Import of human pathogenic organisms

Human pathogenic organisms and genetically active material may be imported without restriction. Exceptions to this rule are human pathogenic organisms, which fall under the Goods Control ordinance or under the War Material Act.

To date the FOPH has issued import confirmations upon request. This service will be discontinued until a specific legal basis enters into force. In the event that a consignment should be blocked at the border, the importer or customs can contact the FOPH by phone (tel. +41 58 463 51 54) or by email (

The import of certain organisms is subject to licence and an application must be submitted to the relevant authority. Details can be found in the table under “Documents”.


Biosafety legislation

The Ordinance on Handling Organisms in Contained Systems (ContainO) as well as various acts and additional ordinances govern activities with genetically modified, pathogenic or alien organisms in contained systems.

Last modification 18.03.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Biomedical Department
Biosafety, Human Genetics and Reproductive Medicine Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 463 51 54

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