Federal office for customs and border security (FOCBS)


The tasks of the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) are:

  • monitoring and controlling the movement of persons and goods across the customs border
    • Increasing security as well as combating crime and illegal migration by means of a mobile presence in the border area
    • Protection of the population and the environment by food control at the border, protection of animals, plants and species as well as control of the traffic carrying hazardous goods.
  • Economic tasks
    • Levying customs duties, value added tax and other duties under non-customs federal laws insofar as they are the responsibility of the Customs Administration (e.g. taxes for mineral oil, tobacco, beer and spirits; heavy vehicle tolls and national road tolls).
    • Control of imports and exports of certain goods, e.g. for the protection of agriculture, trademark protection (indication of geographical origin, design rights and copyrights) and national economic supply.
  • Cooperation with foreign authorities and organisations
    • International transit; administrative and legal assistance; participation in international missions, etc.



The three former units Customs, Customs Investigation and Border Guard have been merged and given joint management.

Organisationally, the FOSBS is divided into six directorate areas. The divisions "Operations" and " Prosecution" fulfil the core tasks of the FOCBS. The four other directorates determine the basis for the fulfilment of these core tasks.

The Operations unit comprises Customs and the Border Guard (BG) as well as the customs districts and border guard regions. The division is divided into six regions (customs districts and border guard regions)

  • Customs North: Basel-City, Basel-Country, Aargau
  • Customs North-East: Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Zurich, Zug, Schwyz, Lucerne, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Glarus
  • Customs East: St. Gallen, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Grisons, Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Customs South: Uri, Ticino
  • Customs West: Geneva, Vaud, Valais
  • Central customs: Jura, Neuch√Ętel, Bern, Fribourg, Solothurn

The Prosecution Unit is the investigative body of Customs. It consists of about 190 specially trained employees with judicial police skills. In addition to investigating duty fraud (customs duties, import VAT, etc.), the prosecution unit is involved in other tasks such as species protection, combating animal diseases and smuggling.

Detailed information on the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security can be found on the Customs website.

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