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Consignments imported into Switzerland from a third country by air without having undergone a full border veterinary control in the EU beforehand.
Importing by private travellersImports by private travellers are subject to very strict conditions. The current conditions can be found in the following section:
Up to a maximum of 5 pets accompanied by their owner may be imported via the airports of Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Please note that birds are not allowed to be imported via Basel airport.
Inspections at the airport are carried out by the customs (except in the case of birds, for which a border veterinary control is always necessary). Entry is possible during the opening hours of the airports. The regulations for importing pets accompanied by their owner are mentioned in this section (link: Travelling with pets - souvenirs - food).
If pets are imported from a third country via an airport that is not listed, they will be retained by customs. If the animals cannot be returned, the FVO will order the animals to be euthanised. In these cases, the FVO reserves the right to initiate legal proceedings for a violation of the ordinance of 18 April 2007 on the import, transit and export of animals and animal products (EDAV/OITE).
Consignments which have not already undergone a complete veterinary inspection beforehand by the border veterinary service of an EU Member State and which have thus not been released (page 2 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) makes explicit mention of release for intracommunity trade) may only be imported into Switzerland via the airports of Zurich and Geneva. For consignments checked and released by the border veterinary service, a new CVED is issued, which enables the goods to be forwarded to the EU area without additional veterinary controls. This rule does not apply to consignments of sample goods and meat from production which is not guaranteed to be hormone-free (see II-482). In these cases, the consignments are only released for the Swiss market or, in the case of samples, for the business of destination stipulated in the authorisation.
The border veterinary service must be notified of these consignments before entry (landing of the aircraft - if entry is on Saturday, Sunday or during a statutory holiday, then the working day before) by faxing a copy of page 1 of the duly completed CVED (Common Veterinary Entry Document). In the event of delayed notification, a fee of CHF 150 will be charged.
The advance notification must be made by the handling agent. The handling agent may also delegate this to the forwarding agent or the importer, but he remains solely responsible for ensuring that the notification arrives on time.
Registration in TRACES
Page 1 of the CVED must be completed in the electronic system TRACES. This task may be delegated to the forwarding or handling agent. To this end, both the importer and forwarding agent and also the business of destination (as well as the declarant if this is not the same person as the importer) must be previously registered in the TRACES system.
The FVO enters the (unique) registration at the request of the importer and the declarant, while the request for registration of the business of destination must be submitted to the cantonal implementing authorities responsible (cantonal veterinary office or cantonal food inspectorate).
The data for completing page 1 of the CVED in TRACES must be entered by the importer, but this may also be delegated by mutual agreement to the declarant.Prior training by the FVO is necessary in order the access the TRACES system (use of internet). Access to TRACES is in principle open to everyone who has received training, but in the case of irregular imports we recommend calling on a declarant (forwarding or handling agent) to enter the data in TRACES on your behalf and thereby release you from the need to undertake training.
Further information on the TRACES system, course dates, the course enrolment form and also the form for registration (importer and declarant) can be found in the sub-section on TRACES.
Controls at airports
After entry, the handling agents must present the goods to the border veterinary service at the airport for inspection during normal working hours. The importer or the declarant is responsible for providing the handling agents with the necessary accompanying documents in good time.
The regulations also apply to goods imported by post or by courier service. The companies concerned must present these consignments to the border veterinary service at the international airports directly at the moment of entry.The fees for the border veterinary inspection are fixed in accordance with the ordinance on the fees of the Federal Veterinary Office (under revision).
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