The following categories are subject to controls:
- goods covered by sanctions
- nuclear goods
- goods with both civilian and military applications (dual-use)
- armaments (specific military goods and war materiel)
- goods that could be used for the development, manufacture or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (catch-all)
Licensing bodies are the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), for certain nuclear goods, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).
Export controls and sanctions
The FDFA plays its statutory role in the licencing process and makes its expertise available. It is consulted on individual applications for export trade concerning the licensing of war materiel as well as goods subject to goods control legislation. After review, it submits its assessment to the SECO.
Together, the FDFA, the SECO and the other authorities involved ensure that Switzerland fulfils its international obligations and that export trade in the area of war materiel is consistent with foreign policy.
Control of war materiel
Export trade, i.e. export, transit, trade, brokerage of war materiel, or the transfer of intellectual property require an individual licence from the SECO. The SECO decides on applications in agreement with the FDFA and, depending on the content, in cooperation with other departments.
Arms Control and Arms Control Policy, SECO) (de, fr, it).
The FDFA reviews on a case-by-case basis whether an export trade complies with international law, international obligations and the principles of Swiss foreign policy, and submits its assessment to the SECO once this risk analysis has been completed.
The FDFA's internal analysis is based on the legal authorisation criteria. Assessments take into account the following:
- the maintenance of peace, international security and regional stability
- the human rights situation in the country of destination
- possible contradiction with the principles and goals of Swiss development cooperation
- risk of misuse of the materiel by the end recipient
- risk that the exported weapons will be passed on to an undesirable end recipient
In addition to reviewing applications, the FDFA is also involved in multilateral processes, domestic policy matters and in drafting legislation. In this regard it works closely with the SECO.
Disarmament and non-proliferation
International obligations, SECO (de, fr, it)