Works of art and exhibition objects

Objects for museums and public exhibitions

In order to import works of art, sculptures, paintings and other collectors' items that are intended for long-term public exhibition (e.g. in a museum) duty-free, you as the importer or exhibitor must undertake not to sell the objects. Otherwise the corresponding duties for each object sold must be paid.

You must request the duty-free importation of works of art and collectors' items in writing before importation by submitting form no. 11.32 to the relevant District Directorate of Customs. Further information can be found in regulation R-18-03 (available in German, French, Italian).

Please note that items that are classed as handcrafts, such as for example souvenir carvings, are not considered as works of art and are thus subject to duty.

Works of art and exhibition objects that are imported for a shorter period, for example for an exhibition, can be declared using the temporary admission procedure under certain conditions. Information on temporary importation, customs declarations for temporary admission ZAVV and the ATA Carnet can be found at Temporary importation.

Works of art created by artists themselves

Are you an artist bringing works of art you created yourself to Switzerland? You can import these items duty-free. Please also take note of our fact sheet on import tax on works of art.

Objects for galleries and auctions

Works of art for sales exhibitions by gallerists and for auctions can be declared by using the temporary admission procedure.