Moving International to or From Switzerland

Moving Overseas to or From Switzerland

Switzerland is an entirely land-locked nation in the heart of Europe. Why is that important to know? Because when it comes to shipping your household goods, you will have fewer options for transport.

The vast majority of household imports are shipped via overseas shipping container, but that won’t be possible for your move to Switzerland. Instead, your items will be transported by a combination of land and sea shippers as they make their way to your new home.

As far as cost goes, that will depend on where you are traveling from. From Tokyo, it can cost between ¥1,101,800 – ¥1,484,300 to ship your household goods to Switzerland. From New York, the cost will be closer to $7,500 – $10,100.

Importing Household Goods 

To import your personal items, you must already be in Switzerland.

Your personal items will qualify for tax and duty-free imports as long as you have owned these items for at least six months and that the items arrive in Switzerland within two years of your arrival in the country. Now for the tricky part: if you plan to ship your items in multiple shipments, you must provide an inventory of all of your shipments along with your first shipment. That means that you must plan ahead.

Here are some of the documents you will be required to present for customs clearance:

  • Swiss Residence and/or Work Permit
  • Valid Passport
  • Declarations for your first, and all subsequent shipments
  • Comprehensive inventory of your goods


Switzerland is unique in that there not all of their border crossings are staffed. For this reason, Switzerland offers two different processes for clearing your goods through customs.

  • Written declarations for unstaffed crossings – At an unstaffed crossing, you can declare your items in writing with the provided forms.
  • Verbal customs declarations at staffed crossings – Remember that verbal declarations are no less binding than written declarations. Honesty is always the best policy.

To help you with understanding the rules and what you may owe for taxes or customs duty, Switzerland offers the QuickZoll app, which you may download to your phone.

Importing a Vehicle  

Your private vehicle can be imported tax and duty-free if you have owned it for at least six months and will commit to retaining ownership of your vehicle for at least a year after you arrive in the country. This means that you cannot sell, lease, loan, rent, or dispose of this vehicle during that time.

To import your vehicle, you will need to provide:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of Swiss vehicle insurance and insurance from your home country
  • Clean title
  • Vehicle registration from your home country
  • Swiss Residence and/or Work Permit
  • Proof of purchase
  • International Driver’s License

Let Three Men and a Truck Help with your Overseas Move

The only thing standing between you and the fresh air of the Swiss alps is moving your stuff. Why not let the experts handle it? With our expertise in international shipping and our network of overseas shipping partners, we are ready, willing, and able to help. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation shipping quote and prepare to be amazed by how easy this move can be.

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Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

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