Revised Goods Control Act and Ordinance enacted on July 1, 2016

Exportcontrol, goods control ordinance, ordinance on war material

Swiss Federal Council has decided to enact the revised Goods Control Act and Ordinance on July 1, 2016.

Already on September 26, 2014, the Federal Assembly approved the Satellite Navigation System Cooperation Agreement between Switzerland and the European Union. One element of the agreement is a tight control regime for “strategic goods” which had to be reflected in the Goods Control Act. Strategic goods are defined as technology, data and goods that have been specially designed or modified for the European satellite navigation program. Furthermore the existing controls of dual-use and military goods have been revised.

The changes in the GCA have been transferred to the Goods Control Ordinance and the Ordinance on War Material. A definition of strategic goods is foreseen in Annex 4, this Annex is meant to mirror the strategic goods list of the EU and will be populated as soon the list of the EU is published.

Additional relevant changes:

  • Validity of export licenses will be extended to two years (before only one year) with the possibility of a two years extension
  • License exceptions based on low value have been completely removed
  • Goods caught under the catch-all clause (ABC-proliferation) now require an export license (before: only a reporting requirement). Also any brokering of those products require a license from SECO (brokering was not covered before)

To be considered by Swiss companies:

Swiss Companies that rely on a license exception for low value goods need to change procedures to ensure SECO license application for all transactions. Also for goods covered by the catch-all clause, companies need to consider a delay from introduced license requirement. Companies engaged in brokering of goods should review their potential exposure to the new license requirement for brokering activities.

* Peter Henschel

(Source: press release)

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