Customs privileges concerning the vehicles of staff members residing in Switzerland

CERN/DSU-DO/RH/10275 21 february 2001

The Permanent Mission of Switzerland has informed CERN that the rules relating to customs privileges for vehicles have been modified. The new arrangements, which are more favourable than those described in Weekly Bulletin N° 32/2000, are summarised below.
The rates of tax and duty referred to in this summary are currently as follows:

customs duty (solely for vehicles originating from countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Association; calculated on the basis of the vehicle's weight, 12 to 15 Swiss centimes per kilogram); car tax (4% of the value of the vehicle);value-added tax (7.6% of the value of the vehicle).

1. Holders of a B or C-type "Carte de légitimation"

Members of the personnel holding a B or C-type Carte de légitimation issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as "DFAE") may import or purchase a first vehicle tax and duty-free. This vehicle, subject to a three-year limited restrictions agreement, may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person in Switzerland until three years have elapsed unless the relevant taxes and duty have been paid, except where the buyer is entitled to import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free and the limited restrictions agreement is duly transferred to that person.

The above-mentioned members of the personnel may also import or purchase a second vehicle tax and duty-free. This second vehicle, subject to an unlimited restrictions agreement, may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person in Switzerland unless the relevant taxes and duty have been paid, except where the buyer is entitled to import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free and the limited restrictions agreement is duly transferred to that person.

At the end of the three-year period applicable to vehicles subject to limited restrictions agreements, the member of the personnel may sell or otherwise transfer the vehicle to anybody in Switzerland without having to pay the relevant taxes and duty, and may:

  • either import or purchase another vehicle subject to a limited restrictions agreement; or
  • transfer the benefit of the limited restrictions agreement to his vehicle subject to an unlimited restrictions agreement (which may then be sold after three years without the relevant taxes and duty having to be paid) and import or purchase another vehicle subject to an unlimited restrictions agreement.

2. Holders of a D or E-type "Carte de légitimation"

Members of the personnel holding a D or E-type Carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE may, upon moving to Switzerland for the first time or upon returning to Switzerland after a minimum absence of three years, import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free. This may be done once only and within five years of taking up an appointment.

This vehicle, subject to a three-year limited restrictions agreement, may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person in Switzerland until three years have elapsed unless the relevant taxes and duty have been paid, except where the buyer is entitled to import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free and the limited restrictions agreement is duly transferred to that person. At the end of this period, the member of the personnel is free of all obligations and the vehicle may be sold to anybody in Switzerland without the relevant taxes and duty having to be paid.

3. Holders of an "Attestation de fonctions"

Members of the personnel holding an Attestation de fonctions issued by the DFAE may import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free. This vehicle, subject to an unlimited restrictions agreement, may not be sold or otherwise transferred to another person in Switzerland unless the relevant taxes and duty have been paid, except where the buyer is entitled to import or purchase a vehicle tax and duty-free and the restrictions agreement is duly transferred to that person.

Upon expiry of their contract with the Organization, these persons must either export their vehicle or pay the relevant taxes and duty. If they change status and obtain a B, C, D or E-type Carte de légitimation they may enjoy the privileges described in paragraphs 1 and 2 above. The five-year period applicable to holders of a D or E-type Carte de légitmation shall run from the date on which the appointment giving entitlement to this card is taken up.

4. Holders of other documents

Members of the personnel holding a document other than those mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 3 above (e.g. an S, H or F-type Carte de légitimation or a CERN "Attestation" issued by the Users' Office or the Human Resources Division) do not enjoy any special customs privileges for the import or purchase of a vehicle.

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