The prices for goods and services in Switzerland are on average significantly higher than in neighboring countries.
Various factors contribute to the "High-price island of Switzerland": On the one hand, the high wage and cost level in Switzerland leads to higher prices. On the other hand, also a number of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. Already in December 2017, the Federal Council adopted a package of measures to reduce these trade barriers. The abolition of industrial tariffs is part of this package of measures. The autonomous abolition of tariffs on industrial products is not new by international standards. Hong Kong and Singapore lifted tariffs on industrial products some time ago. Iceland, Canada, New Zealand and Norway have also already unilaterally lifted tariffs on industrial products either in full or in part.
In Switzerland, the abolition of industrial tariffs will enter into force on 1 January 2024. This decision was made by the Federal Council in its meeting on 2 February 2022, after the necessary amendment to the Customs Tariffs Act was passed by Parliament on 1 October 2021.
By choosing 1 January 2024, the Federal Council has selected a date for the measure’s entry into force in such a way that the transitional costs for economic actors, as well as the administration, can be kept as low as possible. All actors are thereby given sufficient time to prepare and make the necessary technical and organizational adjustments.
In Switzerland, all goods with the exception of agricultural products (incl. animal feed) and fishery products count as industrial products. The abolition of industrial tariffs thus covers all goods in Chapters 25-97 of the Customs Tariff. From 2024, all imports of goods in the range of electrical wholesalers will be exempt from duty!