new and full Notification Pursuant to Article XVII:4(a) of the
GATT 1994 and Paragraph 1 of the Understanding on
the Interpretation of Article XVII
The following communication, dated 17 March 2014, is being circulated at the request of the Delegation of Switzerland.
Swiss Alcohol Board; Federal Department of Finance.
The Alcohol Legislation, which is regulates with the manufacture, rectification and import of spirits and ethanol, was established in Switzerland for public health reasons.
It is based on Article 105 of the Federal Constitution, which gives the Federation the sole right to legislate in this field. Pursuant to that constitutional basis, the Federal Assembly promulgated the Federal Law on Alcohol of 21 June 1932. This legislation aims at reducing the production and consumption of spirits.
3 DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNCTIONING OF THE STATE TRADING ENTERPRISE
The private sector is allowed to import ethanol and spirits containing not more than 80% by volume without restriction and without any permit. The taxes, fixed by the Federal Council, have to be paid on imported goods as well as on the domestic production.
For control reasons, the Swiss Confederation, through "alcosuisse", a profit centre of the Alcohol Board, is entitled to import ethanol whose alcohol content exceeds 80% by volume. However, imports by the private sector are possible subject to prior authorization by the Alcohol Board.
Inside the country, ethanol and spirits are not produced by the Alcohol Board itself, but by the private sector which, for control reasons, has been granted a concession (industrial and professional producers, farmers, small producers).