Arms and ammunition

If you want to import, export, or transit arms or ammunition, you must present them to a Customs Office and register them. The same applies to components and accessories.

The Customs Office verifies whether the goods are subject to the Weapons Act or the legislation governing war material or goods control. This depends on the type, country of origin and destination, and the transport direction (import, export, transit). The column on the right contains links to the provisions. If they apply, you may need a permit. A prohibition may also apply.

The permit obligations are noted in Customs Tariff - Tares ("Display details") under the appropriate tariff numbers with the notice "COW", "SECO-ESIG" or "SECO-ESRG".

Since arms and ammunition may fall within the scope of three different legal foundations, different offices accordingly also decide on the permit obligation or possible exemptions therefrom.

Permit offices

(see also links)
Federal Office of Police (fedpol)
Central Office for Weapons COW
3003 Bern

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Export controls of industrial goods (ESIG)
3003 Bern

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Export controls of armaments (ESRG)
3003 Bern


The fact sheets included on the website of the Federal Office of Police (see link) provide information on what counts as arms and ammunition.