Free Trade Agreement: China – Switzerland

The new FTA between China and Switzerland entered into force on 1 July 2014.  The FTA will give simplified market access to goods originating in China and Switzerland retrospectively including reduction in customs duties.

Switzerland will reduce replace the previous duty reductions on China exported goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).  This means that the remaining duties on industrial products such as textiles and shoes will be abolished.   Both countries have also made concessions on agricultural and processed agricultural products.

The transition from the GSP to the FTA regime requires thought and planning as the FTA contains some clauses which differ from the agreements Switzerland has concluded bilaterally or with other EFTA states.  One important change is that Approved Exporters who can print the origin declaration on invoices or other commercial documents need to print a specific serial number on the origin declaration and must upload a copy of that document prior to the import taking place.