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Modernisation Swiss government to overhaul customs service

border guard searching a rucksack

The work of border guards and customs officials has increased in recent years.

(© Keystone / Francesca Agosta)

Switzerland is revamping its national custom services to make it fit for the digital era. The differentiation between border guard and custom specialists will disappear under a new organisational structure.

The government outlined its reform plan on Wednesday for the Federal Customs Administrationexternal link (FCA), which will become the Federal Customs and Border Security Office, saying it wants to “seize the opportunities offered by digitalisation.”

Another aim is to make its services more flexible and agile. “If for example the migration situation becomes critical, the FCA will be able to better concentrate its forces in the regions concerned,” the government said in a statement.

All customs and border staff will be trained to check goods, people and transport vehicles. They will all wear the same uniform and carry a weapon, according to their task. This will not necessarily be a firearm.

The government decision is part of the DaziT transformation programmeexternal link under which customs, tax and duty collection processes are being simplified and harmonised and fully digitalised. 

Parliament approved some CHF400 million ($400 million) for the programme in autumn 2017.  DaziT was officially launched on January 1, 2018 and will run until the end of 2026.


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