English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.
Customs Tariff Act
of 9 October 1986 (Status as of 1 January 2017)
2 The foregoing is subject to exceptions laid down by international treaties, special provisions of acts or by orders of the Federal Council made under this Act.
1 Goods shall be assessed on their gross weight if no other assessment unit is provided.
2 The Federal Council shall issue provisions intended to ensure that goods are assessed on their gross weight, in order to prevent any attempt to evade duty and any unfair effects that this method of assessment may entail.
3 Where the duty assessment basis is 100 kg, the weight for clearance purposes shall be rounded up to the next 100 g.
The Federal Council may increase individual General Tariff rates of duty unilaterally if this is considered essential in order to achieve the objectives of such an increase.
1 When the interests of the Swiss economy so require, the Federal Council may temporarily apply customs duty agreements and the tariff rates resulting therefrom. It may also apply tariff rates resulting from agreements temporarily, in accordance with Article 2 of the Federal Act of 25 June 19821 on Foreign Trade Measures.
2 The Federal Council may proportionately reduce any rates that prove to be too high in comparison with reduced rates laid down in tariff treaties.
3 When the interests of the Swiss economy so require, the Federal Council may, irrespective of any tariff treaty and having consulted the Committee of Customs Experts:
- reduce duties appropriately;
- order the temporary total or partial suspension of the duties applicable to certain goods;
- set tariff quotas.3
1 No duty is paid on the export of goods that are not listed in the export tariff.
2 In the event that, as a result of exceptional conditions abroad, the rates of duty in the export tariff prove to be insufficient to prevent the flow of the goods listed therein abroad, the Federal Council may increase the rates of duty for as long as circumstances require and fix rates of duty for goods that are classified in the customs tariff as being exempt from duty.
3 The Federal Council must reduce or abolish the rates of duty in the export tariff if they are no longer necessary for the guarantee of the national supply.
4 The Federal Council may make the duty-free export of goods listed in the export tariff subject to conditions or charges.
The Federal Council may in exceptional circumstances, and in particular in the event of disastrous instances of force majeure and shortages or rises in the prices of foodstuffs and essential goods, order temporary reductions of duty and by way of exception exemptions from duty.
If, as a result of foreign measures or exceptional conditions abroad, Switzerland’s foreign relations are influenced to such an extent that essential Swiss economic interests are prejudiced, the Federal Council may, for as long as the circumstances require, modify the relevant rates of duty, or, in the event of exemption from duty, introduce duties, or take other suitable measures.
Statistical records shall be maintained on the import, export and transit of goods over the Swiss customs border (Foreign Trade Statistics).
1 Originally Art. 10.
1 The Federal Council is authorised to accept the modifications recommended by the Customs Cooperation Council in accordance with Article 16 of the International Convention of 14 June 19833 on a Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System and to amend the General Tariff.
2 It may in accordance with Article 3 paragraph 1 letter c of the aforementioned Convention include tariff lines from the General Tariff in the Working Tariff as statistical lines, provided that this does not lead to any change in the tariff burden.
The Federal Council is authorized to modify the General Tariff temporarily if an amendment to the LIX-Switzerland-Liechtenstein list2 is provisionally being applied.
1 Inserted by No I of the Act of 30 April 1997, in force since 1 Oct. 1997 (AS 1997 2236; BBl 1997 II 1).
2 The LIX Switzerland-Liechtenstein List is not published in the Official Compilation. It may be obtained the General Directorate for Customs (Oberzolldirektion, Hauptabteilung Zolltarif, 3003 Bern).
1 In order to achieve the objectives of the agricultural legislation, the Federal Council may fix the rates of duty for agricultural products within the framework of the General Tariff; in doing so, it shall take account of other economic sectors.
2 The implementation authorities shall at the necessary intervals compile the data on import volumes and prices of agricultural products that is required as the basis for determining the rates of duty.
3 If the market conditions result in a need for regular modifications, then the Federal Council may delegate the powers under paragraph 1 to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) or the Federal Office for Agriculture. It may only delegate the power to the Federal Office for Agriculture if it grants that office only limited discretion in fixing the rates of duty.1
- the fixing of threshold prices;
- the fixing, modification and distribution of the tariff quotas listed in Annex 2;
- the fixing, modification, and distribution of tariff quotas for agricultural products in accordance with Article 4 paragraph 3 letter c.3
1 In accordance with the safeguard clauses in the international agreements in the field of agriculture, the Federal Council may temporarily increase the rates of the General Tariff for agricultural products.
3 The EAER may set up an advisory committee on the application of price-related and volume-related safeguard clauses.
1 If the Federal Council increases the individual rates of the General Tariff in accordance with Article 3, it shall at the same time apply for a corresponding amendment to be made to the Act.
2 The corresponding ordinances shall apply at the latest until the commencement of the amendment to the Act that replaces them or until the day on which the bill thereon is rejected by the Federal Assembly or by the People.
- it applies an international agreement for a temporary period (Art. 4 para. 1);
- measures in accordance with Articles 4–7 and 9a or Section 6 are taken;
- revised threshold prices are fixed;
- revised volumes for tariff quotas or their distribution in time are fixed.
2 The Federal Assembly shall approve the international agreement and decide whether the measures, if still in force, should remain in force, or be extended or modified.
1 Originally Art. 9.
2 Amended by No. I of the Federal Act of 16 Dec. 1994, in force since 1 July 1995 (AS 1995 1826; BBl 1994 IV 950).
3 Amended by No. I 1 of the Federal Act of 24 March 2006 on the Reorganisation of Reporting in the Field of External Economic Policy, in force since 1 Jan. 2007 (AS 2006 4097; BBl 2006 1831).
4 Amended by No I of the Act of 30 April 1997, in force since 1 Oct 1997 (AS 1997 2236; BBl 1997 II 1).
The Federal Council shall appoint a Committee of Customs Experts as an advisory body.
1 The Federal Council is responsible for implementation. It shall enact the required transitional provisions.
2 The Customs Administration shall publish the Working Tariff.
1 The Federal Council shall revise the provisions of federal legislation that contain tariff headings in accordance with the General Tariff in this Act and shall bring the revised provisions into force at the same time as this Act.
1 [AS 1959 1343]
1 This Act is subject to an optional referendum.
2 The Federal Council shall determine the date on which this Act comes into force.
Commencement Date: 1 January 198810
The Federal Council is authorised to make the amendments to the General Tariff that are necessary as a result of the discontinuation of the denaturation of bread grain due to the repeal of the Grain Act.
1 In accordance with Art. 5 para. 1 of the Publications Act of 18 June 2004 (SR 170.512), the General Tariff is not published in the Official Compilation. The Ordinance with the text of these amendments may be inspected at the General Directorate for Customs, 3003 Bern. These amendments are included in the General Tariff, which is published on the internet under www.ezv.admin.ch. The amendments are also included in the Customs Tariff, published in accordance with Art. 15 para. 2 of this Act, which may be consulted on the Internet under www.tares.ch (see AS 1987 1876 2311, 1988 1067, 1989 139 Art. 1 1124 Art. 1 2389 Art. 1, 1991 1599 Art. 1, 1992 1232 Art. 1, 1993 955 Annex 2004 Art. 1, 1994 1430 Art. 1 1634 No I 9 2785 Art. 1, 1995 1829 Art. 1 4932 Art. 1 and 2 5366 Art. 1, 1996 3045 Annex No 1 3310 Art. 1 3371 Annex 2 No 3, 1997 2236 2632 Art. 1 2633 Art. 1 2831 Art. 1, 1998 1592 Art. 1, 1999 314 Art. 1 1514 Art. 1 1709 Art. 1 1727 Art. 1, 2001 2091 Art. 1 2409 Art. 1 para. 2, 2002 3643, 2003 529 Art. 1, 2005 503 Art. 1 and 2 5447 Art. 1, 2006 867 2995 Art. 1–3, 2007 2271 Art. 1 2885 Art. 1 2887 Art. 1, 2010 5057 No I para. 1, 2011 3331 Art. 1 and 2 5249 No I para. 1 5923 Art. 1, 2016 1401 No II 2445 Art. 1 2647 Art. 1).
1 SR 1012 Amended by Annex No I of the Federal Act of 18 March 2016, in force since 1 Aug. 2016 (AS 2016 2429; BBl 2015 2883).3 BBl 1985 III 3574 Originally Section 5. Amended by No I of the Act of 16 Dec. 1994, in force since 1 July 1995 (AS 1995 1826; BBl 1994 IV 950).5 Originally Section 6.6 Amended by No I of the Act of 30 April 1997, in force since 1 Oct. 1997 (AS 1997 2236; BBl 1997 II 1).7 Inserted by No I of the Act of 16 Dec. 1994, in force since 1 July 1995 (AS 1995 1826; BBl 1994 IV 950).8 Originally Section 4. Amended by No I of the Act of 16 Dec. 1994, in force since 1 July 1995 (AS 1995 1826; BBl 1994 IV 950).9 Originally Section 7. The original Arts. 12–15 became Arts. 14–17.10 Art. 1 of the Ordinance of 4 Nov. 1987 (AS 1987 2309).11 No IV of the Act of 24 March 2000 on the Repeal of the Grain Act, in force since 1 July 2001 (AS 2001 1539; BBl 1999 9261).