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IV. trade policies by sector - page 38 / 50





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Switzerland and LiechtensteinWT/TPR/S/208 Page 127


Code-share arrangements between EC carriers and carriers from third countries that have implications for the Swiss market require authorization from OFAC.  This is granted according to the provisions of the bilateral agreements with the states concerned, or on the basis of Swiss interests.  Reciprocal rights for Swiss companies in the State concerned are a prerequisite.  No data are available on the number of arrangements that have been authorized.



Liechtenstein does not have an airport, but has a privately owned heliport.  It applies the EEA rules on civil aviation, which entered into force in 2003.  Under an agreement concluded in 1950, the Swiss regulations on civil aviation also apply to Liechtenstein;  this agreement was amended in 2003 to avoid conflict with EEA rules.  Liechtenstein became a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in June 2006.

(b) Overland transport


The supply of international transport services (passenger and freight) as well as transit traffic takes place under bilateral or multilateral agreements and is subject to reciprocity provisions.  In the WTO, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have maintained certain MFN exemptions on road transport under Article II of the GATS.  



Some 69% of Switzerland's imports and about 61% of its exports are transported by road.  Resulting from Switzerland's geographic location, a large share of north-south merchandise trade transits through the country.  The Federal Office for Transport is the regulatory body for public transport; it grants licences and concessions, issues security certificates, and determines the pricing policy for access by companies to the rail network.  For regular passenger transport, the concession is subject to proof that the service "does not have any detrimental effect on the national economy".89  In practice, no requests for such a concession have been denied in the past ten years.  The concession is granted in principle for renewable periods of ten years.


The Constitution obliges the Federal Government to transfer the largest possible share of merchandise freight transiting the Alps from road to rail transport.  This mandate is to be achieved through:  (i) the modernization of Switzerland's public transport infrastructure;  (ii) heavy vehicle fees;  and (iii) the reform of rail transport with a view to stimulating competition in this subsector.


The modernization of Switzerland's transport infrastructure comprises a number of bigger projects, most notably the New Railway Link through the Alps, a project to build faster north-south rail links across the Alps by constructing base tunnels several hundred metres below the level of the current tunnels.  Improved connection to the high-speed rail nets in Germany, Italy, and France is also a major target.  Investment in the railway infrastructure is financed by a special fund for railway projects, which is outside the federal budget;  the fund is mainly financed by the heavy vehicle fee.


The heavy vehicle fee applies on all Swiss and foreign vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes.  The fee varies from Sw F 272 to SwF 369 for a 300 km passage, depending on the vehicles' weight,

89 See also Switzerland's commitments in WTO document GATS/SC/83, 15 April 1994.

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