Post & Mail in Switzerland

Post & Mail in Switzerland

The national postal service of Switzerland, Swiss Post, is a fully state-owned company that has been operating since 1849. The postal service in Switzerland is highly efficient and effective in transporting packages and letters. These can be sent to addresses within Switzerland and overseas at a high speed.

Who runs the post office in Switzerland?

Swiss Post is a company controlled by the government that is responsible for the delivery of letters and packages throughout Switzerland. Although other delivery companies do exist in Switzerland, the majority of personal packages and letters are sent through the national system.

Alongside postage, Swiss Post has also branched out into several other services, operating some rural bus routes as part of public transport, as well as banking.

How to find the nearest post office

With over 2.000 branches in all counties (cantons) of Switzerland, the post office network is always close by. From these offices, you are able to access all postal services. These branches operate typically between 8am to noon then 2pm to 6pm and will be able to provide letter and package services, such as the purchase of stamps. You can find your nearest post office here.

Post boxes

If you have already bought stamps from your local post office, you can use the several thousand post boxes present throughout Switzerland. These boxes are serviced twice a day, with the time post is picked up listed on the front of the box. These boxes can only take letters, although packages can be delivered in several choice locations, typically within the cities of Switzerland.

Personal post

Finally, every type of housing in Switzerland is given a personal post box. These boxes have two sections, a slot used for letters and a larger container below for small packages. You may have to specify whether you want to have your package delivered to the postbox or your front door as the package door cannot usually be locked securely.

How to avoid advertisements in my postbox in Switzerland

It can be annoying to receive spam post or advertisements through your letterbox. By law, anyone can post any sort of advertising document to you if there is no sign requesting otherwise. Therefore, most Swiss put a decorative message on the front of their letterbox in order to avoid this post. Some of the most common that can stop unnecessary letters are:

  • Kein Rückgabe
  • Kein Bewerbung

Sending a letter in Switzerland

If you need to send a letter to work, a bank or a member of your family, it is important to know how to send the letter and how much you should be paying for postage. Swiss post is reliable and will be able to send your letter quickly, if it is addressed correctly.

How to format a Swiss address

Due to the number of similar-sounding places in Switzerland, it is vital that you include all the information on the front of the letter. Usually, people tend to put the address of the recipient on the top left of the letter, with the stamp on the right. The format you should use for a letter is:

  • Full Name
  • Street name and house number
  • Postcode (PLZ) and name of town or city
  • Canton
  • Switzerland

An example address could be:

  • Katrin Burgermeister
  • Oberbergstrasse 1
  • 8124 Maur
  • Zurich
  • Switzerland

Ocassionally, strasse (street) is abbreviated to Str.

Postage cost for a postcard or letter within Switzerland

Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (g) Cost (Swiss francs)
17.6 x 25 x 2 100 1
17.6 x 25 x 2 500 1,40
25 x 35.5 x 2 1.000 2

Sending packages in Switzerland

Swiss post also offers a parcel sending service. Sending a parcel domestically is charged by its size and overall weight. If you already know the size and weight of what you are posting, it is normally cheaper to purchase the appropriate stamps online, although you will still have to send the package from your local post office.

Price of sending a parcel within Switzerland

Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (g) Cost (Swiss francs)
17.6 x 25 x 5 100 3
17.6 x 25 x 5 500 3,40
100 x 60 x 60 2.000 8,50
100 x 60 x 60 10.000 11,50
100 x 60 x 60 30.000 20,50
Large or Bulky items 30.000 49,50

International post

The prices of international post in Switzerland varies largely on how far the package has to travel. There is no standard price for European post and international post, with each nation having its own price charged. You can find out how much your letter or parcel will cost using the official postage cost calculator.

Secure postage

As well as regular stamps and parcels, Swiss post also offers a system of secure postage. This is where post or parcels are tracked during transit and the letter or package has to be signed for at the chosen destination. This can be useful for high-value packages or personal letters. Normally, these services cost an extra 5 to 50 Swiss francs.

Fast parcel and letter delivery in Switzerland

If you need your parcel or letter to reach its destination quickly, Swiss post offers a system of next day and fast delivery services. These services will ensure that your mail will arrive at the desired time, which can be useful for entrepreneurs and international businesses. The availability of these offers is determined by the type of package you are sending and where you are sending it to. Some of the main services that they provide are:

  • Same-day delivery for letters (60-600 Swiss francs) and parcels (100-1000 Swiss francs).
  • Two to three working day delivery for letters (8-300 Swiss francs) and parcels (50-1000 Swiss francs).

Do you have to pay customs tax on packages going to Switzerland?

Much like importing and exporting a vehicle, any package or letter that arrives that contains a valued good that is not yet in your possession is taxed accordingly. This is important to know as due to Swiss taxes, some goods purchased from abroad may cost more when shipped to Switzerland. It is always important to check with your seller whether this cost is included in the stated price. The majority of packages to Switzerland with a value of over 65 Swiss francs are charged VAT at 8,1 percent of the packages’ value.

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