Importing a dog

Hi all,

I am planning to import a dog on Saturday, via Basel. I have read that the custom will be closed. Plan is to have veterinary check of the dog directly on Monday. I know that the veterinary will check the dog and register the dog with amicus.

I will have all the paperwork, contract, bill etc. but I am not sure if I have to additionally inform custom about the “import” of the dog. thanks for clarification!

and please, let’s try to avoid the discussion about adopting vs buying the animals!

Yes you do have to inform customs and pay VAT on the dog’s price if it’s more than the minimum import free amount.

I imported both my dogs from Portugal, by plane and with all the required paperwork. Nobody at customs were interested in checking anything.

When you register your dog at the vet, you could ask to switch the foreign passport for a Swiss one, this way you won’t get any question if you travel with your animal in the future. Note that I didn’t do it, and we were never checked at border.

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We recently did this, but did not know about this when we brought our puppy over the border. When we took the puppy to the vert for the check up he managed this for us. ‘Meldung Nachverzollung Vetamt’ The charge was 58.20.


You need to bring the dog through when customs is open, or you can end up with a big mess.

thank you all for different experience. :laughing:
not sure what to think. I will probably write to the custom to ask about it and I’ll ask our future vet then…

interesting, when I came to switzerland via Zurich airport 8 years ago with my previous dog, the officers at the airport custom looked at me stranged because I wanted to get official proof that I just came for the first time with my dog and we are staying…they didn’t know what they should do, so they just gave one stamp in the petpass…

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I remember a few years ago, It’s Jess came through with her dog when customs was closed and ended up having a nightmare.

Oh dear, please learn from my mistake! You are responsible for bringing your dog into Switzerland at a time when customs are open. It is NOT okay to take the dog straight to the vet to get the passport, and then inform customs afterwards. The fine can be up to 400 francs (if I recall correctly, my customs officer ‘downgraded’ my fine to 280 or something).

Edit: I just tried to use the wayback machine to see if I could find my old thread from englishforum but I was unable to. Myself and another EF user both had quite different experiences, if I recall - he was given the maximum fine and a big telling off for bringing his dog across without informing customs, whereas I was given a little bit of leniency. But they take this stuff very seriously because of the risk of bringing in disease, and because they need to check vaccinations. There was a case of a woman bringing a puppy into Switzerland and she couldn’t provide evidence of vaccinations, and they took the pup away and euthanised it. Please don’t take this risk!