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International Moving Company to Switzerland

Published on Jul 13, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

SDC International Shipping is an experienced international moving company to Switzerland. Switzerland is a great country, but moving there is not easy.  

Many Americans choose to move to Switzerland. It has a great location and great weather. If you like skiing or cycling, want to live near lakes and mountains, but still be close to the world-class business, Switzerland is the place. SDC International Shipping moves clients to Switzerland on a regular basis and has the expertise to facilitate your move.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to Switzerland
02 | International Car Shipping to Switzerland
03 | Swiss Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to Switzerland from USA Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options
06 | Useful information before International Moving to Switzerland

International Household Moving to Switzerland

It is understandable that so many people want to live there, but still many of the comforts to which Americans have become accustomed are unavailable in Switzerland. Do you like your big bed? You’ll have to bring it with you. It’s a really good idea to bring several spare sets of sheets with you.

You probably have accumulated rooms full of personal belongings that you will want to bring with you to your new home. You won’t be able to take your kitchen range with you, but don’t leave your pots behind. Cast iron cookware can be used for generations, but it can’t be easily purchased in Switzerland. Don’t worry about the weight if you are sending by sea. Your plates and utensils might be available in Switzerland, but at a great cost. You can’t take your kitchen with you, but you can take the most important parts.

Personal effects should come with you to your new home. For some people, this will be books, for others sports equipment. For almost everyone, it will include personal and family items. Most people will have special fragile items that require special handling. For these, SDC’s professional packing service is the way to go. If you pack by yourself you will be unable to insure your shipment against damage. Our movers will come with special cartons for mirrors and paintings. When necessary we will build custom crates for items that require extra protection or of an odd size.

Major appliances won’t work in Switzerland and need to be left behind. The typical European counterparts will fit into Swiss housing and work better. Expect the typical Swiss dwelling to be smaller than most American apartments. Some people might want to consider purchasing washing machines specially made for use in Europe, but as you are likely to be renting and possibly moving within your Swiss city in a few years, this needs to be carefully considered.

What you should take with you are electronics. If your devices are charged by an external adapter or USB charger, they will more than likely work in Switzerland. What you should check is that 110 – 220 v (or sometimes 100 – 240 v) is written for the input electricity. Today, this includes almost all small electronics like shaving machines and electronic equipment, but also many larger devices like computers, TVs, computer screens, and all cell phones and photography equipment.

International Car Shipping to Switzerland

If you transfer your permanent place of residence (they’ll call it domicile) to Switzerland, you can import your car without paying import duties. Please ensure that your car is at least six months old and registered to you. Newer cars are subject to 7% VAT.

You won’t be able to sell it for at least a year. The name that appears on the vehicle’s title and registration should be that of the shipment assignee.  These must be provided prior to picking up your vehicle for transport to Switzerland.

Read more: International Vehicle Shipping from USA

Swiss Customs and Regulations

Switzerland is in the middle of Europe. It is a part of the European Customs Union but not a European Union member. Some, but not all of its regulations are aligned with those of its EU neighbors. This website provides current official policies of the Eidgenössische Zollverwaltung (Swiss customs authority) in English.

Americans will find the Swiss taxation system reminiscent of the American model of federal and state levels, only in Switzerland, they call them cantons instead of states. Your import tariffs will be at the federal level, but income is taxed at both. In general, Swiss taxes are far lower than in neighboring countries, with value added tax being 7% compared to the average of 20% in the EU. This is the rate you will be charged for things that don’t meet the criteria for duty-free import. If you are relocating to Switzerland, you need to check the specific import and customs regulations, and to be safe contact the closest consulate with questions.

Switzerland does not raise many problems for most immigrants bringing their personal belongings with them.
New goods will be taxed at the standard 7% VAT rate. Used goods should not be assessed import duties.
It is an absolute must to prepare a thorough and accurate inventory of the goods in your shipment. Movers from SDC International Shipping’s will prepare this list for you. You will have to fill in the 18.44 form and attach the inventory. This inventory list will also be used for your shipment insurance, so double check it.

Switzerland also differs from other countries, allowing you to send a reasonable amount of alcohol with you. You can send 200 liters of less than 25% alcohol AND 12 liters of higher percentages. You’re moving to a country neighboring wine legends France and Italy, but you can bring 12 cases of California’s finest 15 bottles of legendary bourbon with you, take advantage of the opportunity.

Switzerland also differs from other countries in that you can import your goods in stages, but you will need to declare these a priori. Check with SDC International Shipping’s experts if this is necessary for you.

Moving to Switzerland from USA Checklist

It’s a good idea to double check you have documents you need before you leave the United States, they will be much harder to get later. Gather:

  • Immigration visas – Switzerland does not demand this as a condition of importing a household
  • The Houshold effects self-certification form for immigrants  is available here
  • Personal documents for the whole family (birth certificates, passport, marriage or divorce certificates, driver’s license, medical records)
  • Official school records – these should include primary school records.
  • Professional credentials and qualifications, college and university degrees.

International Shipping Options

Even though a good portion of its borders are water, Switzerland is a land locked country without its own sea ports. Though Basel features the cleverly named Port of Switzerland, today’s modern ships will stop at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port. The logistics for sending to Switzerland will vary depending upon many factors.

Full container loads can still be sent to most Swiss cities, but it isn’t always the best option. Less than full container loads, whether sent as a part of an SDC International Shipping consolidated container or directly sent to your destination are a good option. Because of the extra logistics, smaller shipments might be sent by air.

SDC International shipping maintains commercial storage for its clients both in the United States and in Rotterdam. You can take advantage of this to help time your move. Moves to Switzerland are not the quickest, so it is a good idea to plan early. If you need us to hold on to your belonging for more than a week, let us know as soon as possible so that we can coordinate your move.

International Moving to Switzerland

  • FREE estimate with no obligation
  • Hassle free moving company from USA to any cities in Switzerland
  • Personal moving coordinator through the whole moving process
  • Door to door service
  • For less than container load (LCL) we offer unique custom made wooden crates for your possession security and safety
  • Antique, fine arts, delicate and valuables custom crates
  • Professional & licensed moving agents network worldwide
  • Quick, careful and safe moving process
  • Move is done at your convenience 24/7, 365 days
  • Your goods safety is guaranteed

Call for your FREE international moving quote NOW! (877) 339-0267

Useful information before International Moving to Switzerland

What is the required Documentation when moving to Switzerland?

Resident permit
Lease and property title
Inventory in English, German, French, and Italian

What are the Customs Regulations when moving to Switzerland?

Owners must be in Switzerland in time of importation to clear used household goods duty-free.
Goods may be duty-free if owned for a minimum of six months.

What are the Restricted Items when moving to Switzerland?

New items (less than six months)
Bulk foods
Alcohol (highly taxed)

What are the Prohibited Items when moving to Switzerland?

Weapons (sporting weapons may be approved with permits)
Cleaning fluids

What are the Vehicles Regulations when moving to Switzerland?

Vehicles are duty-free if owned for over six months and won’t be sold within twelve months of import.
Vehicles must undergo inspection for permission of import
All vehicles must have all required documents and according to Swiss government’s regulations

Read information on required additional documents and permissions.

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