Moving to Switzerland

Updated 2018-08-17 11:10

Relocation is never going to be easy. Relocating to Switzerland will take research and planning on your behalf – doubly so if you're planning for your family to eventually join you. The first step, however, is to find the right relocation counselor or removal company for your needs. Here's what you need to know to get started.

Relocation services & help

Once you have decided to settle in Switzerland, you should take enough time to choose your carrier to move your belongings to your new home: it is an important step not to be taken lightly. It's worth the time and the effort asking several moving consultants to survey your home, assess the goods you intend to carry and give you a quote.

The most common practice is to route your belongings directly to your new home. However, some carriers do not guarantee delivery among individuals but to a point of storage, which involves additional costs. You will then have to repatriate these towards the final destination. Seek information in advance on the transport and routing conditions.

You should also make sure to specify which objects require special care (special packaging, etc.) if you're planning on one or several shipments as well as the services you require of (dis-assembly of furniture, packing dishes, etc.) and the exact timeframe. As for the quote, it must mention several key points:

  • the start address
  • the address in Switzerland
  • volume/weight
  • the type of transport
  • the carrier's benefits (like insurance coverage and premium)
  • Price & terms of payment
  • Procedures (like documents for customs clearance)
  • Expected transit time

Make a list of your belongings, as comprehensive as possible in order to establish a value statement. The value statement is a document which allows you to set compensation in case of loss or damage to your property. You must fill it yourself, specifying your property's overall value as well as the value of some assets which could exceed the contractual limit value. An estimate cannot be established without this statement.

Accordingly, a damage insurance will be offered by the carrier. This insurance can cover non- predictable transport damage to your property according to the value you specified in your statement. The cost of this insurance will depend on the total value of your property. The removal company will give you an insurance certificate. You should be aware that things like insurance coverage and premiums can actually make a big difference in the final price. Make sure to query all potential carriers and compare things like extras & exclusions, port charges, delivery services (i.e. unpacking and setting up the furniture and cleaning the debris), customs clearance and the Terminal Handling Charge (THC).

Finally, you will have to sign the consignment when loading and on delivery. This consignment includes the terms of the contract, mode of transport, volume transported, the customer's name and address and the shipping company, etc. Once you sign this letter, you will have given your approval to the removal company to proceed with the removal. Generally, you will pay the deposit during the loading and the balance upon delivery, but you can arrange payment terms.

Good to know:

Since the carrier will be handling administrative formalities relating to your move on your behalf (customs clearance etc.), you should make sure they are a member of the International Movers Association FIDI, a worldwide recognised quality standard in the removal industry. You should also check in advance with the Swiss Customs Administration about international removals, to be aware of specific provisions or to obtain information on banned products etc. Consult our section regarding Customs.

Useful links:

FIDI - The International Federation of International Movers
Swiss Customs Administration

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.