Federal Council takes decision to sign amended Agreement on the Carriage of Goods between Switzerland and the EU

Bern, Press release, 13.05.2009

The Federal Council has approved the changes in the international movement of goods and has taken the decision to sign the amended Agreement on the Carriage of Goods between Switzerland and the EU. The amendments are based on the new EU security requirements for the international movement of goods. After the signing, parliament will take the decision on approving the revised agreement. Subject to the approval of the committees in charge, it should be implemented provisionally from 1 July 2009.

The amended 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 due to the contracting parties recognising the equivalence of their security standards. At the same time, however, goods traffic between Switzerland and non-EU states will be subject to the new security regulations (concerning prior notification and risk analysis).

The Mixed Committee is responsible for implementing the uniform and joint criteria. A meeting will take place in July 2009. Provisional application is subject to the approval of the parliamentary committee in charge.

Updating procedure

A procedure is defined in the agreement which regulates adjustments to future legal developments. In order to maintain an equivalent security level between Switzerland and the EU, Switzerland and the EU must interpret the rules in the same way and adopt the corresponding legal developments at the same time. In doing so, the internal, constitutional procedures in both countries on approving new legal regulations should be observed.

The contracting parties agreed to involve the Swiss experts as early as the preparatory phase of new regulations, which concern the technical side of the agreement. Should Switzerland decide not to adopt a legal development and the equivalence of security measures in accordance with customs law is thereby no longer guaranteed, it will be possible for compensatory measures to be taken. However, these measures must be proportionate and kept to a strict minimum. If there is a dispute and 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.

Address for enquiries:

Hermann Kästli, Directorate General of Customs, tel. 031 322 65 03
Adrian Sollberger, Integration Office FDFA/FDEA, tel. 031 322 26 40


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