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Moving to Switzerland as an American Citizen

What's in this article?
  1. Importing My Household Goods 
  2. Clearing Goods Through Customs 
  3. Pets 
  4. What Are The Rules For Importing My Vehicle?  
  5. Help Is Available
International Removals Near Me Switzerland

Switzerland is a land-locked nation, centrally located in the heart of Europe. It is a small country of less than 10 million people, smaller than the combined area of Vermont and New Hampshire. Famous for its chocolate and its cheeses, Switzerland is a gorgeous country with towering, snow-covered mountains, and idyllic verdant valleys. 

American citizens appreciate the high standard of living in Switzerland, as well as its location in the center of it all. By way of Europe’s excellent rail system, you can get to London, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, or Rome within a matter of hours. 

You must have a lot of questions about how to import your personal goods to Switzerland. Read on to learn more. 

Importing my Household Goods 

In order to import your household goods to Switzerland, you will need to have already taken residence in the country. Your personal belongings will be largely duty and tax free, though they are subject to inspection upon arrival.  

To qualify for duty free importation, your belongings must:  

  • have been used by you in the six months prior to your move,
  • arrive within 24 months of your change of residence,
  • (and) be supported with appropriate documentation.

If you plan to make your move in two or more shipments, you must announce that additional shipments are forthcoming when your first shipment arrives.  

Here are some of the documents you will be required to present for customs clearance:  

  • Passport – Be prepared with a copy of the first 3 pages
  • Customs Form 18.44 – This form should be an original copy, noting the first and all subsequent shipments.
  • Detailed, Itemized Inventory – You should have at least three copies on hand showing the full contents of your shipments, with serial numbers for any appliances
  • Swiss Residence Permit “Zusicherung Aufenthaltsbewilligung “
  • Work Permit – This document will be issued by local officials.
  • Declaration form “Erklarung/Abfertigungsantrag fur Libersiedlungsgur“
Cheap International Moving Companies Switzerland

Clearing Goods Through Customs 

Switzerland offers three methods for clearing goods through customs:  

  • QuickZoll app 
    The QuickZoll app offers the public a single source for current information regarding customs declarations. You can use this app to figure out what you need to declare and pay customs duty as well.
  • Verbal customs declaration 
    At a manned border crossing, you are required to make verbal declarations of any imported goods, even if you are not asked to do so. Your declaration is binding, so be honest and thorough.
  • Written self-declaration 
    Some border crossings are only sporadically manned. If you enter the country through an unmanned border crossing, you can make your declarations in writing using the forms provided.


Your pets may be subject to quarantine upon their arrival. Dogs and birds have special requirements that may require additional paperwork.  

Be prepared to present the following documentation:  

  • Certificate of Vaccinations – These may vary depending on the type of animal. The rabies shot, in particular, must have been administered within one year of importation.
  • Health Certificate – This certificate is proof of overall good health.
  • Identity card, if your country of origin issues them. Otherwise you will need an EU Veterinary Certificate.
  • Microchip – This is to ensure that your animal is properly registered.
Door To Door Relocation Services Switzerland

What are the Rules for Importing my Vehicle?  

You can import your vehicle to Switzerland duty free if you have owned and used in the vehicle for at least six months in your country or origin. You will be required to sign a declaration stating that you will not sell, rent, lease, loan, or otherwise dispose of the vehicle within one year of its arrival in Switzerland.  

To import your vehicle, you will need to provide: 

  • Passport
  • Detailed inventory
  • Certificate of Title and Registration - original
  • Proof of  Residency and Employment
  • Proof of purchase. vehicle insurance, and registration from country of origin
  • Driver’s license
  • Form 18.44 & Proof of Swiss Insurance– You will need to provide proof of insurance for both the sending and receiving countries.

Help is Available

Moving internationally requires a lot of paperwork and attention to a bunch of important details. Nobody has time for that. Hire a professional shipping company to make your move easy and seamless. At A-1 Auto Transport, we have a team of international shipping wonks who take the time to learn all the rules so that you don’t have to. Give us a call today for your free, no-obligation shipping quote to get started.  

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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