Trucks being checked by overhead cameras

International Road Transport Operations in Switzerland

Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany
Hungary Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Norway
Poland Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland UK

Operational Activities

UK operators may carry loads to, from or through the country. Loads carried between third countries can only do so under a bi-lateral agreement and must be carried under cover of an ECMT multi-lateral permit. Cabotage is not permitted.

Dangerous Goods
Switzerland is party to ADR. It is essential that fully completed ADR documentation is prepared for the movement of dangerous goods.

There are special restrictions which apply to many tunnels and cantons within Switzerland, these restrictions also apply to the type of goods, quantities and whether specific vehicles carry Dangerous Goods require escorts.

Abnormal Loads
Vehicles which, because of their load, do not conform to the regulations concerning weights and dimensions as detailed below, require special authorisation. For vehicles carrying out import and transit operations in international traffic, authorisations are issued by the Federal Office of Roads and requests should be sent at least seven working days before the beginning of the operation to Federal Office of Roads Vehicle Department, 2 Mühlegasse, CH - 3003 Bern. Tel: +41 (31) 322 94 11

A full tank of fuel and fuel required for any refrigeration unit can be imported duty free.

TIR Carnets are accepted for vehicles crossing Switzerland. ATA Carnets are accepted for certain temporary imports. CMR notes are advised.

Movement Restrictions
There are driving restrictions applicable throughout Switzerland for lorries with a maximum authorised weight of more than 3.5 tonnes; industrial tractors and machines; articulated vehicles and road trains over 5 tonnes which are:-

There are also driving bans during December 2011 and January 2012 as follows:-

Public Holidays
2013 2014
  • January 1
  • March 24
  • May 9
  • August 1
  • December 8 and 25
  • January 1
  • May 29
  • August 1
  • December 25
Remember there are also regional holidays in Swizerland, therefore please check the Canton/Region you are travelling to.

Road Tolls
A Heavy Vehicle Fee (HVF) is applicable to most users of Swiss roads whose permissible total weight exceeds 3,5 tonnes. The fee is related to the distance covered on the Swiss road network, the emission category of the vehicle and its permissible total weight. The unit price is fixed for 1 tonne - kilometer, which means that in order to calculate the total fee, the road user has to multiply the basic fee for his emission category by the number of kilometers covered in Switzerland and the number of tonnes of the permissible weight of his vehicle, as written in the license. The unit prices for 1 tonne - kilometer appear in the table below.

Tax Category Euro Category Rate Applicable
EURO 2, 1, 0 and previous
EURO 4, 5, 6 and subsequent
3.07 ct./tkm
2.66 ct./tkm
2.26 ct./tkm
A calculation example based upon a rigid vehicle of 18 tonnes
Relevant weight applicable 18 tonnes
Rate according to emission (Euro 5) 2.26 ct./tkm
Kilometres driven 100 kms
Calculation 18 x 2.26 x 100 = 4068 ct. = CHF 40.70

For articulated vehicles licensed as a unit, the tax is calculated according to the total weight. If the articulated lorry and semi-trailer are licensed separately, then the unladen weight of the vehicle and the total weight of the semi-trailer are relevant.

Bridge and Tunnel Tolls
There are many road tunnels and bridges in Switzerland. Similarly to France and Italy, the most formidable barrier to negotiate are the Alps. Many of the road tunnels and bridges within the borders of Switzerland are within the existing toll road network and are therefore charged accordingly. The Grand St Bernard Tunnel between Switzerland and Italy is a toll tunnel that is charged in addition to the cost of the standard toll charges in both countries.

Trucks on Trains - 'Piggyback'
There are very good accompanied and unaccompanied 'Piggyback' services available in Switzerland. The three largest companies offering these are listed below with their websites available by selecting the link against each.

Vehicle Requirements

Green Card required, plus original vehicle registration docs. A GB plate must be fitted to rear of vehicle/trailer.

Maximum Weights & Dimensions
Height 4 metres
Width 2.55 metres (Fridges 2.6 metres)
Length Artic 16.5 metres
Road Train 18.75 metres
Weight Artic 40 tonnes (40 foot ISO containers - 44 tonnes)
Road Train 40 tonnes
There are also various maximum permitted weights on vehicles, trailers and road trains which are applicable according to the number of axles.

Safety Equipment
It is compulsory to carry the following items of equipment and/or observe specific rules:-

Snow Chains
Although there is no obligation to carry snow chains on board a vehicle, the use of chains is compulsory on certain road sections. These road sections are signposted 'Chaines a neige obligatoires'. The time period is unspecified as Alpine regions may be subject to summer snowfall. At least two drive wheels on the same axle, or one per side in the case of twin wheels, must be fitted with metallic snow chains or with similar equipment, made of some other substance, which is authorised by the Federal Office for Roads.

Winter Tyres
Studded tyres are authorised for vehicles of up to 3.5t gross weight, from 1 November to 30 April.

Driver Requirements

Legal Documents
Full passport required. International driving licence or normal UK Licence. Letter from employer giving driver permission to drive vehicle - Attestation letter and form. EU Hours rules apply.

Speed Limits

Vehicles Concerned Built-Up Areas (kms) All Purpose Roads (kms) Expressways / Dual Carraigeways (kms) Motorways
All Trucks over 3.5 tonnes 50 80 80 80

Country Contact Info

British Embassy
Thunstrasse 50, 3005 Berne. Tel: +41 31 359 77 00 Website:
Transport Organisation
ASTAG Schweizerischer Nutzfahrzeugverband, Weissenbühlweg 3, CH-3007 Bern. Tel: +41 31 370 85 85 Website:

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