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Entering in Switzerland: the easy guideline for duty free allowances for foodstuffs, alcohol and tobacco

Goods that you import for your private use or as gifts are duty-free except for so-called sensitive goods, excess quantities of which are subject to customs duty for agricultural or health policy reasons . Duty-free allowances are applied per person per day.

Many times you’re not feeling so well when crossing the border. Why? Because most of the times you don’t exactly know what is the duty-free allowance for that particular product. Hopefully you’ll find helpful this specific guideline for meats, oils, alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Animal Products

Meat and meat products derived from all animal species, excluding wild animals, fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates.

Duty-free allowances per person per day

1 kg in total

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

up to 10 kg: 17 CHF per kg

more than 10 kg: 23 CHF per kg

Included are:

  • all parts of animal carcasses fit for consumption (with or without bones)
  • sausages containing meat or blood
  • other meat products
  • food preparations with sausage, meat or blood content of over 20 percent by weight

This does not include bone marrow, bones for stock, and dog and cat food in individual packets marked as animal feed.


Butter and cream (with a fat content of 15 % or more)

Duty-free allowances per person per day

1 kg/litre in total

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

16 CHF per kg/litre


Oils, fats, margarine for human consumption

Duty-free allowances per person per day

5 kg/litre in total

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

2 CHF per kg/litre

With an alcohol content by volume of under 18%

Beers, Sparkling Wine, White Wine, Red Wine, most of the Sweet Wines and few liquors with ALC < 18%

Duty-free allowances per person per day

5 liters in total (minimum age 17)

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

2 CHF per litre


With an alcohol content by volume of over 18%

Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, Tequila, Grappa and all the liquors and spirits with ALC > 18%

Duty-free allowances per person per day

1 litre in total (minimum age 17)

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

15 CHF per litre

Beverages with an alcohol content by volume of not more than 0.5% are not considered as alcoholic beverages.

Cigarettes / Cigars

Duty-free allowances per person per day

250 cigarettes in total or (minimum age 17)

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

0.25 CHF per unit


Other tobacco products

Duty-free allowances per person per day

250gr in total (minimum age 17)

Customs duties in CHF for excess quantities

0.10 CHF per gr

Last but not least!

Please note: If the total value of the goods carried (including the value of all foodstuffs) exceeds CHF 300, you will have to pay VAT in any case. (7.7%). The best way to do it is to stop at the custom and following these easy steps:

  1. Go to the local custom office (Italy, France, Austria, Germany) and show your tax-free recipe and the a stamp (now in most of the cases is digital stamp)
  2. Go to the Swiss Custom Office and pay the Swiss VAT
  3. You’re free to go! In case of tax free items, you can redeem your tax in a Global Blue point (from Chiasso the first one is at the petrol station in A2 Coldrerio)

Visit the e-Wine Shop

Starting from 6,90 CHF, access to the amazing world of Mr.Vino CH and select your next discovery wine!

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