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Switzerland

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On 9 June 2021, the Swiss Government announced that the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) and the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation (FCS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on customs cooperation in Moscow on 9 June 2021. The main objective of the MoU is to promote technical cooperation and the exchange of best practices in various areas. The MoU also provides an opportunity to optimise processes in the cross-border movement of goods with…

On 8 June 2021, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products issued a press release announcing the results of Operation PANGEA XIV. The release said in part: Authorities worldwide have been checking for criminal online sales of medicines in a coordinated operation: The week from 18 to 25 May saw a coordinated worldwide campaign against the illegal online trade in medicines. For years, this market has been dominated by erectile stimulants. Some 90% of the shipments…

On March 31, 2021, the Swiss government amended the list of individuals in Annex 1 to the Ordinance on Measures against Myanmar/Burma. Eleven individuals responsible for the military coup staged in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, and the subsequent military and police repression against peaceful demonstrators, have been newly included. Ten of the eleven individuals targeted belong to the highest ranks of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), including the Tatmadaw’s Commander-in-Chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and Deputy-Commander-in-Chief,…

On March 2, 2021, the US Government imposed a series of new measures against Russian Government officials and entities in response to the alleged poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Aleksey Navalny. Specifically, the US State Department (State) imposed a number of financial sanctions and export restrictions on Russia; the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the US Treasury Department designated seven Russian officials to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and…

On 12 March 2021, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/442 of 11 March 2021 making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation, which requires an export authorisation to export (or re-export after such goods have been subject to manufacturing operations including filling and packaging within the customs territory of the Union) vaccines against SARS-related coronaviruses (SARS-CoV species) currently falling under CN code 3002 20 10, irrespective of their packaging…

On December 16, 2020, US Department of the Treasury delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. Treasury determined that both Vietnam and Switzerland are currency manipulators. For each country, Treasury assessed, based on a range of evidence and circumstances, that at least part of its exchange rate management over the four quarters through June 2020, and particularly foreign exchange intervention, was for…

On 11 December, the Swiss Federal Council extended sanctions against Belarus. Financial sanctions and travel bans were imposed on 15 individuals, including President Alexander Lukashenko. The new measures entered into force at 6pm on 11 December. The sanctions are in line with the decisions taken by the EU on 6 November 2020. The 15 persons newly added to the list in Annex 1 to the Ordinance on Measures against Belarus are alleged to be responsible…

On 2 December 2020, the WTO announced that Switzerland and the United Kingdom have completed the final step for making their respective participation in the revised Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) effective. As of 1 January 2021, the revised GPA will be in force for Switzerland, and the UK will be a party to the accord in its own right. The announcement said: Switzerland submitted the so-called “instrument of acceptance” to the WTO on 2 December.…

On 30 October 2020, the Swiss Federal Council announced that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) concluded between the states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Ecuador enters into force on 1 November. To that end, on 18 September, the Federal Council adopted the necessary amendments to the ordinances implementing the customs duty concessions set out in the agreement. This modern agreement will help to boost trade relations between the EFTA states and…

On 21 September 2020, the Federal Customs Administration announced that the EFTA-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement will enter into force on 1 November 2020. Some points: The EFTA-Ecuador Agreement provides for the cumulation of originating products between EFTA countries and Ecuador. Cumulation with input materials from Colombia and Peru is also permitted. These input materials must be originating products under the relevant agreement which are processed or incorporated into a product in EFTA countries or Ecuador;…