Light commercial and light articulated vehicles

Lieferwagen und leichte Sattelschlepper - Bild 1

Scope of application

In accordance with the Federal CO2 Act, carbon emission regulations for LCVs apply to all vans and light articulated vehicles that are registered in Switzerland for the first time. LCVs are classed as vehicles of vehicle type 30 or 38 with a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes. The regulations also apply to vehicles with an emission-free drive system and a gross weight of between 3.5 and 4.25 tonnes which, apart from their weight, meet the definition of a van and whose weight in excess of 3.5 tonnes is caused solely by the additional weight of the emission-free drive.

Vehicles previously registered in Switzerland are not subject to these regulations. Vehicles that were already registered abroad prior to their first registration in Switzerland fall within the scope of the carbon emission regulations if at the time of the customs declaration in Switzerland no more than twelve months has passed since the vehicle first registered abroad. Vehicles which obtain customs clearance in Switzerland less than six months after their first registration abroad are always subject to the carbon emission regulations. Vehicles which obtain customs clearance between six and twelve months after their first registration abroad are divided into two categories depending on the total kilometres travelled at the time of customs clearance. These vehicles are subject to the regulations if the distance travelled at the time of customs clearance (or, if not recorded at the time of customs declaration, at the time of initial initial registration in Switzerland) is less than 5,000 kilometres. If the distance travelled is more than 5,000km at the time of customs clearance or if more than twelve months have elapsed between initial registration abroad and customs clearance in Switzerland, the vehicle is considered a second-hand vehicle and is not subject to the carbon emission regulations (Art. 17d paras 3 and 4 CO2) Ordinance. Also exempt are LCVs with an unladen weight of more than 2.585kg measured in accordance with the measurement procedure for heavy vehicles in Regulation (EC) No 595/2009, provided they are not exclusively electrically powered.


Importers are required to meet a specific carbon emission target for their new vehicle fleet (in the case of small or private importers, the target applies to each individual vehicle). This target is usually calculated on the basis of the average target value, taking into account the unladen weight of the vehicle (see FAQs). If the carbon emissions per kilometre exceed this target, a penalty is levied per excess gram and vehicle.

Vehicle assignment

Every importer can agree with a large importer that the latter will take over vehicles from him (so-called assignment). Under Art. 22a of the CO2 Ordinance, assignments must be reported to the SFOE from 1 January 2024. Assignments must be reported to the SFOE before initial vehicle registration in Switzerland. A vehicle can only be assigned once; revocation is not possible (Art. 22a para. 3 CO2 Ordinance).

As of 25 March 2024, assignments must be reported to the SFOE exclusively by means of services via the DETEC eGovernment portal.

Further information on the assignments: Implementation of assignments from 1 January 2024

Procedure for small importers

Small importers must always submit an application for vehicle attestation on the DETEC eGovernment portal. They must pay any penalty due before the vehicle is initally registered in Switzerland. In a first step, the vehicle data should be entered in the FEDRO KDI portal.


Enforcement results

In 2017 the Federal Administrative Court decided that the public interest in results regarding the enforcement of regulations on CO2 emissions for vehicles outweighed data protection considerations (Decision A-6755/2016 of 23 October 2017). Based on this decision the Federal Office of Energy publishes an annual overview of enforcement results.

Calculation of penalties

Industry information

Brochures and reports

Forms and fact sheets

Specialist staff
Last modification 25.03.2024

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