Imported foodstuffs and utility articles must comply with the requirements of Swiss foodstuffs legislation.
Food importers must ensure by means of self-inspection that their goods comply with the legal requirements. The labels of foods intended for sale to consumers must contain all the necessary information. The cantons, under the direction of their Cantonal Chemist, are responsible for inspections in Switzerland. The provisions of the product-specific ordinances must also be observed (see "More information").
The foodstuffs listed in the Ordinance on Foodstuffs and Utility Articles may be imported without authorisation from the FSVO provided that they meet all the requirements applicable to these products. Foodstuffs not mentioned in the Ordinance must be authorised by the FSVO.
Foodstuffs may be imported into Switzerland without certification. Special provisions apply to foodstuffs of animal origin from third countries in order to prevent animal diseases from being brought into the country. The specific import provisions can be found under Import.
Certification is, however, mandatory for the import of wild mushrooms from Eastern Europe, guar gum from India and certain foodstuffs from Japan.
Special import provisions
In addition to the import provisions mandated by the foodstuffs legislation, agricultural aspects also have to be taken into account in some cases. Information about this can be obtained from the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG).
Import authorisation for insects as foodstuffs
From 1 May 2017, 3 species of insects may be introduced from breeding colonies as foodstuffs:
- Tenebrio molitor in the larval stage (mealworm)
- Acheta domesticus, adult form (cricket)
- Locusta migratoria, adult form (migratory locust)
This requires an import authorisation by the FSVO.
For links to the food law requirements and the application for an import licence, see "More .information".
The import of live insects for human consumption is prohibited.
Different provisions apply to the import of foodstuffs and utility articles by private individuals. They are described on the following pages:
Last modification 18.02.2021