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EU-Switzerland trade agreement

EU-Switzerland trade agreement

 

SUMMARY OF:

Agreement between the European Economic Community and Switzerland

Regulation (EEC) No 2840/72 concluding an agreement between the European Economic Community and Switzerland

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE AGREEMENT AND THE REGULATION?

  • The EU-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement of 1972 is the cornerstone of EU-Swiss trade relations. It concerns goods only and is one of the oldest trade agreements signed by the EU. It does not contain provisions on services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement or social and environmental values.
  • Switzerland and the EU subsequently agreed on a package of seven sectoral agreements signed in 1999 (known in Switzerland as ‘Bilaterals I’). Some of them are relevant from a trade perspective, such as:
    • the free movement of persons agreement;
    • the mutual recognition agreement in relation to conformity assessment;
    • the public procurement agreement; and
    • the agreement on trade in agricultural products.
  • In 2004, a protocol on processed agricultural products (protocol 2) was added to the agreement.
  • The regulation marks the conclusion, on behalf of the European Economic Community (now the European Union (EU), of the Free Trade Agreement with Switzerland.

KEY POINTS

Objectives

The main aims of the agreement are:

  • to promote the harmonious development of economic relations between the EU and Switzerland through the expansion of reciprocal trade;
  • to foster the advance of economic activity and the improvement of living and employment conditions, as well as increased productivity and financial stability in the EU and Switzerland;
  • to provide fair conditions of competition for trade between the parties;
  • to contribute, by the removal of barriers to trade, to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade.

Elimination of tariff and non-tariff measures

  • The agreement has abolished:
    • customs duties or charges with equivalent effect on imports and exports;
    • quantitative restrictions on imports, exports or measures with equivalent effect.
  • Any new duties/charges or quantitative restrictions are prohibited.
  • Protocols are attached to the agreement covering the tariff treatment of certain products along with certain goods obtained from processing agricultural products.
  • Either party can impose bans or a restriction on imports, exports or goods in transit on a number of grounds, including:
    • public health;
    • law and order or public security;
    • the protection of life or of the health of humans, animals or plants.

Competition rules

Both parties are required to respect competition rules prohibiting abuse of dominant positions, cartels and monopolies along with rules on State aid.

Joint committee

The agreement sets up a joint committee consisting of members of both parties. It:

  • is responsible for administering the agreement and ensuring its proper implementation;
  • makes recommendations and take decisions in the cases provided for in the agreement.

DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE

The agreement entered into force on 1 January 1973. A number of protocols have been subsequently attached to the agreement.

BACKGROUND

EU-Swiss political relations are governed by more than 100 ‘bilateral’ agreements covering a wide range of aspects including research and innovation, the Schengen zone, asylum policy and mutual recognition.

For more information see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Swiss Confederation (OJ L 300, 31.12.1972, pp. 189-280)

Successive amendments to the agreement have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Regulation (EEC) No 2840/72 of the Council of 19 December 1972 concluding an agreement between the European Economic Community and the Swiss Confederation and adopting provisions for its implementation and concluding an additional Agreement concerning the validity, for the Principality of Liechtenstein, of the Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Swiss Confederation of 22 July 1972 (OJ L 300, 31.12.1972, p. 188)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation concerning the criteria and mechanisms for establishing the state responsible for examining a request for asylum lodged in a Member State or in Switzerland (OJ L 53, 27.2.2008, pp. 5-17)

Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 53, 27.2.2008, pp. 52-79)

Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation amending the agreement between the European Economic Community and the Swiss Confederation of 22 July 1972 as regards the provisions applicable to processed agricultural products (OJ L 23, 26.1.2005, pp. 19-48)

See consolidated version.

Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on mutual recognition in relation to conformity assessment (OJ L 114, 30.4.2002, pp. 369-429)

See consolidated version.

Framework Agreement for scientific and technical cooperation between the European Communities and the Swiss Confederation (OJ L 313, 22.11.1985, pp. 6-8)

last update 10.09.2020

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