In accordance with World Trade Organizations (WTO) rules, the Swiss GSP grants preferential treatment in the form of exemptions from duties for industrial and partially for agricultural and food products. It also implements the arrangements granted under the Decision on Measures in favour of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration 2005, i.e. duty- and quota-free market access for goods originating in LDCs. Preference-giving countries like Switzerland unilaterally determine which countries and which products are included in their GSP schemes. The objective of the Generalized System of Preferences is to promote economic development in developing countries through an increase in export revenues and diversification of exports. The Swiss GSP is politically neutral and does not foresee additional tariff preferences for good governance practices (like the EU “GSP+”).
Rules of origin
In order to qualify for Swiss GSP treatment, imported products must comply with specific rules of origin: they must be wholly obtained or must have undergone sufficient working or processing in the beneficiary country. Compliance with rules of origin has to be supported by documentary evidence,a proof of origin. Criteria for originating products are regulated in the Federal Ordinance on the Rules of Origin for Preferential Tariffs for Developing Countries (RoO).
The RoO for the Swiss GSP provides origin criteria identical to those of the GSP schemes of the European Union and Norway for industrial products, tariff chapters 25-97 of the Harmonized System. Accordingly, GSP beneficiary countries may cumulate originating materials from the EU and Norway for the determination of origin. Cumulation allows products that have obtained originating status in one partner country to be further processed or added to products originating in another participating country as if they had originated in that latter country, without the finished product losing the benefit of preferential customs tariffs. Cumulation is limited to industrial products and aims at facilitating cooperation among enterprises in beneficiary countries and the EU, Norway and Switzerland. The possibility to cumulate facilitates market access in Europe for beneficiary countries.
For more information on the GSP please refer to the following pdf: