Bonded warehouses

A bonded warehouse enables its operator to trade in spirits without tying up capital unnecessarily. Spirits can be stored tax-free in such bonded warehouses. Only when the spirits leave the warehouse does spirits tax become payable.

The bonded warehouse comprises all of the licensed buildings as specified on the site plan. Here spirits can be produced, processed, stored, aged, decanted or bottled tax-free. Today, 90% of spirits consumed in Switzerland come from bonded warehouses.

Requirements for the operation of a bonded warehouse

In order to operate a bonded warehouse, the form «Application for the operation of a bonded warehouse» must be submitted to the Alcohol Sector (ALK) of the FOCBS.

The FCA approves a bonded warehouse if:

  • at least 200 litres of pure alcohol are managed annually
  • the necessary bond is posted
  • the premises and vessels meet ALK requirements
  • correct functioning of the legally defined procedure and tax security are ensured.

The bonded warehouse licence can be granted for a limited period and be subject to stipulations. The licence is not transferable.

The bonded warehouse must operate according to the guidelines and principles set out in the regulations for operators of bonded warehouses.


Federal Office for Customs and Border Security FOCBS
Alcohol Sector
Route de la Mandchourie 25
2800 Delémont

+41 58 462 65 00
+41 58 463 18 28

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