What are the best vegetables for export

Import system (import / export)

Swiss vegetable production covers 55% of the annual supply of fresh vegetables. Over 75% of the imported vegetables come from the EU.

Two-phase system for fresh vegetables
The current import system for vegetables is based on the provisions of the WTO. Most of the vegetables grown in Switzerland are subject to customs protection that limits imports. Some vegetables - especially those that are not grown in Switzerland - can be freely imported. A two-phase system applies to customs-protected vegetables. A managed and non-managed time period with specific tariff rates is defined for each product. There is no limit to the number of imports in the non-managed phase. In the managed phase, domestic production is protected by tariffs. If there is a full supply of domestic vegetables, there is only the option of importing at the high extra-tariff rate, which is normally not worthwhile. Nevertheless, there are limited import options: If domestic production cannot supply the market, the Federal Office for Agriculture approves supplementary quotas at practically zero tariffs at the request of the industry. This happens when the weather (e.g. hail, drought, heavy rainfall) leads to short-term crop failures. The market situation for vegetables can change very quickly, so the industry assesses it twice a week.

The two-phase system ensures that the market is supplied as promptly as possible. Exports of Swiss vegetables can occur in exceptional market situations, but are only of marginal importance.

Examples of import phases

productPhase not managedManaged phase
tomatoes October 1st to May 30th June 1st to September 30th
leek January 15th to March 4th March 5th to January 14th
Lettuce December 18th to February 28th March 1st to December 17th


Separate regulation for processed vegetables
Processed vegetables are subject to separate import regulations based on cultivation contracts and lost quantities.

You can find detailed information on foreign trade topics under Dossiers> Politics> Foreign trade