Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods

Switzerland

Import Tariffs
Documentation/Procedures
Restrictions
Standards
Labeling
Market Information

Last updated on 08/17/2017

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Linda Martinich at the U.S. Department of Commerce- Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**


Import Tariffs - Switzerland
Switzerland (with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFTA members, except Switzerland, participate in the European Union (EU) single market through the European Economic Area (EEA) accord.

Swiss duties are "specific" rather than "ad valorem". Customs duties are levied per 100 kilograms of gross weight, unless some other method of calculation is specified in the tariff (e.g. per unit, per meter, per liter). The gross dutiable weight includes the actual weight of the goods and their packaging, including the weight of any fixing material and supports on which the goods are placed. The customs duty varies according to the item imported. See the tariff schedule on the Swiss Customs tariff website or the Current Situation of Schedules of Members on the World Trade Organization website.

From January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019, tariffs on certain yarns and fabrics will be suspended. See the list of 60 lines in the implementing legislation - RO 2015 4935.

Some textile products imported into Switzerland may benefit from a reduced rate of duty depending on their end use. For example, certain fabrics used by the embroidery industry benefit from customs relief (see the attached file below for the list). In the Swiss tariff schedule (see attached above), a “B” indicates fabrics subject to embroidery industry duty relief. A “R” indicates other products subject to duty relief based on an end-use commitment. To obtain a Customs relief certificate, the importer must present an end-use commitment and have obtained a permit from the General Directorate of Customs (Directions generale des douanes (DGD)).
Embroidery-Customs relief.pdf

Additional Import Taxes and Fees--Most imported goods and services are subject to a 8-percent VAT (value added tax) applied on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value plus duty.

Temporary Entry/Samples--Goods for display at public exhibitions are eligible for free passage (Freipass) through Swiss customs. Certification from the trade fair authorities that the goods are entering Switzerland for the exhibition is usually required. Exhibition goods must be re-exported within a month of the end of the exhibition. If the goods are sold to a Swiss resident off the exhibition floor, the buyer incurs a liability for the customs charges. For temporary entry of samples it is usually advisable to purchase an ATA Carnet.

ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.

If your product is primarily made in the U.S. of U.S. originating components it may qualify for duty-free entry into countries with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement (FTA). The U.S. currently has FTAs with the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore and South Korea. See the FTA Tariff Tool, to determine the duty-free status or reduced duties that apply to products eligible under these free trade agreements.

Additional resources for tariff information:

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Import Documentation/Procedures (Switzerland)

No specific information is available.

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Swiss Customs Administration

For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents.

For country-specific information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the
Country Commercial Guides (CCG) on the export.gov website.

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Import Restrictions (Switzerland)
No information is currently available on any bans, quotas, or other restrictions.
U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - Switzerland

Textile products are subject to restrictions contained in the Ordinance on the Reduction of Risks relating to the Use of Certain Particularly Dangerous Substances, Preparations and Articles.

CE Marking
To sell certain products in the 27 EU member states, as well as in Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey and Iceland, U.S. exporters are required to apply CE marking whenever their product is covered by specific product legislation. See the European Union country report for more information on CE marking.

Oeko Tex Standard 100--The "Oeko Tex Standard 100" is used by the majority of Swiss companies. The standard, set by the "International Community for Research and Testing in the field of Textile Ecology and Organization for Consumer and Environmentally Friendly Textiles e.V.", consists of the following fundamental guidelines:
  • Requirements apply to the end product only
  • Exclusion of certain dyes, which can cause cancer or allergic reactions
  • No flame protection or biocide equipping allowed
  • Limitation of harmful substances in the end product (pesticides, formaldehyde, heavy metals)
  • Differentiated limitations according to textile types and target groups
The guidelines for the award of the "Oeko Tex Standard 100" label were developed by the above-mentioned organization, also responsible for granting their label. The designation is restricted to one year, after which the product will need to undergo new testing.

Local standards organization and other resources:


The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.


Notify U.S. - Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers U.S. companies an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that may affect their access to international markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

ASTM International

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


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Labeling - Switzerland

The following information is generally found on textile and apparel product labels, although not mandated by Swiss law:

  • care symbols
  • fiber content (percentages of fiber)
  • size
  • country of origin (made in)
  • ecolabels
Swiss guidelines for textile labeling can be found on the Swiss Association for Textile Marking - SARTEX website. Some Swiss labeling guidelines may follow European Union directives (see Labeling - European Union).

Care labeling--Care labeling guidelines on the SARTEX website cover pictograms, which are trademarked by the International Association for Textile Care Labelling (Groupement International d'Etiquetage pour l'Entretien des Textiles - GINETEX).

Fiber Content--The inclusion of fiber content is not mandatory. However, if such information is provided, it must comply with the Swiss Directives on Fibre Content Labeling of Textiles. Use of the generic fiber names provided in EU Regulation No 1007/2011 is recommended. See the SARTEX website for more information.

Fur and Fur Products--According to the Ordinance on Labelling of Furs and Products Of Furs, which is enforced by the Federal Veterinary Office, such products must be labeled in at least one of the official languages (i.e., German, French, Italian, or Romansh) with the following information:
  • scientific and common name of the animal species
  • country of origin of the animal
  • indication of provenance / rearing method

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Market Information - Switzerland


No specific information is available.




U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Centers near you.

For information on protecting trademarks, designs, patents and copyrights, see the STOPFAKES.GOV website. STOPFAKES.GOV is dedicated to helping U.S. companies protect their innovations and safely market their products at home and overseas. Find guidance and resources on how to register your company's intellectual property and protect it from counterfeiting and piracy. Also find IPR toolkits for select countries, as well as other country-specific information.

For information on selling to foreign governments, see the Global Procurement Opportunities website.

Other sources for market information and data:

OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations

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