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IV. trade policies by sector - page 18 / 50





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Switzerland and LiechtensteinWT/TPR/S/208 Page 107


Switzerland and Liechtenstein do not produce motor vehicles on a commercial scale.  After customs clearance, all vehicles and specified parts must be homologated by the Federal Office for Roads.  The Office addresses, inter alia, pollutant emission, noise, brakes, lights and lighting, speedometer and tachometer readings, and make of tyres.  Inspection fees are determined at the cantonal level and range between Sw F 40 and Sw F 80.  Furthermore, the owner must bear the costs of bringing the vehicle into compliance with national regulations.  EC type-approvals are accepted.  Sales of motor vehicles are subject to a motor vehicle tax of 4% in addition to the VAT of 7.6%.  Import tariffs on motor vehicles average 1.8% on an AVE basis.  Imports of motor vehicles amounted to nearly US$10.9 billion in 2007.  


Distribution contracts between importers and foreign producers of motor vehicles must not prohibit parallel imports;  all foreign dealers are allowed to sell in Switzerland.26  Furthermore, the Competition Commission has decided that manufacturers may engage in contracts with repair garages for the delivery of spare parts only on the basis of quality criteria, and in a non-discriminatory manner.27

(5) Services


The service sector is the backbone of the Swiss and Liechtenstein economies and of key importance for national income, employment, and foreign exchange generation (Chapter I(1)).  Switzerland and Liechtenstein have their own policies on trade in services and act independently in international fora, including the WTO.  Commitments made by Switzerland and Liechtenstein under the GATS largely reflect the state of liberalization at the time of negotiation.  With the exception of presence of natural persons (the measures concerned are unbound), Switzerland and Liechtenstein have largely bound (generally without limitations) measures affecting almost all the other modes of supply of services.  However, measures affecting commercial presence for the supply of certain services are either unbound or the related commitment is qualified (e.g. legal services), while those on cross-border supply of maintenance and repair of transport equipment, rental of vessels with crew, and packaging services are unbound.28  Financial services commitments are largely qualified.  


Switzerland submitted a revised offer in the services negotiations in June 2005.29  Compared with its initial proposal submitted in 2003, the revised offer provides for new commitments in a number of service subsectors, particularly in construction services and tourism.  However, the revised offer largely reflects measures already in place and does not go beyond the state of liberalization of Switzerland's service sector as of mid-2008.  In the negotiations, Switzerland also submitted requests to some 50, mainly industrialized WTO Members.30  The requests targeted the following subsectors:  financial services, intra-corporate transfers, installers and maintainers, logistics services (services auxiliary to all modes of transport), selected business services, and tourism services.

(i) Construction services

(b) Switzerland

26 Competition Commission online information, "Communication concernant les accords verticaux dans le domaine de la distribution automobile" of 21 October 2002.  Viewed at:  http://www.weko.admin.ch/ publikationen/00213/Zusatzinfos-F.pdf?lang=fr.

27 Competition Commission (2008).

28 See WTO documents GATS/SC/83 and GATS/SC/83-A, 15 April 1994 for details of specific commitments under GATS by Switzerland and Liechtenstein, respectively.  For a detailed description of Switzerland's and Liechtenstein's MFN exceptions, see WTO (2000).

29 WTO document TN/S/O/CHE/Rev.1, 14 June 2005.  Switzerland submitted its initial offer in WTO document TN/S/O/CHE, 11 April 2003.

30 The EC(15) was counted as one Member.

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