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Declare your dog in Switzerland

You are living in Switzerland like us, and you are going to welcome your dog from abroad. Or perhaps you are planning to move to Switzerland with your pooch? If you bring a canine back to Switzerland from abroad, his entry will be regulated and subject to checks upon arrival. What do you have to do to be in order? What papers to fill? To whom to report what? How to cross the border? We will explain everything here !

An article that I would have loved to read when we welcomed Raymond to help us in the process. Understanding the steps and documents required was quite complicated for us. No site explain the entire procedure, some information was contradictory, or even the official sites mention forms but are impossible to find. To this, add that depending on the country of origin, health requirements may also vary (i.e vaccines). Here are the steps necessary to be in order for a puppy from France to Switzerland.


As long as you don't have your little friend yet, you might take advantage of your precious free time to anticipate as many tasks as possible. Some are mandatory (1.1) before your companion's arrival, and others can be done afterwards (1.2 and 1.3), but our advice is to do as much as possible before.


Make sure your breeder has taken the necessary health and reporting steps. The day you pick up your puppy from the breeder, the dog absolutely must:

  • have been identified

Identification includes the marking of the animal by electronic chip (ISO 11784 standard, readable with a reader according to ISO 11785 standard) or tattoo, and registration in the national identification file for domestic carnivores (I-cad). The identification is the responsibility of the breeder, and must be carried out before vaccination against rabies (from 3 months) by a veterinarian. The veterinarian issues a document attesting to the identification to the breeder and another to the I-cad within 8 days.

Identifying your animal allows you to assign it a unique number and register its owner with the I-cad. This can in particular make it possible to find the owner of a lost or stolen animal. If you change your address, you must inform the I-cad.

/!\ Attention: The identification must have been made before the anti-rabies vaccination (ie rabies). And the tattoo is also accepted provided it was done before July 3, 2011.

  • have a passport

Just like us, animals must have a pet passport issued by an EU country or a passport recognized by other European states or territories. It is mandatory, even if you do not plan to travel to another country. In our case, when going through customs, you will have to show this precious document.

  • be vaccinated

He has two types of vaccines to give your puppy: SHLP and rabies.

- SHLP must be done in the 1st month, with a reminder the following month.

- Rabies should be done between the 3rd and 5th month, according to Switzerland.

Two scenarios are available to you:

. If you cross the border with your puppy under 3 months old, it is not necessary to vaccinate against rabies. You only need to certify by a written declaration (form to be completed available HERE) that the puppy has not had contact since birth with wild animals. You will then have to have him vaccinated against rabies from his third month.

. If you cross the border with your puppy over 3 months old, he must be vaccinated against rabies. If the entry into Switzerland takes place less than 21 days after vaccination, you must also certify by a written declaration that your puppy has not had contact since birth with wild animals (form to be completed available HERE).

  • be registered with the LOF (not mandatory - only for french dogs with pedigree)

If your dog has a particular pedigree, he will be registered in the French Book of Origins (LOF) by his breeder. If the animal is registered, you will need to receive an identification number from your breeder. The form of the number specifies the rank of the litter in the calendar year.


Anyone who acquires a dog for more than three months is required to declare themselves as a dog owner within 10 days to the AMICUS database. Its purpose is to facilitate searches, such as in the event of loss or theft.

To obtain an AMICUS ID, you must go to your town hall, or municipal police. They are the ones who will take the steps to declare you and create your AMICUS ID. They will give you your AMICUS ID directly on site to keep safe. You must then send this identifier to your treating veterinarian in Switzerland so that the latter can finalize the registration of the dog during your first visit.


In most cantons (including Geneva), owners are required to take out dog owner liability insurance. It is generally included in your household insurance, so do not hesitate to check with your insurer.

This civil liability insurance includes: damage to the rented apartment, injuries caused to other animals or people, material damage caused to third parties or traffic accidents caused by dogs.



When crossing the border, make sure to do so during the opening hours of Swiss customs offices by passing through a busy border post in order to personally declare your dog. You must therefore present yourself with him, as well as with the following documents (1.1):

  • microchip

  • valid pet passport

  • health book, and up-to-date vaccine (the vaccine or health book is often integrated directly into the passport, and it is then a single document for two)

  • written declaration that your puppy has had no contact since birth with wild animals (if less than 3 months old and not vaccinated against rabies, or if the vaccine dates back less than 21 days)

  • receipt or invoice of the transaction with the breeder to prove the amount

The FSVO website provides a search engine"Crossing the border with his dog, his cat, his ferret" indicates precisely these documents.

/!\ Attention: The entry into Switzerland of dogs with cropped tails or ears is prohibited.


If the excess value of CHF 300.- is exceeded, you must pay Swiss VAT at the rate of 7.7% of the total value. It includes the purchase price and all costs and expenses up to the Swiss border (protection fees, vaccinations, veterinary costs, transport). If you cannot prove the total value with invoices or receipts, or if the information provided is questionable, customs personnel will estimate the value of the animal. To certify that it has been declared to customs, customs officers will stamp your animal's passport.

Once you have declared your animal to Swiss customs, carefully keep the documents certifying that your declaration has been made in good and due form and that the VAT has been paid. If you ever lose your pet's passport, this ticket will prove that you have declared your dog to customs.

If you are importing the dog as part of a move to Switzerland, you must complete form 18.44 (Customs processing of moving effets) . The conditions for duty-free importation of household effects also apply to your pets.



Within 10 days of importing the puppy, the purchaser must make an appointment with the veterinarian. Your veterinarian has 10 days to register the animal in the Swiss dog database (AMICUS).


All dogs older than 6 months must carry the control mark from April 1 of the current year. The control mark is valid for one year (ie until March 31). This control mark must be collected from your town hall or municipal police station. You will then have to present to them:

  • Vaccination record with vaccination against rabies (1.1)

  • Proof of your dog's registration with the AMICUS database (1.2)

  • Your certificate of civil liability (1.3)

The control mark costs between CHF 0.- and CHF 24.- depending on the municipality. For Lancy (Canton of Geneva) we paid CHF 10.-



Any change of address or the death of your animal must be declared to AMICUS within 10 days. Simply log into your account with the identifiers retrieved from your town hall or municipal police to make the change (1.2)


As the owner of a dog, you are subject to dog tax. It is an annual tax which depends on the duration of detention of the dog. To calculate the amont of your tax, the tax authorities use the information you provided when your registered your og in the AMICUS database. Dog tax is sent by slip from the finance department.

In the event of the death or transfer of your dog, you can request a refun of the tax.

/!\ Attention: this tax does not in any way dispense with the acquisition of the control mark or the civil liability insurance.

No time to read, but want a quick overview of the process?

Find our recap in pictures:


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When we welcomed Raymond, our first dog, we quickly felt alone and by our own. We wanted to create this blog to share our tips and help all dog lovers. 

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