±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Interview With Duncan Khoury, Head of Marketing, World First Australia
· Expat Focus Financial Update June 2017
· Relocation Destinations For The Politically Minded And Socially Progressive Expat
· Expat Focus Financial Update May 2017
· An Expat Guide To Investing While Living Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update 27 April 2017
· Expat Focus Financial Update 21 April 2017
· Expat Focus Financial Update 12 April 2017
· Expat Focus International Finance Update 05 April 2017
Importing Your PetBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Switzerland - Importing Your Pet
These conditions state that your animals must be accompanying you as pets, i.e. you cannot bring animals into Switzerland either to deliver to someone else or with the intention of making financial gain from them. You will also be restricted to a maximum of five animals. If you exceed this Swiss customs will treat you as a professional importer of animals rather than a pet owner and you will be subject to different regulations and charges. Puppies must be accompanied by their mother if aged younger than 56 days. You will need to obtain a veterinary certificate, unless re-importing a Swiss animal.
If your home country is within the EU and you are travelling with a cat, dog or ferret, you should obtain a PETS Scheme pet passport. The process will involve having your pet fitted with a microchip and vaccinated against rabies. This should be done at least 21 days before you travel. The vet will also issue the pet passport.
If your country of departure or the country in which your animals have been resident is considered a rabies risk they must be vaccinated and, after at least 30 days have elapsed, a blood test must be carried out by an accredited laboratory to ensure the sample meets EU standards. After this you will have a further wait of 3 months. Puppies cannot be brought in if aged under three months. Importing your pets via air requires you additionally to apply for an animal health permit at least 3 weeks before your travel. This is obtained from the Federal Veterinary Office FVO (G: Bundesamt für Veterinärwesen BVET, F: Office vétérinaire fédéral OVF) who have an application form on their website.
The anti-rabies vaccine must be either 'an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose' or 'a recombinant vaccine expressing the immunising glycoprotein of the rabies virus in a live virus vector' (source: Federal veterinary office FVO).
Note that your pet should no long be tattooed as proof of identity but that tattoos dating from prior to 3rd July 2011 will be accepted provided you have proof of this.
Your dog, cat or ferret will be subject to VAT if you are settling in Switzerland and you should notify customs so that this can be correctly administered.
Smaller domesticated pets can also be brought into Switzerland including birds (but not poultry), pet rabbits, rodents, amphibians and reptiles. Horses and animals which would otherwise be considered to be farm animals must be properly imported following the separate live animal import regulations. Contact the Federal Veterinary Office to confirm the correct procedure for your species of animal. The FVO urges care when importing an animal, bird or fish, particularly if from outside of the EU, as sadly they may have to be destroyed where regulations are not fully observed.
Contact the FVO if planning to import a wild or exotic animal, bird or insect as conservation regulations make it necessary to obtain an import permit. This includes snakes, tortoises, parrots, and a number of other creatures. Once in Switzerland, pets considered to be exotic will need a visit from a cantonal veterinarian who will ensure the proper care is available (enclosure size, facilities, etc) to cater for their specific needs before granting a permit. If you bring a dog to Switzerland you must register it with the local authorities and pay an annual dog tax.
You will be able to find everything you need for your pet in Switzerland. Pet supplies are 'Tierbedarf' in German (in French-speaking areas, look for 'aliments pour chiens et chats'). Food for domestic animals is readily available in supermarkets and include popular brands such as Whiskas, Felix, Sheba, Pedigree, and Cesar. Small animals are catered for by Vitakraft foods and supplies. For more exotic animals try a pet supply chain store such as Qualipet, who also sell online.
Federal Veterinary Office FVO
Schwarzenburgstrasse 155, CH 3003 Berne
Tel: +41 (0)31 323 30 33
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.