Switzerland - Trade AgreementsSwitzerland - Trade Agreements
Switzerland has signed 30 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 40 countries and is currently in trade negotiations with India, Indonesia, and the Mercosur states, among others. Most of Switzerland’s trade agreements were signed through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), a regional trade organization composed of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway. EFTA members maintain their own external tariffs, although tariff duties on trade in industrial products among member countries have been eliminated. Though Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), it has a series of bilateral agreements with the EU that guarantee many of the same economic advantages and lowered barriers to trade that EU members enjoy. Preferential or duty-free rates apply to goods imported from the EU-EFTA free trade area when an importer makes a request on the import declaration and produces a certificate of origin. The Swiss accord tariff preferences under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to developing countries. Switzerland has also signed bilateral trade agreements with the EEA, China, Japan, and the Faroe Islands.
The United States and Switzerland have strong bilateral ties, though no formal free trade agreement has been negotiated between the two parties. Geneva is host to the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO), several UN agencies, and other international bodies. In 2006, the United States and Switzerland formed the “Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum” in order to discuss and achieve progress in trade topics of mutual interest. Since then, the Forum has addressed various registration and regulatory complications individual companies faced in either the U.S. or Switzerland and led to the signing of a Joint Declaration on e-commerce in 2008.
For a comprehensive list in English of Switzerland’s trade agreements with other countries, visit the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) website.