The Swiss Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad PSSA and its relevance for industry

PSSA relevance for industry

Already on September 1st 2015 the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad PSSA entered into force (link). Many companies in industry may not realize that the PSSA may be relevant for their kind of operation as article 4 PSSA defines security services very broad. Following activities, amongst others, are defined as security services and may require a license when provided abroad:

Operational and/or logistical support for armed- or security forces Operating and maintaining weapon systems Advising or training members of armed or security forces

Companies supplying products or services to armed- or security forces should evaluate whether the rendered activities fall under the reporting/license obligation of the PSSA. Especially those companies dealing with dual-use or military goods, and/or being contractually linked to armed- or security forces should conduct a detailed analysis.

The federal agency has published a guideline dealing with overlapping obligations of the PSSA, the goods control ordinance and the war material ordinance respectively. It details certain simplifications for services that are covered by a SECO export license (available in German only: link).

Furthermore Swiss companies need to consider that services of controlled foreign entities may be subject to the PSSA as well. The definition of controlled entity follows the Swiss Code of Obligation for holding companies and the Federal Law on Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Resident Abroad for partnerships. Companies in control of foreign entities with contractual ties to armed- and/or security forces should evaluate potential exposure to the Swiss PSSA.

MME Compliance AG supports companies with the analysis of potential PSSA reporting- and licensing obligations as well as the implementation of appropriate compliance programs.

* Peter Henschel | Dr. Andreas Glarner

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