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Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years

Sending letters will get a tad more expensive in Switzerland as of 2022, with Swiss Post increasing prices by up to ten cents per letter.

Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years
Swiss Post. Postage costs are set for a slight increase in Switzerland. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

The last time prices were increased was in 2004, 18 years ago. 

Prices for sending A-Mail letters will increase by ten cents per letter, while B-Mail will go up by five cents. 

Prices for sending packages will remain the same, Swiss Post has promised. 

Swiss Post say the increases are necessary due to the decline in the amount of post being sent in Switzerland, which is roughly half of that being sent when prices were last increased just under 20 years ago. 

The price increases are being put in place despite Swiss Post remaining profitable. 

In the first six months of 2021, Swiss Post raised operating income by 7.2 percent to 3,630 million francs, which is largely a result of increased parcel traffic. 

READ MORE: What is actually ‘cheap’ in Switzerland?

There is an increase of 15.8 percent in the amount of parcels being sent in 2021 as compared to the first half of 2020. 

Swiss post delivered 105 million parcels in 2021, compared with 90 million in the first half of 2020. 

Swiss post has so far made a profit of 249 million francs in 2021. 

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COST OF LIVING

Can I have a fire in my backyard or courtyard in Switzerland?

The winter months are on their way and the weather is getting colder. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, can you light a fire?

White marshmallows toast over a fire
If you want to toast marshmallows in your backyard in Switzerland this winter, first make sure it's OK. Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash

Even if you own a property, the rules for what you can and cannot do in Switzerland can be relatively restrictive. 

As we covered in the following article, laws or tenancy rules can prevent you from doing several types of activities in your own backyard, including felling trees or washing your car. 

You can also be prevented from certain activities on particular days. For instance, rules, bylaws and tenancy arrangements may prevent you from mowing your lawn or hanging out your laundry on a Sunday. 

READ MORE: What am I allowed to do in my backyard or apartment courtyard in Switzerland?

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to stock up the fire pit, fire basket or fire bowl with wood and set it alight. 

The rules for lighting fires are also relatively complex. What you are allowed to do will depend on your canton, your tenancy arrangement and the type of fire. 

Can I light a fire on my own property in Switzerland? 

If you’re living in one of the few Swiss houses to have a fireplace, then you are presumably allowed to use it, unless tenancy regulations prevent it at certain times. 

You are also usually allowed to have a barbecue or grill either on your balcony or in your backyard, provided the noise and smoke is not excessive. 

READ MORE: Can I have a barbecue on my balcony in Switzerland?

Whether or not you are allowed to have a fire in your backyard however will depend on the rules in your canton. 

You are generally prohibited from burning any waste in Switzerland, other than typical forest or garden waste (i.e. wood, grass, twigs, sticks and leaves). 

That however can also be restricted at certain times of the year.

In Zurich, for instance, fires in backyards are only permitted from March to October, meaning that you will need to find other ways to stay warm in the winter months in Switzerland’s most populous canton. 

Even if lighting fires is permitted, you may want to check with the rules of your rental contract to see if you are technically allowed a fire. 

What about fires in the forest or open parks? 

A campfire might also sound like a nice way to spend a winter evening, but this may be restricted or completely prohibited depending on the circumstance. 

There is no federal ban on fires in forests and other outdoor areas, provided you are not burning waste (other than garden waste etc) and you are not producing excessive emissions. 

The rules are the same on August 1st, Swiss National Day, where special bonfires usually require a permit. 

Note that there are special rules for burning old Christmas trees, which is prevented by law. 

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