
  • Coal
  • Charcoal
  • Fuel paste

Radioactive substances

  • Radioactive substances

Compressed gasses

  • Lighter fuel
  • Oxygen cylinders
  • Butane
  • Spray cans
  • Fire extinguishers

Flammable liquid materials

  • Oil and oil paints
  • Adhesives
  • Perfumes containing alcohol
  • Drinks containing more than 24% alc/vol

Oxidising substances

  • Oxygen producing chemicals
  • Peroxides ( hair dyes)
  • Bleach agents

Poisonous and contagious substances

  • Pesticides
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Mercury
  • Bacteria, viruses

Corrosive substances

  • Wet-cell batteries
  • Mercury
  • Hydrochloric acid

Various dangerous goods

  • Engines
  • Solid carbon dioxide ( dry ice )
  • Lithium batteries

Above are the general restrictions on items that Swiss Post will not be able to carry, except in some instances where arrangements have been made, and the goods don't pose any risk during transportation.

 

Import prohibitions for Switzerland

More specific to Switzerland, are the following restrictions which you'll want to pay close attention to.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Any products that contain biocide dimethyl fumarate
  • Animals and animal products from mom-EU member states and Norway.
  • Coffee
  • Oil products
  • Plants
  • Radar detectors – except in certain situations with the relevant customs clearance.
  • Tea
  • Textile articles

 

The safest way to ensure that your goods will reach your customers on time and as intended is to seek the advice of an experienced courier. At Asendia, we're experts in Swiss bound mail. We will be more than happy to assist you with all the up-to-date information you need regarding customs and declarations forms, as well as the packaging requirements and cost implications of sending specific items to Switzerland.

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