Moving to Switzerland

Nowship offers micro moving services to Switzerland for shipping essential personal effects to begin your new life in your new home.

If you are only moving a small amount of your valued goods in boxes or crates, our very small move solution is a perfect add on to get what's needed there fast.

Below are document requirements and information regarding Swiss Customs for your move. 

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects for Switzerland

Required Documents When Moving to Switzerland

    • Copy of passport with clear photo
    • Air waybill (AWB) (Nowship provides this document for clearance)
    • Originally signed Customs form 18.44 (application for duty & tax-free clearance of removal goods) Download form 18.44 here.
    • Supplemental declaration for alcoholic products
    • Detailed inventory list
    • Copy of residence permit (except for Swiss citizens and immigrants from the 15 initial EU states and from the EFTA states)
      • If not yet available, copy of the work contract or letter of employment from Swiss employer (all confidential data such as salary, bonus, etc may be deleted)
    • Registration at local Swiss town hall
    • Copy of lease agreement / purchase contract (property title)
    • Detailed packing list in German, French, Italian, or English
    • Proof of stay more than 1 year outside of Switzerland (military booklet, attestation from Swiss Consulate or earlier de-registration) (returning citizens) Click here to view Swiss Consulate addresses
    • Original Customs form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed, and stamped (diplomats)
    • Copy of "Carte de Légitimation" (diplomats)


    Specific Regulations

    • The importation of used household goods and personal effects into Switzerland is usually duty and tax free.
    • All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are affected.
      • If documents are missing, Customs formalities can only arrange a temporary clearance.
      • In these circumstances, Swiss Customs will levy an appropriate fee or ask for a deposit which is laid down according to the volume of the removal.
    • The "Carte de Légitimation" takes approximately 2 months to obtain.
      • Private place of residence of members of the staff of a diplomatic mission and members of the consular staff (career)

        In order to obtain registration with the FDFA (Protocol), giving the right to a legitimation card and allowing to benefit from the privileges and immunities deriving from the category of personnel to which they belong,

          1. a) with seat in Berne are required to reside in the city of Berne or within a radius of 40 km as the crow flies from the federal capital
          2. b) with headquarters in Geneva are required to reside in the canton of Geneva or in the canton of Vaud
        1. members of the diplomatic staff, administrative and technical staff as well as service staff of a diplomatic mission

        2. career consular officials, career consular employees, service staff of a career consular post are required to reside in the district of the consular post to which they are assigned.

          An exception is made for career consular posts located in Geneva with the canton of Geneva alone as the consular district: their staff members may reside either in the canton of Geneva or in the canton of Vaud; 

        3. persons authorized to accompany members of a mission or members of a (career) consular post in accordance with Article 20 of the Host State Ordinance of 7 December 2007 are required to live with them. 


      • Official place of residence

        1. Heads of diplomatic missions based in Bern must be in the city of Bern or in a neighboring municipality
        2. heads of diplomatic missions based in Geneva must be in the city of Geneva or in a neighboring Swiss municipality
        3. heads of consular posts (career) must be in the city of the seat of the post or in a neighboring municipality (in case of headquarters in Geneva and Basel: the residence must be in the city of Geneva or in a neighboring Swiss municipality , respectively the residence must be located in the city of Basel or in a neighboring Swiss municipality).
    • Used household goods may be imported if it is in the owner of the goods’ possession, has been used abroad for at least 6 months, are for the continued use of the owner of the goods, and correspond to the normal requirements of an intended resident after importation.
    • Personal office goods and papers belonging to the owner of the goods are considered household goods.
    • Returning Swiss citizens qualify for duty-free entry if the duration of employment abroad exceeded 12 months.
    • If possible, all goods should be imported in one consignment.
    • If one or more documents are missing, generally the residence permit, import clearance can be arranged on a temporary basis, but a certain amount will need to be granted to Swiss custom’s. This amount will be refunded once all missing documents are provided, but within a maximum delay of 6 months. Swiss mover might ask you to advance the money
    • Diplomats must have the Carte de Legitimation, which takes approximately 2 months to obtain. Clients who are not officially changing residence from abroad will have to pay duties and taxes
    • People officially changing residence from abroad to Switzerland, can import duty free, all their effects. These have to be in their possession and being used at least 6 months prior to their official date of change of residence Effects can not be sold for a period of 1 year(date that will be shown on their residence permit) All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are done.
    • Later consignments should be listed on the inventory of the first shipment.
      • If a later shipment is to follow, it should be noted on the owner of the goods’ declaration of personal household goods under the appropriate section.
      • If the owner of the goods can prove that he is unable to proceed with the clearance of a second shipment, Customs will extend a delay for clearance up to 24 months from the date of the first clearance.
    • Unaccompanied hand baggage may be imported duty free, provided it consists only of used personal effects and/or books.
      • The shipment should be accompanied by an inventory and is subject to Customs inspection.
    • If a secondary home is bought or rented, import of removal goods is free of duties and taxes.
      • However, importation must occur close to the time of the issue of the purchase or lease contract.
      • Cars do not fall under this rule and are not duty and tax-free, even if used. 

Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide and for information only. We make no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability for moves to Switzerland.