GSP scheme of Switzerland
The Switzerland's GSP came into effect on 1 March 1972 for an indefinite period.
The Swiss Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was first introduced on 1 March 1972, in compliance with Switzerland’s intention to implement Resolution 21 (II) adopted by UNCTAD II in 1968. The Swiss GSP covers all industrial goods and many agricultural products and provides preferential treatment in the form of reduction of or exemption from duty. For least developed countries (LDCs) it covers all products and provides duty-free quota-free access.
The Swiss GSP has been modified several times Following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), Switzerland undertook a thorough revision of its GSP, which had come into force on 1 March 1997 for 10 years. In particular, for LDCs, duty-free market access was granted for all industrial products, as well as an exemption from customs duties on most agricultural products. In addition, the countries that could benefit from the Swiss GSP were reconsidered. On 1 January 2002, coverage for agricultural products was further expanded for LDCs with two stages of tariff reduction on that date and 1 April 2004. On 1 March 2007, the Swiss GSP was extended for an unlimited period through the prolongation in the form of Federal Law of 9 October 1981 on the Granting of Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries RS 632.91; and the introduction of Federal Ordinance of 16 March 2007 on Preferential Tariff Rates for Developing Countries RS 632.911. This revision introduced duty-free quota-free (DFQF) market access for products originating from LDCs, and since September 2009 all products originating from LDCs have DFQF market access. Furthermore, the countries that could benefit from the Swiss GSP were reconsidered, and tariff preferences for agricultural goods for all beneficiary countries were significantly enlarged. On 1 May 2011, the revised Federal Ordinance on the rules of origin for the Swiss GSP entered into force, providing origin criteria identical to those of the EU’s GSP for products of chapters 25-97 of the Harmonized System (HS). Finally, the list of beneficiary countries and territories was modified on 1 July 2011.
Developing countries: The revision of the Swiss GSP in 2007 and 2009 significantly enlarged preferences on agricultural goods where largely duty-free quota-free market access applies. The industrial products are admitted duty-free with the exception of textiles and clothing, for which preferential reductions of 50 per cent of the normal rate are granted, and a few other products for which specific preferential reductions are granted. LDCs and heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC): Switzerland grants DFQF access to all agricultural and industrial products originating from LDCs. Also, Switzerland provides, on a temporary basis, the same DFQF treatment to products originating from countries undergoing international debt relief and having not yet received full and irrevocable reduction in debt. The current criterion is the participation in the HIPC Initiative. HIPC countries are granted DFQF market access from the “pre-decision point”. After reaching “completion point”, the regular GSP preferences shall again apply. HIPC countries with LDC status after the “completion point” still benefit from DFQF market access due to their LDC status. Pakistan is beneficiary of this GSP scheme.