Non-commercial and laboratory samples from the EU

Scope / conditions

The import provisions apply to infectious material that is pathogenic in animals and to substances and objects that may be carriers of pathogens (e.g. micro-organisms in the form of laboratory samples for analytical and research purposes, or shipments of non-commercial samples for machine testing or product development). See also “Special provisions”.

The specific health regulations governing import are provided in greater detail under "Further info".

Animal health import permit

Sampled material from food and feed that is not or no longer fit for commercial purposes may be imported without a licence if it is intended for analysis in Swiss laboratories. The shipments must be labelled as "laboratory samples".

Please submit a written application to the FSVO if you wish to import shipments of other non-commercial samples and laboratory samples or other material pathogenic in animals (see "Import applications").

Overarching protective measures

The protective measures in force on the day of import apply in all cases.

Inspection on entry into the country

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.


Certain animal species are additionally subject to species conservation provisions. Specimens or samples from protected species require an import licence from the veterinary health authority (except blood and tissue samples of apes listed in CITES Appendices II (for medical purposes)) and a CITES export licence issued by the country of origin.

Such shipments must be notified to the customs authority and presented to a species conservation control office within 48 hours (two working days). Blood and tissue samples of apes listed in CITES Appendices II (for medical purposes) are exempt from physical inspection. In such cases, only the documents have to be inspected (see “Species conservation control without an import licence” document under “More information”).

The fee for the species conservation control will be collected in advance by the customs authority.

Please contact the FSVO if you have any questions or require clarification.

Last modification 03.10.2016

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