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IV. trade policies by sector - page 46 / 50





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Switzerland and LiechtensteinWT/TPR/S/208 Page 135


Switzerland's market for engineering and architectural services is highly fragmented;  the types of business range from independent specialists to large offices and companies.  The main professional societies are the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects, and the Technical Union of Switzerland (UTS/STV).  Generally Switzerland has not imposed any limitations on market access or national treatment for the architectural and engineering professions.  


Professional names such as "architect", "engineer" or "technician" are not legally protected in most cantons, and no licence is required for the exercise of those professions. Thus, anyone, Swiss or foreign, can practice these professions.118  On the other hand, six cantons (Fribourg, Geneva, Lucerne, Neuchatel, Vaud, and Ticino) regulate the professions of architect and civil engineer by requiring a professional qualification.  Membership in a professional association is generally not necessary.  Registration in the Swiss Register of Engineers, Architects, and Technicians (REG) typically requires a diploma plus at least three years of professional experience (two years for technical school graduates).  These registers are open to foreign professionals if they have been exercising their profession generally for two to three years in Switzerland or abroad.



As at August 2008, 211 architects and 114 engineers were registered in Liechtenstein, working as independent specialists or in architectural and engineering offices and companies.  The main professional society in Liechtenstein is the Liechtensteinische Ingenieur und Architektenvereinigung.  "Architect", "engineer" and "technician" are legally protected professional names.  Requirements to obtain a licence to work as an engineer or architect are, in addition to a diploma, at least three years of professional experience, and an office in which to carry out the profession.  Citizens from non-EEA-member countries need twelve years' prior residence in Liechtenstein.  Permanent domicile in Liechtenstein is required for non-EEA citizens.  

118 A country-wide exception applies to official land measurements, which may be carried out only by licensed surveyors (ingénieur-géomètre breveté).  For further details, see WTO (2004).

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