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Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 2011

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to business mobility
Restriction on business mobility
There are deposit requirements for foreign service providers, and an "8 Days Pre-announcement Rule for Workers". This rule requires that temporary service suppliers have to announce in advance to each canton separately, eight days prior to deployment, providing details of name and security numbers. If this does not happen, drastic penalties apply in certain cantons.
Coverage Horizontal
Sources
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 2009

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to business mobility
Restriction on business mobility
Foreign service providers may apply for a short-term permit. However, in Switzerland there are additional limitations for cross-border service providers (only for short term services, up to 90 days of work per year).
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • GTA; I-TIP.WTO.ORG; GTA; USTR; MADB EC; TMDB
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 2007

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Quotas, Labour Market Tests, Limits of Stay
Federal Act on Foreign Nationals, Article 18, 19, 21, 26

Directive I.4: Residence with employment, Article 4.3.1, 4.8.1.4.2 and 4.8.1.7
Admissions are done by taking into account the situation of the labour market and the overall economic climate, plus the sustainability of economic development. This measure applies to intra-corporate transferees (ICT), contractual service suppliers (CSS) as well as independent service suppliers (ISS).
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • OECD: https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start.html
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 2007

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Quotas, Labour Market Tests, Limits of Stay
Federal Act on Foreign Nationals, Article 20

Ordinance on admission, residence and employment, Article 19, 20 and Appendices I and II
For intra-corporate transferees (ICT), contractual service suppliers (CSS) as well as independent service suppliers (ISS), quotas are set per canton. In addition, there are licensing and provisions requirements. Furthermore, the Federal Act also states that the Federal Council may limit the number of first-time short stay applicants and residence permits for any work purposes.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • OECD: https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start.html
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
State Owned Enterprise
Swisscom, the incumbent, is still partly government owned enterprise. The Swiss Confederation owns 57% of capital stock.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
Local Loop Unbundling
The Swiss telecom sector is fully liberalized and competition rules apply. However, Swisscom, the incumbent, owns access to the last mile. In this regard, it has the obligation to grant access to alternative operators.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 2010

Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Copyright inadequately enforced
It is reported that, by the end of 2012, about 35% of all active Internet users in Switzerland used unlicensed services and that there has been a drastic drop of criminal and civil actions for online infringement under the current legislation.

Additionally, it is reported that, subsequent to a 2010 Federal Supreme Court ruling in the “Logistep Case” which deemed that private companies are not allowed to gather information used to identify possible copyright infringers, case law on the matter has almost entirely come to a standstill.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Lack of fair use/fair dealing
There are not clear fair use/fair dealing copyright exceptions in Switzerland copyright laws, but there are some exceptions in the area of personal use. Moreover, news aggregators such as Google News can operate in Switzerland mainly under the right of quotation and a copyright exemption for media reports on current events.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Patents
Local agent requirement
In the patent application process, individuals having no residence in Switzerland must appoint a Swiss agent to represent them.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since January 2018

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Swiss VAT Act
A revision to the Swiss VAT Act requires that EU based businesses have a fiscal representative in Switzerland.
Coverage EU businesses
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Restriction of Investment
The Federal Telecommunications Commission may prohibit foreign companies from providing telecommunication services in Switzerland if reciprocal rights are not granted by the investor's home country. This also applies to investments in internet services. As of now, there are no reports that this power has been resorted.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since 1995

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Screening of investment and acquisitions
Swiss Federal Act on Cartels and other Restraints on Competition
There is a restriction for mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications sector. Specifically, the transfer of a telecommunications license and the use of radio frequency spectrum, which occurs when a company has acquired control of a licensee in accordance with the Federal Act on Cartels and other Restraints on Competition, requires the consent of the Swiss Communications Commission.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on board of directors and managers
Art. 718 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
There are restrictions on residency for the members of the board of directors in all the sectors. At least one board member needs to be a Swiss resident.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

SWITZERLAND


Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Federal Telecommunications Enterprise Act
According to the Federal Telecommunications Enterprise Act, the government has to hold the majority of capital and the majority of votes of Swisscom AG. In 2012, the Swiss Confederation owned approximately 57% of the shares in Swisscom, while the remainder were in free float.
Coverage Swisscom AG
Fiscal Restrictions

SWITZERLAND

Since April 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
Although Switzerland is a signatory to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), its coverage schedules do not include "telecommunications related services" (CPC 754), which is an important service sector for digital trade.
Coverage Selected sectors