International Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker Based in China

Shipping from China to Switzerland | Sea, Air & Rail Freight

In the last decade, Switzerland has been China’s largest partner in trade and it only makes sense that they would want to dock there too.

The fact that China is also Switzerland’s third-largest trade partner means they have access to a lot of opportunities for investment and business growth. 

So sit back and relax while we debunk the details you need to successfully import from China to Switzerland.

We’ll show you the best way to get your goods from point A – whether it be by land, air or water. We can also help with customs forms and transit timeframes so that no stone goes unturned in getting them where they need go.

Remember, Sino Shipping is just a click away to answer every question you have. 

Ready for the journey? Let’s start:


1. What is the best way to ship from China to Switzerland?


There are two options for shipping commercial good – ocean and air shipping. Here are the pros and cons of the different options:

Ocean freight China-Switzerland:


Less than Container Load shipping (LCL) involves consolidating multiple shipments into one container so you can save on cost.

It’s ideal for small shipments that need transporting because it works out cheaper overall.

This option teakes advantage of larger vessels with higher load capacities per voyage, allowing you to share a container with other shippers.

Full Container Loads (FCL) are an excellent option for those who want to ship large quantities of products from China.

The flat fee covers the use and transportation costs, so there’s no need worry about hidden fees or surcharges when shipping abroad with this service.

Example Quote :

  • POL : Shenzhen
  • POD : Basel
  • ROUTE : Via Rotterdam
  • T.T : 35 Days


Air Freight China-Switzerland:


This is the best option for those in a hurry to get their goods safely from Switzerland.

It’s quick and flexible but remember that it costs more than other methods of transportation!


2. How much does it Costs Shipping to Switzerland from China:


  1. Freight forwarder may consider many elements, such as:
  2. What the cargo is
  3. Whether the shipment will be FCL, LCL, or Air
  4. The size and weight of the shipment
  5. The length of time and distance of the journey
  6. Whether the delivery will be to and from a port or door-to-door
  7. The price of shipping your cargo will depend mostly on its weight. If your shipment weighs 100kg or less, the price difference between shipping and air is minimal.
  8. For shipments of under 35kg, an international courier service will actually be your most cost-effective option. 


3. What is the typical timeframe for shipping? 


Air shipping is a much quicker way to get your shipment to Switzerland, taking about a week, depending on where you are sending them and when they’ll arrive at their new destination.

Example Quote :

  • POL : Bejing, PEK
  • POD : Zurich, ZRH
  • AIRLINE : CA ( Air China )
  • ROUTE : Via Frankfurt FRA
  • T.T : 3-4 Days

The length of this process involves loading up the plane with all of those packages that need quick transportation – and then checking it over before taking off for another country’s customs service desk where things will be handled carefully but quickly.

A shipment by sea, on the other hand, can take 3 to 8 weeks to reach Switzerland.


4. Clearing customs in both countries:


When you need to ship something across the borders of China and Switzerland, it’s important that all formalities are carried out in compliance with their respective customs regulations.

This means working closely with an agent or freight forwarder who will be able take care your needs from start-to finish so there aren’t any hiccups along this process.

There are several documents you will need for this:

– A Commercial Invoice

– A list of everything in the container

– An official Certificate of Origin

– A letter indicating the payment details 

– A Bill of Lading if you are shipping by sea or otherwise an Airway Bill if you are shipping by air (But you can leave this in Sino Shipping’s expert hands)

We’re here to help you through the process of customs. We’ve got a list for documents that should be submitted and we’ll guide customers on how best to prepare themselves.


5. Will air or sea work better for you?


Sea freight Container: 

The Swiss transport industry is highly developed and efficient, with all sea freight entering the country through a European port.

Containers are then loaded onto trucks for land transport or canals to rivers where they’ll be barged across lakes depending on their final destination; most commercial cargo travels standard size containers but Sino Shipping also offers specialized solutions like refrigerated ones if needed.


6. Explaining container shipping: 


When to choose LCL shipping:

LCL shipping is the perfect solution for those who need to ship small volumes of goods under 6 standard pallets and/or have goods that won’t work for air travel.

This saves time and money, as you don’t have wait on large cargo flights or pay extra fees with your shipments.

LCL shippers also provide faster turnaround times because they can deliver packages right away instead of waiting days before delivering them at their final destination.


LCL Shipping from China to Switzerland


Example Quote :

  • POL : Shenzhen
  • POD : Basel
  • CARRIER : Msc
  • ROUTE : Via Abu
  • T.T : 38 Days
1-3 CBM3-5 CBM5-10 CBM>10 CBM


When to avoid LCL shipping:


There are plenty of reasons not to use LCL shipping. If you don’t want your cargo next door or near other shipments, then this is probably not the best option for you.

It can also lead into complications with increased handling that may jeopardize fragile goods in transit through multiple ports before they’re delivered on-site at their destination marketplaces.

For absolute certainty about when things will arrive, try using another form instead.


When to choose FCL shipping:


FCL shipping is the best option for those who need to know about their shipment’s delivery date and want peace-of-mind when it comes to the handling of fragile products, high value shipments (like electronics), or ones that require a special type of package due in part by its size, such as foods with dairy ingredients.


When to choose Airshipping:


Air shipping is a popular option for those who need fast and flexible service.

It’s also best when your cargo has an extremely short shelf life, high levels of security that require special attention from airlines (such as valuable freight), often because it’s perishable with little protection once outside its original package.

Air shipping usually means quick turn-around time. 

If you are trying to save money or you have bulky items, however, avoid air shipment if at all possible unless there are no other viable options available.


7. Cargo ports in China: 



The bustling city of Qingdao is one the ten busiest ports in all world.

Connected to over 700 destinations globally, it’s an ideal spot for suppliers from Shandong province who need access both abroad as well locally through this major gateway into China’s manufacturing belt, which stretches up north all way south down past Vietnam.

Annual container volumes here approach 18 million TEUs.



The Dalian port in China is the country’s second-largest container hub, serving a region with an estimated population of over 60 million people. The facility offers 80 modern berths that can handle 9 million TEUs per year.



The port of Shantou, located in eastern Guangdong province and a major hub for exports with connections to India as well as many other countries is set to expand its terminal capacity. The current annual volume allows 1.25 million TEUs per year.



The port of Xiamen is the eighth-largest in China and includes nine container terminals with 74 berths.
It also offers 68 shipping routes to 50 countries around the world, making it an important hub for export trade between Asia Pacific regions as well East Europe and Russia.

The annual volume at this facility exceeds 10 million TEUs.



NINGBO-ZHOUSHAN is the most important gateway for exports from Zhejiang province, with five terminals and 300 berths. A strategic overflow to nearby Port of Shanghai that handles both bulk cargo like oil or ore as well as containers.

It’s annual container volume exceeds 26 million TEUs.



As you can see, there are multiple ways for China-based exporters to get their products into Switzerland, including the following ports:

Guangzhou (Nansha)

– Wuhan

– Chongqing

– Lianyungang

– Qinzhou

– Shantou

– Zhuhai

– Zhongshan

– Nanjing

– Shanghai

– Fuzhou



8. Cargo ports in Switzerland:

Switzerland has no coastline. Although Basel has a container port on the Rhine, most merchants import through the Belgian port of Antwerp. Containers are then moved through Belgium and France to Switzerland by barge, road, or rail.


9. Flying your freight: airport guide



The Belgian city of Antwerp is one of the continent’s most important shipping hubs, with over 8 million TEUs transported every year.

The port has expanded rapidly in recent years to keep up its status as Europe’s second-largest seaborne freight gateway after Rotterdam.

This means that China will be able to send their goods from here on river barges or canal boats before being taken over land through France and Switzerland into Germany – all via waterways.


Airports in China: 



Shenzhen is a major hub for imports in China but it serves none of the airports in Switzerland. In 2018, the city handled 1 million tons of cargo related to Swiss companies who do business there.



The city of Fuzhou is located about 50 km east from the airport that serves as its main link to mainland China. Plans are underway for an expansion in order enable throughput up 450 tons per year by 2030. However, there are no flights directly to Switzerland.



The city of Zengzhou in central China’s province of Henan is home to an airport that handles about 502,000 tons per year. It doesn’t serve any Swiss airports, but it has easy access by rail and highway which makes transportation very straightforward for those who want something shipped or transported from this bustling hub.



Wuhan’s airport is the busiest in central China, with over 40 million passengers passing through its terminals each year. Located 26 km from downtown Wuhan and made up of two runways as well one under construction. It doesn’t have direct flights to any Swiss airports yet though.



China has a number of airports that you can use for air transportation directly to Switzerland, and these include:

– Xiamen

– Chengdu

– Shanghai

– Guangzhou

– Beijing


Cargo Airports in Switzerland:



Switzerland’s largest international airport is in Zurich, and for 17 years in a row, it has been named as Europe’s leading Airport by World Travel Awards. Located 13 km north of Zurich, it has had almost 335,000 tons cargo handled last year alone. Connected Airports include China – Shanghai Pudong; Beijing-Capital.



Geneva is a bustling international airport located at the French-Swiss border. It handles about 85,000 tons of cargo annually and features one Europe’s longest runways, making it accessible for aircraft from all sizes including small propeller planes that may not otherwise be able to land in Switzerland because they don’t have enough room on their runway.


11. Freight transportation via rail from Switzerland to China


Using Sino Shipping’s rail freight container service to ship your goods from Switzerland to China is a fantastic alternative to shipping them by sea or air.

It is also less expensive and friendlier to the environment than other options.

We use a container shuttle train service to link Switzerland and the European Union with China in about 21 to 24 days.

This service travels over 12,500 kilometers. It is much more affordable than air freight while being twice as rapid as sea freight.

The transportation of your goods will be carefully planned by Sino Shipping, and appropriate safety precautions will be taken. If you ship your container from Switzerland to China with us, we will ensure that it gets there without any harm.

We provide extremely competitive rates for the transportation of products using block trains, and there are multiple departures every week. Trucks are used for both the pre- and on-carriage processes.

We transport ordinary goods as well as less-than-container loads in addition to single containers and groups of containers.

You will get mails providing daily updates, and you will be informed of the anticipated arrival time of the rail freight container in China.

Keep in mind that Sino Shipping is also available to facilitate the smooth passage of your customs transactions.

Due to the fact that Switzerland is not a member of the EU, a unique customs clearance is required.


12. Why should you ship your freight with Sino Shipping?


We streamline the process of importing goods from China to Switzerland.

We will take care of all of your logistical requirements, regardless of whether you want to ship your goods by air or by sea.

You no longer need hundreds of agents to oversee your shipping procedure since we’ve made it possible for you to do so using our web platform.

We take care of all of the replacements for you and act as your one-stop shop.

When you utilize Sino Shipping, you will get the following benefits:

Accessing and comparing quotations in real time online is now possible.

– You may make your bookings and make payments for your shipments online.

– One centralized location for all of your import and export management needs.

We’ll take care of any difficult aspects of the customs clearance process.

Our helpful and courteous customer service staff is available around the clock.


13. How much taxes in Swiss when importing chinese goods ?


Do you need assistance with the importation of products from China to Switzerland?

We at Sino Shipping offer the solutions to your problems.

Numerous Swiss rules are only available for publication in the languages of French, German, and Italian.

Before you may import from China, you need to be aware of a number of rules and laws, and we have debunked some of these myths in order to provide you with a guidance in simple English on what you need to comply with. An outline of the following subjects is presented here:

– Switzerland-China Free Trade Agreement

– Switzerland Regulatory measures for product safety

– Switzerland Labeling Requirements

– Import Taxes

– Licenses and permissions to import goods

– Shipments made between China and Switzerland

Switzerland/China Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

In 2013, Switzerland and China came to an agreement on a Free Trade Agreement, which defines the standards that must be met in order to import products from China.

It outlines the parameters of the partnership between the two nations, with the goal of lowering trade obstacles such as taxes on imported goods.

A few important points are:

The great majority of items on Switzerland’s tariff list were given a rate cut. Here is where you may check to see whether any of your items are included on the list that is part of Annex 1 to the agreement:

– In order to take advantage of the FTA’s benefits, enterprises that import from China are required to obtain a Certificate of Origin. For more information, please refer to Annex 2:


Product Safety Regulations in Switzerland:


Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association despite the fact that it is not a member of the European Union.

The European Union has stricter laws on product safety than Switzerland does; for instance, CE marking is not needed on goods sold in Switzerland.

On the other hand, the European Union and Switzerland have come to an agreement that covers a wide range of product categories, including construction materials, electrical equipment, and machinery.

There is no need for you to be concerned with Swiss product safety rules if your goods are inside the scope of the agreement and are in compliance with the requirements of the EU.

It is necessary for your items to comply with Switzerland’s product rules if they do not fulfill the standards set out by the EU.

In a nutshell, the following are some of Switzerland’s regulations:

The 930.11 section of the Federal Law on Product Safety states that certification through conformity assessment may be necessary for high-risk items.

Proof needs to be presented that the product was created using technology that is considered to be the most advanced currently available.

Ordinance Concerning the Distribution on the Market of Goods That Meet the Requirements of Other Countries’ Technical Specifications 946.513.8

These include: alcoholic beverages whose labels do not mention the amount of alcohol they contain; products that contain short-chain chlorinated paraffin; wood materials that do not meet the requirements of the Ordinance on Chemical Risk Reduction; and products that contain short-chain chlorinated paraffin.

The Ordinance for the Reduction of Chemical Risk (ORRChem) 814.81

It includes a list of compounds that cannot be imported into Switzerland or that need to have import permits in order to do so. As an example, the Federal Office of the Environment mandates the acquisition of a permit prior to the importation of mercury.

There is a ban on the sale of newly manufactured leather and textile products that include banned compounds such as tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate and tris(aziridinyl)phosphine oxide.

It is also not acceptable to use any electrical or electronic equipment that is formulated with hexbromobiphenyl or brominated diphenyls ethers.

819.14 of the Ordinance Relating to the Safety of Machinery

In order for products to be sold, it is necessary to ensure that they do not compromise the safety and health of people, as well as the safety and health of any animals that may be kept as pets, the integrity of the property, or the environment.

Ordinance on Low Voltage Electrical Equipment, Section 734.26

This relates to electrical equipment that operates at nominal voltages ranging from 50 volts to 1000 volts alternating current (AC) and 75 volts to 1500 volts direct current (DC).

– The need to attach the CE marking is waived in this instance. It is not essential to remove the CE marking if it is already fastened in compliance with the rules of the EU if it is already affixed (as long as the product complies with all EU applicable CE directives).

– The type, batch or serial number, as well as any other component that enables the identification of the equipment, must be fastened to the equipment itself, as well as the packaging or the papers that are linked to the equipment.

– The low voltage EU directive requires that the electrical equipment in question fulfill the safety requirements outlined in Annex I.

Ordinance Number 734.5 Relating to Electromagnetic Compatibility

“Apparatus and fixed installations prone to cause electromagnetic disturbance and to apparatus and fixed installations whose performance might be impaired by such disturbance” are within the purview of this Ordinance. For instance, it details the steps that must be taken in order to introduce the product to the market and set it up.

– It offers details about laboratory testing as well as conformity assessment

A Selection of Additional Swiss Technical Regulations

The following are examples of products that have special requirements:

Foodstuffs, animal products, animals, plants, and methods of production: For instance, organic foods that are imported must comply with the requirements of the Organic Farming Ordinance with the Federal Office of Agriculture.

Products of industry, such as imported boats, must be in compliance with the Ordinance on Navigation on Swiss Waterways in order to be sold in Switzerland.

The Ordinance on Foodstuffs and Household Goods has regulations for cosmetics, jewelry, wood, and children’s goods. For instance, hair coloring products that include elements that are hazardous to one’s health are governed by these regulations.

The standards for labeling in Switzerland are as follows:

Information about the product, including what appears on the label, must be written in at least one of Switzerland’s official languages (German, French or Italian).

The Labeling of Textiles:

– Misleading labeling is prohibited in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Law Against Unfair Competition.

– Sizing, fiber content, and care instructions should be the only things that are included on the label.

– The labeling and marking must be connected to the items, be clearly legible, be of a permanent nature, and be clearly visible.

When textile items are manufactured outside of the EU, there is no legal need to indicate the place of origin on the product itself.

– The care of textiles must be supplied for the utmost amount of treatment the items can bear without being harmed, and this care must be provided.

Across the world, care symbols have been standardized.

Putting Labels on Packaged Food Products

The following information must be included on the labels of all packaged food products:

– The food’s name – A list of its ingredients as well as any known allergies

– Initial location or birthplace

– Date marking

– The concentration of alcohol

– Personal Information and the Location of the Main Office

– Net quantity (Mandatory)

– Directions for application (Mandatory)

– QUID (Mandatory)

– The conditions of storage (Mandatory)

– Labeling Regarding Nutrition (Mandatory)


Import Taxes


The following is a list of some common items followed by their respective import duties:

– Wristwatches (the duty rate was decreased from 15% to 9.3% in 2019)

– Knitted or crocheted pants made of cotton (the duty rate on these has been cut from 16 percent to 9.6 percent as of 2019)

T-shirts, singlets, and other items knitted or crocheted from silk or waste silk (the duty rate for these items has been decreased from 14 percent to 7 percent) (2019)

– Knitted or crocheted textiles made from man-made fibers (Duty rate reduced from 10 percent to 0 percent )

– Lace produced by hand, either in themes, strips, or individual pieces (Duty rate reduced from 10 percent to 0 percent )

– Footwear having uppers made of textile materials (Duty rate reduced from 22 percent to 11 percent )

Value according to customs and duty on imports

When importing products into Switzerland, you are required to pay a variety of fees and taxes, including those associated with customs clearance, the items’ respective VAT, transportation clearance, and more.

Along with other nations in the EU, Switzerland use the technique of valuation known as CIF, which stands for cost, insurance, and freight.

CIF Value is equal to the sum of the following components: the cost of the products and tools; delivery to the port of loading; clearance for export; shipping to the port of destination; and insurance.

In contrast to the methods used in most other nations, Switzerland uses a formula for determining duty rates that takes into account both the worth of the item and its weight. This makes Switzerland’s method for determining duty rates distinctive.


Swiss Value Added Tax (VAT)


The following is the current VAT rate structure in Switzerland:

The normal rate of value-added tax in Switzerland is 7.7 percent.

– The special rate of value-added tax in Switzerland is 3.7% (Hotels).

– Switzerland’s value-added tax rate has been lowered to 2.5 percent (Foodstuffs, books, foodstuffs, water).

– In Switzerland, the value-added tax (VAT) does not apply to services related to insurance, finance, education, and healthcare.

The standard value-added tax (VAT) rate of 2.5 percent was reduced for several commonly purchased consumer items including newspapers and books. The reduced rate of value-added tax that is applicable to hotels that provide overnight service. In addition, the majority of products and services are subject to the regular VAT rate.

The following is the formula used to compute VAT: rate of value-added tax (Customs Value Plus Duty Rate)

Licenses and permissions to import goods

You are required to get a permission in order to sell certain items, including agricultural goods, plant products, and others. The following is a list of things you will need:

– Products Derived from Agriculture: The product’s Customs tariff number as well as general import licenses (GIPS) obtained from the Federal Office of Agriculture.

– Plant Products: An import permission issued by the Food Safety and Veterinary Office for protected plants or a plant passport issued by the FOAG. There are certain plant species that are protected, but there are other plant species that are forbidden or only authorized by the CITES treaty.

We hope this has given you a better understanding of shipping from China to Switzerland.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your shipment, our team at Sino Shipping is always here to help.


About SINO

SINO Shipping is a trusted international freight forwarder with over 35 years of experience, offering a full range of logistics and transport services. With a strong presence in China and a commitment to efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction, SINO Shipping ensures stress-free and cost-effective logistics solutions for businesses worldwide.