Tribune de Genève.
A family from Geneva was recently hit with an unexpected bill at the Swiss customs post at Bardonnex according to Tribune de Genève.
Returning from their holiday in Italy, the family was hit with a customs bill of around ten times the value of the bones they had bought for their dog. A zealous customs official was not aware that Swiss customs rules make a distinction between bones and food for pets, and meat for human consumption.
The family of five had made sure they had only 5kg of meat products between them, bringing them to the maximum duty free amount of 1kg per person. In addition, they picked up 500 grams of bones for the two canine members of their family.
The father of the family said that the customs person had told him that there were also bones in beef rib cuts, so what is the difference?
The excess 500 grams came with a customs charge of CHF 17, a tidy sum for a couple of dog treats. “It starts to get expensive” said the father referring to the duty.
Contacted after the incident, a customs spokesperson admitted the error and apologised. Bones and dog food are not included in the category of meat and meat products he said, adding that “It’s rare to see bones like this being imported.”
Swiss customs guidance states that the meat and meat products category only includes “parts of animal carcasses fit for consumption”.
Read full Tribune de Genève article (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
Swiss personal customs allowances (in English)
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