Extension of time limit for tax-free exports in Swiss Tourist Traffic

The Federal Department of Finance (FDF) is extending the period for the tax-free exportation of goods purchased by tourists in Switzerland from 30 days to 90 days. The change will come into force on August 1, 2020.

By amending the FDF Ordinance of  March 24, 2011 on the Tax Exemption of Domestic Supplies of Goods for the Purpose of Exportation in Tourist Traffic, Switzerland is aligning its rules with the customary international standards. This will make the service more customer friendly. The requirements for proof of tax-exempt sales in tourist traffic will not change. The new time limit will apply to goods purchased on or after August 1, 2020.

In future, more tourists will benefit from tax-exempt purchases. As they rarely stay in Switzerland for more than 30 days, the reduction in VAT receipts should be minimal. The new rule will have a minor positive effect on the watch, jewellery, tourism and the retail sector in general.

The amendment to the ordinance meets one of the demands in the Vitali motion (17.3298) “Reducing bureaucracy. Into the future with electronic export validation”. Electronic export validation, which is also called for in the motion, requires a legislative amendment. The consultation on this was initiated on  June 19, 2020.