• Anna Junghardt, Senior Manager |
  • Meret Wälchli, Expert |

On 1 June 2023 the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security will put the first version of "Passar" into operation. Passar is the new goods traffic system for the digital processing of customs procedures in Switzerland. It will be rolled out in phases, starting with transit and exportation. 

Digitizing Switzerland's Customs Procedures

Passar 1.0 is the first version of the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security’s (FOCBS) new goods traffic system for the digital processing of customs procedures in Switzerland. Passar is derived from Romansh, Switzerland’s 4th official language, and means “to pass by” or “go by”. The implementation is carried out in stages, starting with transit and export procedures. 

Import and special procedures will be implemented with Passar 2.0 and Passar 3.0. The FOCBS’s goal is to have all processes related to transit, exportation, importation, special customs clearance and the collection of other levies simplified, harmonized and fully digitalized by the end of 2026.

Transit and Export

As of 1 June 2023 Passar 1.0 modernizes the processing of transit and export. The digital modernization is also linked to the Europe-wide update of the transit system.

Initial advantages are for “transit” and “export” procedures that can be linked in Passar with a transport declaration, which contains information on the means of transport for the border crossing. This referencing is the prerequisite for an automated activation of the goods declaration at the border. The recording of a transport declaration is still optional with Passar 1.0, but it is recommended to speed up the border process. 

With Passar 1.0, the self-care principle is also introduced, which means that one can manage its own data independently, i.e. goods and transport declarations can be modified without restrictions prior to the arrival at the border. They only become legally binding when activated at the time of border crossing. A one-time registration in the ePortal beforehand is required, however. Accompanying documents for transit and exportation can be submitted directly in Passar. Assessment decisions by the FOCBS will be available in the ePortal.

In November 2023 the opening of transit declarations in NCTS will no longer be possible and e-dec Export will be decommissioned in mid-2025 (extended by one year).

Import

Passar 1.0 has no effect on companies that exclusively import goods into Switzerland until 2025. They can continue to use the e-dec Import and e-dec Web applications until mid-2025. The launch of Passar 2.0 is planned for 1 January 2025 and will start with a parallel operation for importation. 

For private individuals and tourists, the “QuickZoll” application will continue to be available.

How to be prepared for Passar 1.0?

In the first half of 2023, the existing users of NCTS will be contacted by FOCBS in coordination with their respective software providers to register on the new ePortal. The users of e-dec Export will be contacted in a second step in the second half of 2023.

The ePortal will replace the customs client administration (ZKV). Unfortunately, there is no possibility to transfer any data from the old portal. 

Timeline for Passar

  • 1 June 2023: Launch of Passar 1.0 for transit and beginning of the transition phase for export 
  • 1 January 2025: Launch of Passar 2.0 for import
  • 1 July 2025: Export and import only with Passar, e-dec is deactivated. 

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