- As before, on application, persons are exempt from having to pay the fee if they receive an annual supplementary benefit (SB) from the Confederation in relation to disability or old-age (OASI or DI). A new development is that the exemption applies from the time the supplementary benefits are received, for a maximum of five years back, but not retroactively to the period before 2019.
- Persons who were already exempt before 2019 should not have to do anything: they will not receive an invoice since Billag has sent Serafe the data on the recipients of supplementary benefits at its disposal.
- To make an application, the confirmation letter from the SB implementation authority concerning receipt of SB must be submitted to Serafe.
- If one member of a private household is exempt, the obligation to pay the fee no longer applies to all members of the household concerned. In the case of SB recipients, the exemption applies for at least three years. After that the collection agency must conduct an enquiry as to whether the conditions for exemption from the fee are still being met.
- Exemption for recipients of social welfare assistance is not provided, as social welfare assistance takes the fee into account in the basic amount. Discounts or waivers cannot be granted.
- Legal basis: Article 69b paragraph 1 letter a and paragraph 2 of the Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Article 61 paragraph 1 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Beneficiaries of supplementary benefits
- Foreign diplomats and consular officials as well as the administrative, technical and service personnel of diplomatic missions with identity cards listed in the Radio and Television Ordinance are also exempt.
- The following identity cards of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA) give entitlement to exemption from the fee: Type B, C, D, E, K red, K blue or K violet.
- Legal basis: Article 69b paragraph 1 letter b of the Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Article 61 paragraph 3 letters a, b and c of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Housholds of deafblind persons
- Households which consist only of deaf-blind persons do not have to pay the fee.
- An application and a copy of a medical certificate must be submitted to Serafe for an exemption from the fee.
- Legal basis: Article 61 paragraph 4 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
- All persons who possess neither a radio, a television, a car radio, a smartphone, a computer with internet access nor a tablet can benefit from exemption from the fee (opting out).
- As soon as a household has received the bill from Serafe - and not before - it can submit an application using a form provided by Serafe.
- Exemption from the fee applies for one year.
- For each subsequent fee period, a request must be re-submitted on receipt of the bill.
- An exempt household which acquires the possibility of receiving radio or television programme services must notify Serafe immediately and waive the exemption.
- Legal basis: Article 109c Federal Radio and Television Act (RTVA; CC 784.40) and Articles 94 to 96 of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO; CC 784.401)
Principal residence abroad and no secondary residence in Switzerland
- Someone who has their principal residence abroad and who does not have a secondary residence in Switzerland, i.e. a person on holiday in Switzerland, does not have to pay the fee.
Registration and exemption
Do I have to register with Serafe? Do changes to my housing situation (e.g. moving house or separation) have to be notified to the collection agency? Which private households can be exempted from the obligation to pay the fee? I receive an annual supplementary benefit; from what point in time will my household be exempt? I was already exempt from the fee before 2019, do I have to apply to Serafe? I receive social benefits; can I be exempted from the fee? My father has been living in a home for a short time now. Does he have to pay the fee? I have a holiday home in Switzerland which is my secondary residence. Do I have to pay the household fee twice? I am a weekly resident. Do I have to pay the household fee twice? I have already received the annual bill, but I am emigrating in June. Will I get a refund for the remaining 6 months? I am travelling abroad for several months; can I be exempted from the fee for these months? If I go abroad temporarily, do I have to de-register with Serafe? I only have radio reception equipment. How come the fee will be more expensive for me?
Last modification 16.04.2019