The revised Federal law on Technical Trade Barriers (THG) will introduce autonomously the so-called „Cassis de Dijon"-Principle in Switzerland.
Since July 2010 products, which have been put lawfully on the EC and/or EEA market, shall in principle circulate freely without additional controls also in Switzerland. This regulations concerns for example food, cosmetics and textiles. Exceptions to this principle are specified in a negative list and are only possible for reason of the protection of predominant public interests. Swiss producer will have the possibility to manufacture their export and national products according to the EC regulations or in the case of missing or incomplete harmonization of the EC regulations according to the regulations of any EC-/EEA-member state. To that extent also European law will apply in Switzerland.
The „Cassis de Dijon"-Principle of the THG contains a special provision for food. Food, which does not fulfil the Swiss product regulations, but those of the EC or any EC-/EEA-Member State and has been put lawfully in circulation there, can also be put on the Swiss market. However the first import of such food requires an authorization of the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). This authorization will be granted in form of a general decree and is valid for all food of similar type.
Since labelling requirements can represent technical trade barriers as well, the new THG contains facilitations of product information. Thus labelling can be carried out in one official language or via symbols. This means, that linguistic adjustments for imported consumer goods from Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France, Belgium, Italy (apart from exceptions) should not be necessary. Stricter regulations for warnings or safety indications are permissible.
Rentsch Partner Ltd. advise you comprehensively on the application and legal possibilities of this principle in consumer product businesses.