The conditions that apply to imports of animals and goods of animal origin from the EU are the same as those that apply to the movement of animals and goods within the EU.
New EU Animal Health Law
Please note that new rules apply from April 21st 2021, including those governing movements of animals and animal products between EU Member States and Switzerland.
From October 11th 2021, the new health certificates for movements of animals and germinal products (semen, oocytes and embryos) must be issued in TRACES New Technology NT.
Swiss operators must therefore be registered in TRACES NT (in French) by the competent cantonal veterinary office.
Legal framework of the animal health sector governing movements of live animals, germinal products (semFügen Sieen, oocytes and embryos) from animals and animal by-products between EU Member States and Switzerland
Since 1 January 2021, animals and animal products from Great Britain are subject to the conditions for imports from third countries. Animals and animal products from Northern Ireland are subject to the conditions for imports from the EU.
Due to the veterinary agreement between Switzerland and the EU, the health and hygiene regulations governing the import of animals and goods of animal origin from the EU are the same as those that apply to their movement within the EU. Depending on the type of shipment, further aspects may also have to be taken into consideration in addition to veterinary health and species protection provisions, e.g. customs or agricultural aspects.
Please note that it is not possible to import all categories of animals and goods into Switzerland at all border crossing points. The customs authorities have full autonomy in determining the responsibilities of each customs post. Imports from the EU are not subject to border veterinary inspection.
The competent cantonal authorities check the prescribed health certificates or commercial documentation as part of their control activities.
elTRA interface and customs declaration
Only applicable to consignments of biungulates and poultry from the EU: at the time of customs declaration, the elTRA interface checks checks to ensure that the requisite health certificate is provided.
Control requirement for certain marine fishery products
The ordinance on controlling the lawful origin of imported marine fishery products comes into force on1 March 2017. As from this date, certain consignments of marine fishery products are subject to controls and must be registered with the FSVO for document inspection (see Illegal fishing).
Health certificate and TRACES notification
In many cases, animals or goods must be accompanied by a health certificate or a commercial document when they cross the border. Usually the veterinary officer in the country of origin must send an electronic TRACES notification to the Cantonal Veterinary Office responsible for the place of destination. In this case the Swiss establishment of destination and the importer must therefore be recorded in the electronic TRACES system before the first import takes place.
It is the responsibility of the importer to comply with the import provisions. The protective measures in force on the day of import apply in all cases.
Aspects relating to legislation on species protection
Certain animal and plant species are additionally subject to species conservation regulations. Please check the conservation status in the CITES species list (see "Further information") and select the corresponding category using the detailed query option (see also imports of protected animal and plant species).
What do you want to import?
Select the appropriate settings under Import to see the import provisions that apply to the goods you are planning to import, or navigate through the topics.
If you have any questions about the enforcement of legislation concerning imports from the EU or Norway, please contact the competent cantonal authorities. Questions concerning the import provisions governing protected species should be addressed to the FSVO.
Last modification 20.02.2024