Swiss-Uganda Bilateral relations

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Uganda are limited in scope. Switzerland has an honorary consulate in Kampala, which assists Swiss nationals in Uganda. 

Switzerland's representation in Nairobi is responsible for diplomatic contacts with Uganda, and ensures that cordial diplomatic relations are maintained between the two countries.

Uganda is part of the Greater Horn of Africa, which is one of the five geographical priorities of the Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 adopted by the Federal Council in January 2021. 


Swiss-Sub-African Strategy, 2021-2025

Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming increasingly important on the geopolitical stage as well as more economically relevant. The subcontinent nevertheless still faces many, often long-term challenges. However, rapid social, economic and political change is also presenting new opportunities. The Federal Council wishes to raise the profile and status of Switzerland’s sub-Saharan Africa policy and achieve greater coherence in foreign policy. Switzerland’s bilateral and regional relations should be based on partnership.

The Federal Council has defined four thematic focus areas based on the geopolitical analysis of the regional context and the Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–2023 (FPS 20–23): 1. Peace, security and human rights 2. Prosperity 3. Sustainability 4. Digitalisation Migration is an issue that cuts across all thematic areas and has therefore not been set as a separate priority.

However, the implementation of the four strategic priorities should also help address the root causes of migration and alleviate migratory pressure over the medium and long-term. To take account of the subcontinent’s diversity, the Federal Council has defined five geographical priorities:

1. Sahel region 2. Greater Horn of Africa region 3. Great Lakes region 4. The lion economies 5. Regional organisations

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers who are citizens of Uganda can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships through the above website explaining details of the scholarship.

Uganda also has an inter-university programme with some universities in Switzerland where Ugandan students have over the years benefited from such schemes.


Uganda-Switzerland Trade Statistics

Uganda Exports to Switzerland was USD 9.66 million in 2020 according to the UN COMTRADE database on International Trade. Of the USD 9.6 m, USD 6.06m comprised mainly vegetables and vegetable products, Cotton constituted about USD 1.53m, Cocoa, USD 1.07m and grain, seed and fruits USD 589.44K. Other exports to Switzerland include raw hides and skins and leather, mineral fuels and oils, live trees, plants, bulbs and roots-cut flowers and mineral fuels, distillation products.

Meanwhile Switzerland Exports to Uganda was US$33.35 Million during 2021, top of the list being pharmaceutical products at USD 11.8m followed by Printed books, newspapers and pictures at USD 8.59m

Imports to Switzerland- requirements

A general Import permit (PGI or GEB) is required to import goods subject to storage and include the following: sugar, rice for food purposes, edible oils/fats, coffee, hard and soft wheat as well as energy and protein sources for animal feed. This requirement is for quantities above 20kg.

GEB is only granted to natural and legal persona as well as groups of persons who have their place of residence or headquarters in the Swiss customs area.

In the electronic customs tariff-TARES, you will find the tariff numbers, customs rates and reference to other charges (VAT, incentive taxes, tobacco taxes, beer taxes, mineral oil tax as well as information on prohibitions, restrictions or authorizations.

For further information, go to below website with an English version/translation, copy link and paste on new browser

All information relating to company registration and application for the permit is detailed including contacts for further information and/or clarifications.

Developing Countries GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)


Below are excerpts from the above webpages

Under the General System of Preferences (GSP/GSP), Switzerland grants import tariff preferences for goods originating in developing countries. Tariff preferences are tariff concessions (duty-free or reduced tariff rate).

Countries and tariff preferences

For some customs tariff numbers, Switzerland grants all developing countries a duty-free status, for example in the area of ​​industrial goods (HS Chapters 25 - 97, with the exception of most textiles).

In the case of other customs tariff numbers, only tariff reductions apply to developing countries. On the other hand, Switzerland grants the countries that are considered the least developed (LDC, Least Developed Countries) exemption from customs duties for these customs tariff numbers as well. The same applies to developing countries that have joined an international debt relief initiative and have not yet been debt relieved. Details can be found in the list of developing countries and regions (LDC according to columns C and D).

You can find the applicable customs rates by stating the customs tariff number and the corresponding developing country in the customs tariff Tares .

Proof of origin

In order for you to be able to benefit from the tariff preferences in favor of developing countries when importing into Switzerland, a corresponding proof of origin must be presented in Certificate of origin Form A. Exemptions, reliefs and preferential tariffs

Extract from Federal Customs Administration

Depending on the procedure, other taxes such as value added tax (VAT) are also omitted. This applies, for example, to used hand tools, product samples and specimens. For these procedures, you can use the customs declaration for temporary admission (ZAVV) or the Carnet ATA instead of the definitive customs declaration.

Goods that meet the free trade  regulations or the regulations regarding developing countries (APS/GSP)  are subject to a more favorable customs rate or are exempt from customs duties.