Federal Council requests approval of the EU agreement on easing customs formalities and customs security

Bern, Press release, 27.11.2009

The Federal Council has approved the dispatch on adopting and implementing the Agreement between Switzerland and the EU on easing customs formalities and customs security for the attention of parliament. The agreement makes provision for integrating Switzerland's customs security measures with those of the EU. In this way obstacles to the bilateral movement of goods will be avoided. The agreement has been applied provisionally since 1 July 2009.

Since July 2009 for security reasons the EU has a summary prior notification requirement in the case of the cross-border movement of goods with third countries for all goods. This measure is meant to facilitate combating international terrorism. However, it would represent a new hurdle for the Swiss economy in terms of access to the EU market.

This problem was able to be resolved in negotiations with the EU. The agreement makes provision for there to be no prior notification requirement in the transfer of goods between Switzerland and the EU even after the introduction of the new EU security regulations. This has been made possible by recognising the security standards of both of the contract partners as being equivalent. At the same time, Switzerland undertakes to introduce new security regulations in the transfer of goods with non-EU states in connection with prior notification and risk analyses.

The agreement also defines a procedure which regulates adjustments to future legal developments. In order to maintain an equivalent level of security between Switzerland and the EU, both partners must apply the respective legal developments simultaneously. Should Switzerland decide not to adopt a legal development, the EU may take appropriate compensatory measures. These measures must be in proportion and be restricted to that which is necessary. If both parties agree to this, the matter may be taken to a court of arbitration which will rule on the proportionality of the compensatory measures taken.

The Federal Council today took note of the report on the results of the consultation procedure. The agreement was welcomed on the whole in the consultation procedure

In 2008 approximately 60 per cent of Swiss exports with an overall value of approximately CHF 132 billion were to the EU. More than 80 per cent of imports to Switzerland were from the EU. The overall value of these imports was approximately CHF 156 billion.


Further information:

Ergebnisbericht der Vernehmlassung zum Abkommen zwischen der Schweiz und der EG über die Erleichterung der Kontrollen und Formalitäten im Güterverkehr sowie über zollrechtliche Sicherheitsmassnahmen
Botschaft über die Genehmigung und Umsetzung des Abkommens zwischen der Schweiz und der EU über Zollerleichterungen und Zollsicherheit


Address for enquiries:

Hermann Kästli, Directorate General of Customs, tel. 031 322 65 03
Serge Gumy, Directorate General of Customs, tel. 031 322 67 98


Publisher:

Federal Department of Finance
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs