• Scope / conditions 

    The import conditions for “poultry” apply to all birds (including those for breeding as well as hatching eggs) reared or kept for the production of meat, eggs for consumption or other products, as well as for restocking supplies of game birds.
    The import conditions for (other) “captive birds” apply to all birds kept in captivity for any other reason, including those that are kept for shows, races, exhibitions, competitions, breeding or selling.
    (simplified requirements apply to travel with own pet birds (other than fowl, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quails, pigeons, pheasants, partridges and ratites)

    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”).

    With regard to infection with Newcastle disease, Switzerland is recognized as a disease-free country without vaccination. Consignments of poultry [and also of all fowl-like birds (galliformes) considered as (other) captive birds] to be sent to Switzerland must therefore comply with the additional guarantees provided for in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/688.

    Overarching protective measures 

    The protective measures in force on the day of import apply in all cases. 

    Health certificate / TRACES 

    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”). 

    In a few cases, a (new) health certificate is not required for transboundary movements with (other) captive birds. Article 71 of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/688 permits such an exception for returns from exhibitions or flight exhibitions with birds. Another exception applies for racing pigeons moved in another (Member) State in order to be released to fly back to their pigeon house.

    An additional health certificate is required for poultry intended for slaughter (both documents are available in German, French and Italian) (see below). 

    Additional conditions 

    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”).

    Inspection on entry into the country 

    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.

    In certain cases, breeding poultry will be monitored after the import according the instructions issued by the Cantonal Veterinary Officer. The competent Cantonal Veterinary Office must be informed no later than 10 days before the planned import and the animals’ arrival must be notified within 24 hours after 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.