Key themes

Importation of spirits


You do not need authorisation to import spirits. However, a few rules have to be followed.


Production of spirits


You need a licence to produce distilled spirits. Contact a commercial distiller for smaller quantities.


Selling and serving spirits

Selling and serving

You need a cantonal permit to sell and serve spirits. A permit from the SAB is necessary for the wholesale trade.


Prevention and protection of young people

Protection of minors

No alcohol to those under 16, no spirits to those under 18. The SAB provides practical tools to facilitate compliance with the age limits.


Advertising rules for spirits


You have to observe the advertising restrictions if you wish to advertise spirits. The SAB offers advice free of charge.



Authorisation to acquire untaxed ethanol for commercial purposes


If you wish to acquire untaxed ethanol for commercial purposes, you need authorisation from the SAB.



Management change

Stefan Schmidt is the interim Head of the SAB from 1 January 2016 until it is integrated into the Federal Customs Administration.

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Partial revision of the AlcA

Following in the National Council's footsteps, the Council of States also unanimously  approved the partial revision of the Alcohol Act on 20 September 2016. Entry into force will be gradual.



Facts and figures, tips and background information: the SAB provides information on all matters concerning alcohol.
Most recent edition: C2H5OH - Alkohol und Poltik (in German and French). 



Spirits, vine and beer: Different rules for different drinks

Spirits, wine and beer

The SAB is responsible for the implementation of the Alcohol Act, which governs issues concerning spirits and ethanol (high-grade alcohol). Fermented alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, cider and perry are not affected by the Alcohol Act.