Over the weekend, 40 fines were issued by border guards for people crossing into Switzerland to go shopping.
Switzerland’s Federal Customs Administration changed its way the borders were controlled in recent days, moving from complete controls at border crossings to doing so on the basis of risk.
According to Swiss daily 20 Minutes, this encouraged residents of border regions to try their luck crossing into Switzerland to go shopping – with at least 40 caught.
Each person caught was levied with a CHF100 fine.
Cross-border shopping has been prohibited in Switzerland since April 16th, even for people who possess sufficient documents which allow them to cross the border.
Authorities last week pointed out that people living in border regions were not prohibited from shopping when they were on Swiss soil, but were prohibited from crossing the border for the purpose of doing so.
In addition to the 100 franc fine, cross-border shoppers will be required to pay VAT if the purchase is over 300 francs – although they will be allowed to keep their purchases.