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I will be flying from Singapore to Geneva, with a connecting flight at Zurich. Do I go through customs at Zurich or Geneva?

Thank you.

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  • You also don't need to fly between Zurich and Geneva, there is a train from Zurich airport that goes to Geneva city center in just 3 hours
    – njzk2
    Jul 14, 2022 at 20:49
  • @njzk2 but if you search for flights from Singapore to Geneva, that is what you get.
    – phoog
    Apr 15 at 19:35

2 Answers 2

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You will enter the Schengen area in Zürich, because Geneva is a domestic destination (both in the sense it is within the same country and within Schengen). Therefore, you will pass through border control in Zürich. Assuming you are booked on a single ticket, your bag will be checked through to Geneva, and you will pass through customs there.

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    Some other passengers on this same flight from Zürich to Geneva are making a purely domestic trip within Switzerland. So this means they must also pass through customs. If questioned, how do they prove that their possessions didn't come from outside the country and thus aren't subject to customs limits/duties? ...
    – nanoman
    Jul 12, 2022 at 7:08
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    ... Isn't it possible that some domestic routes in Europe (not necessarily this one) use gates/terminals that simply don't have a customs channel, since domestic flights shouldn't actually need one? In which case, international passengers would have to go through customs at the connection point in order to reach this "pure domestic" zone?
    – nanoman
    Jul 12, 2022 at 7:09
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    @nanoman When you get off the flight, you come out in the airside control. To leave the airside area, you enter the baggage hall, collect your hold luggage and then leave through one of the 'channels'. Domestic passengers, and anyone with nothing to declare, leave through the green channel. This is not a perfect system (obviously you could just walk through the green channel even if you had something to declare) but there are customs agents watching who very occasionally ask someone to stop for inspection. This is exactly the same as all international airports in Europe work.
    – MJeffryes
    Jul 12, 2022 at 9:31
  • @nanoman In answer to your first question, I suppose they would show their domestic ticket if questioned, and their bag tag showing a domestic origin. Are there ways round this? Obviously, but I have to imagine customs agents are trained to detect liars or suspicious behaviour somehow.
    – MJeffryes
    Jul 12, 2022 at 9:32
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    @nanoman I am not sure about other countries but all Swiss airports with commercial operations have custom offices. And it is the passenger’s responsibility to declare declarable goods to customs even in the absence of customs control or offices (e.g. often the case if you travel by local international trains) via mail, drop boxes at train or ferry stations, telephone, mobile app or visiting a customs office.
    – xngtng
    Jul 12, 2022 at 12:44
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If your ticket is a single ticket (same PNR), you will pass through customs at your final destination in the Schengen area. And you will pass through passport control at the first port of entry in the Schengen area. Basically, wherever you get your luggage, you will pass through customs if the luggage was checked in internationally.

So immigration will happen at Zurich and customs at Geneva.

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  • The Schengen Area applies to immigration, not customs. The fact that Switzerland is part of the Schengen Area is irrelevant to OP's question (and would remain so even if the connection were in another country).
    – nanoman
    Jul 12, 2022 at 7:06
  • In fact you pass through customs regardless of your luggage and your itinerary. If you fly without luggage, you still have to go through the luggage hall to get out, and luggage from all flights is distributed in the same luggage hall.
    – phoog
    Apr 15 at 19:39

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