Tax and Import Duty

Importing a car from abroad? Find out the taxes you may have to pay, and the nature of the import duty...

No import duty will be charged on a vehicle owned for more than six months. A clearance request form (available from customs) must be completed.

A vehicle may be driven with its foreign licence plate for one year.

Cars and motorcycles imported from Europe may be brought in tax-free provided proof of origin can be presented.

The following taxes are due on an imported car owned for less than six months:

  • Customs duties: rate based on the weight and the engine capacity of the vehicle
  • Consumption tax: amounting to 4% of the car's worth
  • VAT (value added tax)
  • Fee: for the report (a document that is required in order to register the vehicle in Switzerland).

Exemptions from import duty and VAT

  • Importing a car due to marriage
  • Importing a car for succession purposes
  • Importing a car to be used by a foreign diplomat

Cars imported from the United States

Cars imported from the United States must have the correct tyres adapted to the maximum authorised speed, shatter-proof windscreens, the speedometer must display kilometres per hour (Km/h) and headlights need to be adapted to suit European regulations.

Imported cars should have a catalytic converter fitted in order to reduce pollution.

Note: Most modern EU and US approved vehicles already meet this requirement.