Goods that can be temporarily imported must be exported unaltered. If the transporter wants to repair or process the goods, Swiss inward processing procedures allow for duty free importation. In some cases, the goods may be exempted from value-added tax (VAT).
For goods transiting Switzerland, there are two main procedures: the Common Transit Procedure (CTP) and the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) procedure. The CTP, an electronic procedure which allows for a simple and cost-efficient way to transport goods through multiple countries, is currently applied to all modes of transport in the EU and EFTA countries as well as Turkey, North Macedonia, Serbia, and the UK. A deposit must be paid in the country in which the procedure begins and will be refunded once the goods reach their destination. Upon initiating the procedure, the system generates a customs document that must accompany the goods until they reach their destination within the designated time frame. TIR functions similarly but encompasses more countries and only applies to road transportation. The TIR carnet functions as the customs document and must accompany the transit. In both cases, no transit duties or fees are levied.
The ATA carnet is another international customs document that can be used in Switzerland for the temporary importation, exportation, and transit of goods. With an ATA Carnet, no deposit must be paid upon entering the border, and the goods in question may be imported tax-free for up to one year before re-export. Most often, the ATA carnet is used for goods for exhibitions and trade fairs, professional equipment, and commercial samples.
More detailed instructions in English on how to handle temporary entry goods and transit through Switzerland are available at the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security.