Switzerland abolishes industrial tariffs as of 1.1.2024

Dr. Matthias Hofer
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Switzerland abolishes the industrial tariffs in chapters 25–97 of the customs tariff. However, agricultural and fishing duties (in chapters 1–24) and duties for some goods classified as agricultural products (in chapters 35 and 38) remain in place.

Production costs are falling for domestic companies, as primary materials can be imported more cheaply. Costs also fall for domestic and foreign suppliers of consumer goods. In particular, import duties were previously payable on the delivery of cars, clothing, bicycles and household appliances. The abolition of industrial tariffs is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of Switzerland as a production location, which is integrated into international value chains. The measure should also have a price-dampening effect on domestic consumer demand. The abolition of industrial tariffs is a unilateral measure by Switzerland. As Liechtenstein and Switzerland together form the customs territory, this measure also applies to imports into Liechtenstein. Foreign countries, on the other hand, will continue to levy customs duties.

Despite the abolition of industrial tariffs, other duties on the import of goods into Switzerland and Liechtenstein remain in place. VAT, automobile tax, mineral oil tax, VOC incentive tax and other duties remain in place. Other non-customs regulations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will also continue to apply. The abolition of industrial tariffs will not result in any changes for the customs clearance processes. The obligation to declare goods entering the customs territory remains in place. However, the number of tariff lines has been reduced from 9’114 to 7’511. In addition, for goods that remain or are consumed in Switzerland proof of origin is no longer required. These are administrative simplifications.

The abolition of industrial tariffs can have a direct costcutting effect for companies that import goods into Switzerland. In addition, the administrative tariff classification effort in the customs clearance process should decrease. However, the obligation to declare goods and the customs clearance processes will remain in place. Other import duties such as automobile tax, mineral oil tax and the VOC incentive tax will also continue to apply.

Grant Thornton Switzerland/Liechtenstein will be happy to support your company as a competent partner in all matters relating to the abolition of industrial tariffs. We look forward to hearing from you.