The import provisions apply to domestic bovines from the EU [species belonging to the genera Bison, Bos (including the subgenera Bos, Bibos, Novibos, Poephagus) and Bubalus (including the subgenus Anoa) and their crossings].
According to bilateral treaties, the rules governing exchanges between EU Member States and Switzerland are the same as for intracommunity movements. Regulation (EU) 2016/429 sets the basic framework, while detailed additional requirements are laid down in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/688 on “INTRA terrestrial animals” (see below “Legal framework”).
However, supplementary rules are laid down in further acts: e.g. part of the bluetongue requirements for movements of live animals and germinal products are to be found in Annex V Part II Chapter II of Delegated Regulation EU 2020/689 on “Surveillance and disease-free status”.
In relation to bovines, Switzerland is recognized as disease-free from infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (Mycobacterium bovis, M. caprae and M. tuberculosis) (MTBC), brucellosis (Brucella abortus, B. melitensis and B. suis), enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL) and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis / infectious pustular vulvovaginitis (IBR/IPV).
The protective measures in force on the day of import apply in all cases.
The veterinary officer in the country of origin must send an electronic TRACES notification. The cantonal authority must record the establishment of destination in Switzerland in the TRACES electronic system before the first import takes place.
Depending on the particular category of live animals or products, the applicable certificate is the TRACES version of the appropriate model provided for in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/403 (Articles 6-7 / 12-13 and Annex I). The original certificate must accompany the consignment in paper form – or also in electronic form as soon as this is technically implemented (see below “Legal framework”).
Animals intended for direct slaughter must additionally be accompanied by confirmation 06/04 of the animals’ health status and use of medication completed by the establishment operator. The document must be handed to the veterinary meat inspector at the slaughterhouse of destination before the animals for slaughter are examined (see below “Further information”).
Animals imported for summer grazing or grazing in border areas must be accompanied by an additional health certificate. Please obtain information from the competent Cantonal Veterinary Office.
Certain animal species are additionally subject to species conservation regulations. Please check the conservation status in the CITES species list (see below “Further information”).
The import of many farm animal species is subject to additional requirements based on agricultural regulations, such as general import permits or quotas (see below “Further information” > “Import of agricultural products”).
Please note that it is not possible to import all categories of animals and goods into Switzerland at all border crossing points. Please contact the customs authorities for any questions regarding customs regulations and procedures.
After they have been imported, the animals will be monitored by the Veterinary Office in accordance with the instructions issued by the Cantonal Veterinary Officer. The competent Cantonal Veterinary Office must be informed of the planned import 10 days in advance; the arrival of the animals must be notified no later than 24 hours after their arrival.
An animal welfare license from the Cantonal Veterinary Office is required for the keeping of wild animal species and if animals are being imported for one of the following purposes: trading, advertising, animal shows, zoos, circuses, and/or animal experiments.
If the standard requirements cannot be met (e.g. for return to Switzerland following a short stay to take part in a show abroad) a re-import licence may be required (see "Import applications").