Switzerland and South Africa have a growing business relationship. Though sending shipments to Switzerland from South Africa is generally straightforward, here are some things to bear in mind.

Country Information



All commercial shipments must be accompanied by a Commercial Invoice with a practical value and typed in print format. Invoices stating No Commercial value will not be accepted. Pro-forma Invoices are unacceptable. Clearance delays depend on the receiver’s ability to present required permits.



Switzerland Customs defines a document as general correspondence (business or private) as well as:

  • Advertising brochures / pamphlets
  • Airline tickets, issued / validated
  • Annual reports
  • Blueprints 1
  • Booklets, brochures (non-advertising)
  • Charts / graphs
  • Cheques, cashier (NI)
  • Credit card blanks (NI)
  • Credit cards (NI)
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Documents, general business
  • Drawings and plans for technical / architectural / engineering purposes 1
  • Invoices, not blank
  • Manuscripts
  • Music, printed or manuscript
  • Newspapers
  • Pamphlets
  • Passports
  • Personal mail
  • Photographs as part of business reports
  • Price lists
  • Shipping schedules
  • Visa applications
  1. If items are contained in bids/proposals and are in book form



  • Alcoholic beverages 3
  • Coffee 1
  • Animal products 4
  • Oil Products 1
  • X-ray Machines 5
  • Plants 1
  • Slides 2
  • Tea 1
  • Textile articles 1
  • Photographs 6
  1. If over 20kgs (44lbs), import licence required. If EC/EFTA origin, EUR1 form required.
  2. Quantity must be stated on inv.
  3. Wine: If EC/EFTA origin EUR1 form required. Duties (32USD/kg) apply to all shipments above 14% vol.
  4. All products of animal origin are restricted and can only be sent off network.
  5. Please contact destination prior to accepting shipment for any licenses or permits requirement.
  6. Should the photographs be coming from the US – this must be declared as goods



The following items are specifically not allowed to be sent with DHL to Switzerland.

  • Antiques
  • Airline tickets, blank stock (NI) 
  • Asbestos
  • Dangerous goods, including hazardous or combustible materials
  • Firearms, parts of
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Jewellery and costume jewellery
  • Liquids, non-hazardous
  • Playing cards
  • Precious metals and stones

This is in addition to DHL’s Global standard list of prohibited items which can be found here



The maximum weight per shipment is 300 kg (660.0 lb).

The maximum weight per piece is 70.0 kg (154.0 lb).

The maximum dimensions of each shipment are length: 120.0 cm (47 in); height: 120.0 cm (47.0 in); width: 100.0 cm (39.0 in).

Pallets are accepted.

Should you at any time require more information or telephonic assistance, please make contact with our Certified International Specialists.

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