For Members

Tax change: Switzerland to introduce 50 franc limit on cross-border shopping

The Local
The Local - [email protected]
Tax change: Switzerland to introduce 50 franc limit on cross-border shopping
German retailer Rewe. Switzerland is set to change its tax rules for cross-border shopping. By Joehawkins - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Switzerland is set to put in place a 50 franc limit on cross-border shopping purchases, with all purchases over that amount attracting VAT.


The current limit is 300 francs, under which VAT is not due. 

The move has been approved by the Swiss Council of States, with the Federal Council yet to indicate a date upon which the measure will be implemented. 

Shopping tourism from Switzerland to neighbouring states is worth an estimated 10 billion francs per year. 

Lower prices in neighbouring countries has created an economy based entirely on cross-border shopping, with Swiss residents crossing daily to go shopping or fill up their cars.

The change has been made in order to give a boost to Swiss supermarkets and retailers, particularly those close to the border. 

Walter Schönholzer, Economics Director Canton Thurgau, said Switzerland sacrifices hundreds of millions of francs each year in tax revenue under the current rules. 


"It won't go on like this. Our state will lose around 700 million Swiss francs in tax revenue.

“It’s a blatant injustice."

"We have an enormous number of shops dying," said Schönholzer.

The limit will only be put in place for people who spend less than 24 hours in cross-border regions. 

For those who spend more than 24 hours over the border, the new 50 franc limit will not apply. 

Any VAT paid by Swiss residents when shopping in the EU can still be claimed back, given that Switzerland is not in the European Union. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

giani.baluta 2021/09/29 14:26
I totally agree, especially when for some products the markup is even higher >30%
ginawham 2021/09/28 21:13
I‘d happily pay the VAT. Just not the 30% markup here by Swiss retailers
carlrodgers.cbr 2021/09/28 18:51
Perhaps if the quality/price of the meat was better fewer shoppers might go over the border.

See Also