Is it necessary to clear customs in Zurich coming from Heathrow UK if Zurich is your final destination?

  • Yes, since you are entering another Immigration/Customs area when arriving in Zürich. Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 4:40
  • 6
    Why would you think it's not? Do you have a specific concern?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 6:27
  • 3
    For clarity, remember that customs is related to import/export of goods and money. Immigration/passport control is when they check passports, visas, etc. In the present case, you’ll have to go through both.
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 8:27
  • 3
    Where else other than Zurich could you clear customs? Do you have a connecting flight in some other airport between Heathrow and Zurich?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 8:49
  • Per @jcaron comment. You will clear immigration and they WILL check your passport and entry credentials. You will also walk through customs but I have never seen anyone even just look at a bag.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


Yes, you're entering another country. It's really that simple. As in many other countries, clearing customs mostly mean walking through the exit, not necessarily stopping or talking to anyone. In Zurich, like elsewhere in Europe, there are also green and red markings. You are only supposed to follow the green signs if you know you have nothing to declare. Otherwise, it's your responsibility to approach a customs officer.

Incidentally, Switzerland is not in the EU so you would need to clear customs no matter where you come from. For EU countries and connections, it gets a little more complicated (there is a distinction between hold and hand luggage for example) but you can always expect to have to clear customs somewhere when leaving the UK.

  • "no matter where you come from": Liechtenstein?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 8:47
  • 2
    @phoog To be honest I didn't think of that but I will try to weasel my way out by noting that I don't think you can fly from Liechtenstein into Zurich!
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 8:58
  • Wikipedia notes that Lichtenstein has no airports, but it does have a heliport with no regularly scheduled commercial service. It also notes that the closest "large" airport to Liechtenstein is ... Zurich.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 9:14
  • @Relaxed - Switzerland belongs to the Schengen area despite not being in th EU.
    – mouviciel
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 12:38
  • @mouviciel I am well aware of that, not sure why you feel you have to ping me.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 13:39

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