In our last column, we promised to come back in more detail to the Sino-Swiss free trade agreement (FTA) signed on 6 July 2013. As its wording has been published in the meantime, this column and next month’s column will feature how Chinese exporters and investors benefit as of its entry into force (expected on 1 July 2014 at the earliest).
Export of goods
Currently and until the entry into force of the Sino-Swiss FTA, Switzerland has no obligation with respect to imports from mainland China other than the obligation under the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) not to apply customs tariffs higher than most favoured nation (MFN) rates (with respect to imports from Hong Kong, the European Free Trade Association [EFTA] free trade agreement with Hong Kong applies).
Nevertheless, following WTO/GATT’s 1979 adoption of the so-called enabling clause, Switzerland autonomously, i.e. without any obligation, adopted a generalised system of preference for de-veloping countries that also fully or partly dismantled tariffs for certain goods originating in China.
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Felix Egli is a senior partner and Wu Fan is counsel at the Swiss law firm VISCHER in Zurich
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吴帆 Wu Fan
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