The Swiss scheme within the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was introduced on March 1st, 1972, in compliance with Switzerland´s intention to implement Resolution 21 (II) adopted by UNCTAD II in 1968. It is characterized by the granting of preferential treatment in the form of exemption from duty in most cases and by the wide range of products covered (all industrial products and many of the agricultural goods).
Following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of GATT, Switzerland undertook a thorough revision of its scheme which had come into force on 1 March 1997. In particular, the preferences for the least developed countries have been extended and the product coverage now includes a large number of agricultural products. In addition, the countries that can benefit under the Swiss scheme have been reconsidered. The system´s basic characteristics of simplicity and consistency remain.
The aim of this publication is to provide information on the Swiss GSP to exporters in beneficiary countries in order to assist them in making full use of the benefits available under the Scheme. The information, though not legally binding, reflects legislation as of 1 March 19971 and of 1 October 19982.
1 Date of the entry into force of modification of the Swiss GSP ruling (Arrêté Fédéral concernant l´octroi de préférences tarifaires en faveur des pays en développement). 2 Date of the entry into force of modification of the Swiss GSP scheme on rules of origin (Ordonnance relative aux règles d´origine régissant l´octroi de préférences tarifaires aux pays en développement).