Includes information on average tariff rates and types that U.S. firms should be aware of when exporting to the market.
Swiss customs duties are generally specific rather than “ad valorem”. Duties vary according to the item imported. Swiss customs use the Harmonized System (HS) for the classification of goods. 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. More information in English can be found on the homepage of the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security.
Switzerland tends to impose low tariff rates on overall imports. In 2019, the trade-weighted average applied rate was 1.7%, according to the WTO. However, this includes a large volume of trade duty free with the European Union, EFTA, and other partners with whom Switzerland has bilateral free trade agreements. The simple average most-favored nation (MFN) rate was 5.3% in 2020. While non-agricultural goods from MFN countries only faced a simple average tariff rate of 1.3% in 2020, duties of 30.4% were applied to agricultural goods on average, and these rose to 137.7% for dairy products. Agricultural goods that are not produced domestically in Switzerland usually have lower tariffs, such as coffee and tea (4.1%), or fish and fish products (0.2%).
In September 2021, the Swiss parliament approved amendments to the Customs Tariff Act that would abolish tariffs on all industrial imports, while leaving agricultural tariffs unchanged. The amendments will enter into force on January 1, 2024. The elimination of industrial tariffs is expected to remove duties that currently apply to almost 26% of U.S. non-agricultural exports to Switzerland.
For detailed information in English on tariff rates on a good from a given country, please consult the Swiss Customs-Tares database.