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Swiss Border Guard
Logo der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Federal administration of Switzerland
Minister responsible Ueli Maurer, Swiss Federal Council
Parent agency Federal Department of Finance
Grenzwache EuroAirport 2014

Vehicles of the Swiss Border Guard at the EuroAirport (2014).

Swiss Border Guard (French language:Corps des gardes-frontière, German language:Grenzwachtkorps, Italian language:Corpo delle guardie di confine ) are a federal law enforcement agency, which acts as both the border guard and customs service for Switzerland. It is a uniformed section of the Federal Customs Administration, which is attached to the Federal Department of Finance. It is the largest civilian security agency on a federal level. Its members are subjected to military criminal law.

The Swiss Border Guard is the federal administrations instrument for:

  • Prevention, intervention and repression, concerning customs and migration related matters.
  • Enforcing border security and national compensating measures under the schengen treaty.
  • Participation in international missions of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (Frontex).


The Swiss Border Guard controls people and merchandise crossing the Swiss border, while combating smuggling and trans-border crime. It also participates in international missions. Furthermore, the Swiss Border Guard supplies agents (Ground- and Airmarshals) to the Federal Office of Police, the agents being tasked with preventing incidents on board aircraft and at airports. In its entirety, the Swiss Border Guard is tasked with enforcing over 150 national laws.

In essence, the Swiss Border Guard works within the same realm as the civilian customs authorities of Switzerland, with both sides cooperating on a regular basis.

The Swiss Border Guard has three strategic areas of work:

  • Customs related duties.
  • Security and policing duties.
  • Migration related duties.

These strategic areas fall within the original legal framework of the Swiss Border Guard. However, customs related duties are heavily prioritised and customs law is relied upon to fulfil all additional duties. Additionally, the cantons of Switzerland can and have delegated additional competences to the Swiss Border Guard.

The Swiss Border Guard has no own aircraft, therfore the Swiss Border Guard is supported by the Swiss Air Force with Helicopters (with and without FLIR) and the RUAG Ranger.

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