The most frequent export mistakes (and how to avoid them).
Free Trade Agreements
How Swiss small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) secure benefits from Switzerland’s numerous free trade agreements.
The ExportHelp Team of Switzerland Global Enterprise is responsible for providing initial information, and offers small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) support in conjunction with export-related questions of all kinds. Enquiries which can be answered immediately or which take up to one hour to research are free of charge.
Simply contact us if you have any questions relating to export documents, free trade agreementsAgreements are becoming increasingly important within the context of international commerce. Given the different written laws and forms of legal practice that exist across the world and the different interpretations of the law that are culturally conditioned, it is impossible to devote too much attention to devising “good” agreements. Model agreements have proven to be useful, particularly for companies with little experience in this area. and country of origin, value added tax for cross-border transactions for goods or services, customsCustoms duties are a form of tax payable to the State mainly when importing goods into a customs territory. From a protectionist perspective, protective duties play an important role as they are designed to afford domestic producers some protection against foreign competition. In most countries, customs duties are levied as an ad valorem duty, which means the level of duty payable is calculated as a percentage of the value of a given product. By contrast, Switzerland applies the “specific tariff” system for most goods. The specific tariff here is payable per 100 kg net weight. Given the numerous customs duty reductions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT; now the World Trade Organization), customs are now much less important in terms of international trade. In Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA) is responsible for levying customs duties. Internationally, customs administration authorities are members of the broader World Customs Organization (WCOOMD). settlements, CE markingThe CE marking serves as proof that a product meets the basic health and safety requirements under EU law, and that the necessary conformity assessment procedures have been performed. CE marking is mandatory for all goods covered by the 20 or so EU directives under what is known as the New Approach in cases where these goods are to be put into circulation within the single European market or the European Economic Area (EEA). In many cases, CE marking can be carried out by the manufacturers themselves. The mark denotes neither quality nor origin; it is an administrative tool intended to promote the free movement of goods. This makes it a “technical passport”, valid within the single European market and the EEA.
As a result of the federal law relating to technical barriers to trade, Switzerland has already largely harmonised its product regulations with the corresponding EU legislation. There is still, however, no requirement for CE marking to be applied to goods in Switzerland. A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) ensures that testing procedures, test certificates and conformity signs associated with CE marking are recognised by both parties. This avoids the need for double testing, saving both time and money. The MRA is part of the Bilateral Agreements I between Switzerland and the European Union which came into effect on 1st June 2002.
The individual European Directives stipulate whether and to what extent a product must show the CE marking. Producers are responsible to ensure that their products conform fully with all relevant directives. Presently, there are about 20 directives (New Approach Standardisation) on CE marking. They include:
Cableway installations designed to carry persons
Equipment and protective systems in potentially explosive atmospheres
Explosives for civilian use
Low voltage equipment
Medical devices: Active implantable
Medical devices: General
Medical devices: In vitro diagnostic
New hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fluids (efficiency requirements)
Non-automatic weighing instruments
Packaging and packaging waste
Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
Simple pressure vessels
Toy safety or sending personnel on foreign assignments. We have a broad network of partners in Switzerland and abroad who will be able to answer your enquiries expertly and quickly. An initial response is guaranteed within 24 hours.
The ExportHelp team consists of qualified specialists with long-standing export experience and in-depth professional know-how. Each year around 1'500 initial export enquiries are answered.