Exports are a mainstay of the Swiss economy. Switzerland is committed to open markets and free trade. The export, import and transit of certain goods is nonetheless regulated. This applies to military equipment and to goods that can be used for the manufacture or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as for dual-use goods, i.e. goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
Export control of war material and dual-use goods
The Swiss economy relies heavily on exports. Switzerland therefore is generally in favour of open markets and free trade. Its policy on the export of war material, on the other hand, is rather restrictive. The export of war material such as weapons, armoured vehicles and dual-use goods that can be used for civilian and military purposes requires a licence. The same applies to the export of goods that can be used for the manufacture or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The licences are issued by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The FDFA provides an assessment of the individual applications, ensuring that Switzerland fulfils its international obligations and applies its foreign policy principles, and that international law is adhered to.