Tares is a free online application allowing companies to check the customs tariffs applicable to imports according to the type of goods.
Through its online application Tares, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA) provides Swiss companies, free of charge, with customs tariffs as well as various details about customs clearance.
A customs tariff search on Tares can be carried out using the following information:
- Country of origin or destination
- Direction of traffic (import or export)
- The eight-digit tariff number (which can also be found through a search)
- The statistical code (if necessary)
- The customs relief code (if necessary and only for imports)
The system provides different rates of customs duties (normal rates, but also the preferential rates granted under certain circumstances for specific jobs or on presentation of valid certificates of origin), additional duties (taxes, levies) and subjection to licenses, as well as other information. In principle, customs duties are levied in Switzerland on the gross weight of the goods.
Customs tariff number
All goods are listed under a tariff number, which determines the rate of customs duties. This number has eight digits, the first six of which correspond to the Harmonized System (HS) for commodity coding of the World Customs Organization. This system is used by over 190 countries to establish their customs tariffs and covers over 98% of goods exchanged worldwide.
The tariff number must be included by the exporter company on the delivery note accompanying the goods. The delivery driver or the forwarding agent is responsible for verifying, when the goods go through customs, that the rate applied is the correct rate. Nevertheless, importer companies are advised to check this once again on receipt of the goods and the corresponding invoices.
Documents and help with Tares
In addition to the various factors mentioned, the Tares website provides access to:
- Document D. 4. These are commodity coding decisions.
- Document D. 6. These are explanatory notes for Tares describing in detail which goods come under a specified tariff number.
- Observations: general details, free trade agreements, tariff quotas, foreign trade statistics, customs relief, taxes, import and export licenses, special rules.
- Other useful documents: list of tariff positions, tariff quotas, circulars and forms, foreign currency rates.
An online user manual is available under “Help”, in addition to answers to frequently asked questions and a hotline.
On its website, the FCA also provides companies with online training in Tares and a PDF file making it possible to print out a list of tariff numbers.