Temporarily entering EU as a Swiss resident but EU national on a Swiss registered car

Hi! I’ve researched it a bit but not extensively: is my understanding correct that as an EU national but a Swiss resident (with a valid permit etc.) I can enter EU on a Swiss registed car without declaring anything, paying customs etc. as we are in the Schengen area? What’s the time limit, is it only 90 days or longer? I wouldn’t need more than 90 days for sure but still curious about it.

EDIT: the information below is wrong. I mis-read you original post. I thought you wanted to drive an EU registered car into Switzerland.

My understanding is that you will need to declare at the border for a temporary import.

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So technically any short time crossing for a few days require it, does it? Is it realistic as there are often no stationary custom officers? It’s a bit contradictory to what I’ve read about the Schengen area?

Schengen has nothing to do with customs. You can run the risk if you want, but they take it very seriously.

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If you are normally resident outside the EU, you may import your non-EU registered vehicle under relief and use it in Germany. This is laid down in customs provisions and vehicle taxation legislation. The period during which the vehicle may be used is limited to six months. There are exceptions to this six-month period for

  • students and individuals from non-EU countries conducting their professional duties, who may use vehicles for private purposes until the end of their stay without paying any duty or taxes, and
  • employees normally resident in non-EU countries and whose place of employment is in the EU (cross-border commuters), who may regularly (for an unlimited period) enter and exit the EU with their vehicles for temporary importation (use).

Presumably you have a Swiss work permit which is also a residence permit so proving “normally resident”.

Rules are normally standard across the EU, you need to check for the country you are visiting.

Thanks, but importing in this example is paperwork free or not?

Use cases I am considering:

  • a one day shopping/trip in FR DE IT AT
  • 1-2 weeks long vacation in the same countries
  • 1-2 weeks in a more remote country like Poland passing by Germany or other countries (AT, IT, CZ, SK)

I think you’re mistaken here.

We did this for years, often on a daily basis and/or for extended periods, both pre and post brexit, and still do.

If you’re Swiss resident in a Swiss vehicle there is no requirement to declare the vehicle when entering bordering (i,e, Schengen) EU countries. Your nationality has no bearing on this whatsoever.

I’m not aware of any time limits either, as long as you’re complying with Swiss residency rules about actually being here. Only if the other country had reason to believe that you were no longer actually living in CH would there be any problem.

Certainly going abroad for two or three weeks on holiday is perfectly normal and acceptable. And as there is no paperwork to do in the first place there is in any case no record kept of how long you were in any given country.

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This was not an example, it was an offcial statement from the German Customs.

I live near the German border and have crossed it on average once a week for the last 30 years, usually for shopping or visiting restaurants but have also been as far as France, Italy, Spain and England.
Was often stopped by Customs but never asked for any paperwork.

You are right. I mis-read the OP. I thought he was trying to enter Switzerland in an EU registered car (which is the one that usually trips people up). Obviously if you’re Swiss resident in a Swiss car, you’re allowed to drive it across the border. :slight_smile:

So just to clarify, now that @Phil_MCR has amended his earlier mistaken reply:

No requirement for any special paperwork or processes for any of those.

We’ve driven via various routes as far as Spain, Greece and the UK, all of which are free from any special requirements,

Other countries, particularly outside the EU, may have different requirements, but it’s actually not so much controlled by EU or Schengen rules, but by the Vienna Convention, so any signatories thereto are normally fine. Vienna Convention on Road Traffic - Wikipedia


Thank you all for your responses! No worries about the misreading.