Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
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Swiss Maritime Navigation Office
Switzerland has a maritime fleet that is the responsibility of the Swiss Maritime Navigation Office (SMNO) which in turn is part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The SMNO also keeps a register of all Swiss sea-going yachts and small craft.
Switzerland enjoys free shipping on the Rhine and its tributaries and thus has duty-free access to the sea. Switzerland is a member of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine (CNR), whose headquarters are in Strasbourg.
The Confederation is permitted to commandeer Swiss commercial ships in times of need in order to guarantee supplies for the country. The Swiss inland waterways fleet was founded in 1941 for this very purpose. Ensuring the supply of essential goods in times of war remains the raison d’être of the commercial fleet that sails under the Swiss flag, although all the ships are privately owned and are used for commercial purposes in peacetime.
Swiss Maritime Navigation Office SMNO
Tel.: +41 (0)61 270 91 20,
Field yachts: +41 (0)61 270 91 26
Fax: +41 (0)61 270 91 29