• Scope / conditions 

    The import provisions apply to *aquatic animals from the EU 

    *animals of the following species, at all life stages, including eggs, sperm and gametes: 
    (a) fish belonging to the superclass Agnatha and to the classes Chondrichthyes, Sarcopterygii and Actinop-terygii;
    (b) aquatic molluscs belonging to the phylum Mollusca
    (c) aquatic crustaceans belonging to the subphylum Crustacea 

    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) 2020/990 (see below “Legal framework”).

    Overarching protective measures 

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

    Animal health certificate / Self-declaration / TRACES 

    The cases in which an official health certificate, self-declaration and/or (TRACES) notification is required are defined in Articles 208 to 221 of the “basic” Regulation (EU) 2016/429. Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/990 contains more detailed specifications. An animal health certificate is required for the importation of aquaculture animals if 

    •  they are listed for an aquatic animal disease of category C (in accordance with the Annex to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1882), and 
    •  Switzerland is free of the disease in question or is subject to an eradication program. 

    The same applies to aquatic animals other than aquaculture animals when they are introduced into an aquaculture establishment or to be released into the wild. 

    Switzerland is recognized as disease-free from Infection with the infectious salmon anaemia virus (“Infectious Salmon Anemia”, ISA). For consignments of the following species (listed for ISA), an animal health certificate is therefore required in accordance with Art. 208 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429: 

    •  Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 
    •  Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) 
    •  Brown and sea trout (Salmo trutta) 

    Considering that there are currently no zones, compartments or aquaculture establishments in Switzerland with an approved health status regarding other aquatic animal diseases, a self-declaration in line with Article 218 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 and Article 14 of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/990 is sufficient for other types of aquaculture animals. In all cases where an animal health certificate or a self-declaration is required, a TRACES declaration must also be made. The establishment of destination must be registered in the TRACES system by the cantonal authority before the first import can take place. 

    For imports of aquatic animals other than aquaculture animals that are NOT moved into an aquaculture establishment or to be released into the wild, neither an animal health certificate, self-declaration nor a TRACES declaration is required. This includes, for example, aquatic animals kept exclusively in aquariums or garden ponds (according to Art. 6 para. 4 of the ordinance to the federal act on fisheries). 

    The model certificates are published in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2236 (Article 6 / Annex I). A model for the self-declaration can be found under "Self-declaration".

    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”). 

    This concerns among others several shark species, European eels, sturgeons, osteoglossids, seahorses and Caecobarbus geertsii.

    Imports of fish and crayfish of all species listed in Annex 3 of the Ordinance of 24 November 1993 on the Federal Act on Fish and Fisheries (FFO) are prohibited. With regard to freshwater crayfish, the prohibition is limited to decapods belonging to the families Astacidae, Cambaridae and Parastacidae, as well as crabs of the genera Eriocheir und Potamon. Exceptions to this ban are granted only for edible crustaceans of the genus Cherax and, under certain circumstances, for zoos or research establishments. They require a licence (see below “Further information”).

    Import permit according to species conservation law 

    Under Article 6 of the Federal Act of 21 June 1991 on Fish and Fisheries, FFO, a fishery import licence is required to import live fish, fish eggs, fish semen and freshwater crustaceans (unless Article 8 FFO provides for exemption from the requirement for a licence), as they are considered to be non-domestic or non-native (see below “Import application”). This import permit is not required to import aquaculture animals to be kept exclusively for decorative purposes in aquaria or closed garden ponds, with exception the “prohibited species” listed in Annex 3 of the FFO (see above “additional conditions”).  

    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.


    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. 

    The license is required for sharks, rays, and all fish that can grow to over 1 metre in length in their natural environment (except indigenous species according to the regulations on fishery).