International agreements

International agreements define and supervise the framework conditions that ensure international trade is safe for people and animals. The FSVO contributes to technical adaptations and the ongoing development of existing agreements. 

The FSVO contributes to a number of international agreements with the aim of ensuring safety in international trade. The most important Swiss agreements in the fields of animal health, food safety and species conservation are listed below.

Animal health and food safety agreements

Veterinary Agreement between Switzerland and the EU

The Veterinary Agreement governs the control of animal diseases, trade in animals and animal products and the import of these animals and products from third countries. It forms the basis of the common veterinary area that facilitates trade with the EU.

Veterinary Agreement Switzerland - EU

Agreement between Switzerland and Norway

In this agreement, Switzerland and Norway acknowledge the equivalence of their respective veterinary regulations governing trade with animals and products of animal origin (Veterinary Agreement Switzerland - Norway (in German)).
The scope of this agreement is the same as that of Annex 11 of the Agreement on trade in agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland (see "Veterinary Agreement Switzerland - EU"). The European veterinary area therefore officially consists of the EU, Norway and Switzerland (with Liechtenstein).

Agreement between Switzerland and New Zealand

In this agreement, Switzerland and New Zealand acknowledge the equivalence of their respective veterinary regulations governing trade with animals and products of animal origin (Veterinary Agreement Switzerland - New Zealand (in German)).
It applies to the following animal species: cattle, pigs, equidae, poultry and hatching eggs, aquacultures, sheep, goats and animals as stipulated in EU Directive 92/65/EEC. This states that the legislation in both countries is equivalent. Provided that it is pursued within the defined scope, trade between Switzerland and New Zealand is subject to the same framework conditions as trade between the EU and New Zealand.

SPS Agreement

The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) contains regulations governing measures to protect the health of people, animals and plants that can have a direct or indirect impact on international trade.
The agreement was an initiative of the World Trade Organization WTO.

Species conservation agreements

CITES - Wild fauna and flora

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), also known as the Washington Convention, is an international trade convention ratified by 180 states.

Extensive international trade is endangering or could endanger many species of animals and plants. These species should only be traded to the extent permitted by their natural populations.

As the enforcement authority for CITES, the FSVO plays an important role in protecting and conserving animal and plant species and their habitats. The legal basis for enforcement is the Federal Act on the Trade in Protected Animal and Plant Species (FA-CITES) (in German)

International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW)

The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) (in German) regulates whaling worldwide. The intention is to provide adequate protection for whales while at the same time making whaling possible and regulating it. The ICRW currently has 88 member states.

On 18 September 2014, Bruno Mainini from the FSVO was elected Chair of the International Whaling Commission (5020203 IWC EN) for two years.

Last modification 07.02.2017

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