Sanctions against Iran lifted

Iran has reentered the international economic community. Switzerland has also lifted sanctions against the Islamic Republic in line with the UN and the EU.

After Iran fulfilled its obligations under the comprehensive nuclear agreement, sanctions against the Islamic Republic were officially lifted on January 17, 2016. The Federal Council has accordingly revised the Ordinance on Measures regarding the Islamic Republic.

The most important changes after the suspension of Iran sanctions:

  • Iran again permitted to export oil (e.g. to Switzerland and the EU). In addition, frozen assets amounting to over 100 billion US dollars will be returned to Iran. This means immediate access to funds urgently needed to develop the country’s infrastructure. However, the price of oil is likely to fall even further with the additional supply from Iran.
  • Iran can again be supplied with equipment for the petrochemical industry, with cars and aircraft and the associated spare parts. A billion dollar market is opening up. Iran, for example, has already ordered 114 Airbus aircraft.
  • International financial transactions are again permitted almost without restrictions. Commercial transactions with Iran may again be supported by banks, Iranian oil tankers may also be insured through Swiss insurance companies. However, we expect it will take a few months before the financial flows are actually back to functioning in the usual manner associated with foreign business.

Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV is again authorised to insure exports to Iran and therefore to cover the risk of non-payment for Swiss exporters. You can find more information under this link

With the coming into force of the nuclear agreement on January 16, 2016, the majority of the international sanctions against Iran were lifted. However, with regard to the trading of goods and services as well as financial transactions, certain prohibitions and approval and reporting obligations are still in place. In the event of uncertainty, companies are advised to contact SECO. Specific business transactions must be submitted to the responsible department in SECO (Export Controls/Industrial Products) via the electronic approval platform ELIC. General enquiries should be forwarded to the following e-mail address:

The sanctions against Iran could be introduced at any time and with immediate effect for any possible breach of the nuclear agreement.

We would be happy to advise you about your possibilities in Iran. Market entry still remains a complex business even when sanctions have been lifted, especially since payment trafic is still limited. Come to us!

The backlog demand in Iran (with 80 million inhabitants, well-trained technicians, high affinity for Europe and reasonable wealth an attractive and lucrative market) is enormous. For both consumer and capital goods. The focus is on the creation and expansion of infrastructure (in particular oil production and energy production). There should also be a great demand for luxury goods (e.g. watches), foodstuffs in the premium segment and medical products.

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Iran Country Consultation (September 16)

Export dialog Iran (March 17 in Lucerne)

Export dialog Iran (March 5 in Bern)

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