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International Affairs Resources for Switzerland



For Wine:

Please note that it is required that a label contain a Swiss contact who is responsible for the wine.

  • Name and address of producer
  • Product designation
  • Geographical indication
  • Alcohol content
  • Volume (in metric quantities only)
  • Country of origin
  • Net content
  • Allergen labeling for wines containing sulfites

For Spirits:

  • Name of product
  • “Importer:” or “Imported by”, along with the importer’s name and address (at least post code and location)
  • Net content
  • Quantitative Ingredients Declaration (QUID) – list of ingredients
  • Actual alcoholic strength (this applies to drinks with an alcohol content of more than 0.5 per cent by volume, with the symbol “% vol.”; the tolerance margin should not be more than 0.5 per cent by volume.)
  • Lot identification number
  • Special storage conditions (if applicable)

According to the Swiss Alcohol Board, “Labels must be made such that they are easily destroyed if any attempt is made to remove them from bottles or containers” (See SAB’s leaflet on Bottle Labels/Regulations, as well as other useful leaflets, at: https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home/topics/alcohol.html).

GM (Genetically Modified) Food Labeling:

Labeling of products (including substances utilized as processing aids) containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is mandatory.

Foods and food additives derived from GMOs, regardless of whether traces of the GMO itself exist, must be adequately indicated, according to Swiss regulations.

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The following is a list of the documents that are needed for importing into Switzerland:

  • Bill of Lading and/or Airway Bill
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin, established or recognized by the country of origin's competent authorities
  • Packing List (not mandatory, but may facilitate clearance of goods)
  • Pro-Forma Invoice

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Wine importers must first register with the Swiss Wine Trade Control, and must subsequently obtain a general import permit (GEB) from the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG).


Retailers within a Canton (or “state” of Switzerland) must obtain a permit by the cantonal authorities.  Those trading beyond cantonal boundaries must also possess a Federal Retail trade permit (obtained from the Swiss Alcohol Board).

Those interested in selling quantities of more than 400 liters of effective strength alcohol to resellers must obtain a Federal Wholesale Trade Permit from the Swiss Alcohol Board.

More detailed information can be found in Articles 39 to 42b of the Federal Law on Alcohol (Alcohol Law), and in Articles 41 to 45 of the Ordinance on Alcohol and Home Distillery Law (Alcohol Ordinance).

NOTE: The Swiss Alcohol Board is in charge of implementing the Alcohol Law, which concerns spirits, brandies, and high-grade alcoholBeer, Wine, and cider do not fall under this law, and most of the regulations for those products fall under the supervision of other bodies, such as the Federal Commission for Control in Trade of Wine and/or the Federal Office for Agriculture.

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The customs declaration must be made electronically.  Anybody may complete the customs declaration form, but it is generally completed by the importer.  To complete the declaration, use a forwarding agent or Switzerland’s free e-dec web Import.

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The annual import of wine is limited, and is therefore monitored by the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (Swiss Customs).  The current status can be found on the Swiss Customs homepage, under the link “Status of Collective Quotas.”

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The import costs are calculated as follows:

  1. Customs Duty
    Natural and sparkling wines are classified under customs tariff number 2204.xxxx (www.tares.ch).  You can calculate the amount of customs duties using the Tares customs tariff.  The standard rate always applies to wine, regardless of the country from which it is imported.  Therefore, there are no customs duty reductions.
  2. Value-Added Tax (VAT)
    VAT must be added to the customs duties.  For natural and sparkling wines, the VAT amounts to 7.7 percent, as of December 2022.
  3. Alcohol Tax
    No alcohol tax (spirits tax) is payable on natural wine (max. 18 percent alcohol by volume) without the addition of distilled water.  Exceptions apply to wine specialities, certain sweet wines, or wine with added alcohol.  For more information, see the Swiss Government’s Remarks on the Customs Tariff, specifically the pdf document entitled, “Spirits Tax” on the English language page.
  4. Disposal Fee for Glass Bottles
    If the wine is imported in glass bottles, the number of bottles and their filling quantity must be declared in the electronic customs declaration.  This serves for the collection of the disposal fee for glass beverage packaging by the Federal Office for the Environment.  Further information can be found in the document at the following link: PDC: Prepaid Disposal fee for glass beverage Containers.

Spirits and Alcopops:

For specific information on taxes placed on spirits and “alcopops,” please see the Swiss Alcohol Board’s leaflets titled “Import of Spirits” and “Import and Export of Alcopops” along with other import information, on the Import/Export section of their website at: https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home/topics/alcohol.html

Also, visit the Import/Export section of their website at:

For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit the Online Tariff Database provided by Tariffic.  Please ensure you have a 10-digit HS classification code in order to obtain tariff information.  Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function ( https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.

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USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Office of Agricultural Affairs
11 Route de Pregny
1292 Chambesy-Geneva
Tel: (011-41-22) 749-5247
Fax: (011-41-22) 749-5333 
Email: aggeneva@usda.gov
Website: https://geneva.usmission.gov/international-trade/usda-foreign-agricultural-service 
Swiss Federal Office of Public Health
Bundesamt fur Gesundheit
CH-3003 Bern
Tel. +41 (0)31 322 63 00,
Fax: +41 (0)31 322 95 74
E-mail: info@bag.admin.ch
Website: http://www.bag.admin.ch
Swiss Customs
Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS)
Customs Information Office
Email: customsinfo@bazg.admin.ch
Website: https://www.bazg.xadmin.ch
Federal Commission for Control in Trade of Wine 
(Eidgenössische Weinhandelskontrollkommission)
Burglistrasse 17, case postale 177
8027 Zurich
Tel: 043 305 0909
Fax: 043 305 09 00
Email: info@cfcv.ch
Swiss Alcohol Board
Länggassstrasse 35
CH-3000 Bern 9
Tel. +41 (0)31 309 12 11
Fax: +41 (0)31 309 15 00
Email: info@eav.admin.ch
Website: http://www.eav.admin.ch

Embassy of Switzerland
2900 Cathedral Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 745-7900
Fax: (202) 387-2564
Email: trade@was.rep.admin.ch
Website: https://www.eda.admin.ch/washington


Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG)
Mattenhofstrasse 5
3003 Bern
Tel: + 41 58 462 25 11
Fax: + 41 58 462 26 34
Email: info@blw.admin.ch
Website: https://www.blw.admin.ch
Swiss Wine Trade Control
8803 Rüschlikon 
Tel: +41 43 305 09 09
Website: https://www.cscv-swk.ch

The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports.  Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.

TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.

This page was last reviewed on January 3, 2023.

Last updated: April 11, 2024