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Tourists to benefit from simpler customs rules

Spirits with an alcohol content below 18% remain duty-free Keystone

Regulations on imports of alcoholic beverages and tobacco into Switzerland are to be eased slightly this year. The cabinet has decided to simplify the assessment of goods in tourist traffic.

As of July 1, alcoholic beverages and tobacco goods will be included in the current tax-free limit of CHF300 ($340) per person per day, according to the Federal Customs Administration.

The tax-free limit on wine was raised from two litres to five litres, but the government abandoned initial plans to increase it to 20 litres following opposition from Swiss wine producers.

Goods that tourists wish to import for their personal use or as gifts will generally be duty-free, according to the authorities.

Customs duties will remain payable only in the case of excess quantities of sensitive goods for health reasons or to protect the country’s farming sector.

The new regulations are aimed at speeding up border crossings, but officials do not expect a drop in revenue as certain customs duties on wine as well as on meat products are to be increased.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR