Swiss consumers and importers saved 2.5 billion francs ($2.7 billion) in 2018 thanks to lower tariffs under free trade agreements, according to a study. The aim of free trade agreements is to open a market and improve the international environment of economic relations with key partners. These include the protection of intellectual property, which plays an important role in international trade. Switzerland has therefore committed itself, in its free trade negotiations, to agree on transparent and predictable rules for the protection of intellectual property rights, which are appropriate and applicable. See the list of minimum transactions in Article 7 of the Origin Protocol in the text of the UK-Switzerland trade agreement. Free trade agreements aim to improve trade relations with key partners around the world. They aim to remove or, at the very least, minimize barriers to international markets for the Swiss economy. The aim is to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers (for example. B technical regulations, packaging and labelling requirements, import quotas). Updated page to provide detailed instructions on trade with Switzerland from 1 January 2021. These include information on import duties and rules of origin.
“As an advanced economy with a relatively small domestic market, Switzerland is closely linked to international value chains,” the study says. “It depends on access to foreign markets for imports and exports.” Switzerland, officially a Swiss confederation, has been a member of the European Free Trade Association since May 1960. Within this association, Switzerland and the countries with which it has an agreement are able to remove tariffs and protect intellectual property rights in general. The European Free Trade Association also regulates trade in industrial products, fish products and processed agricultural products. This is not the case with agricultural trade, as each Member State has different policies. On the contrary, agricultural trade is the subject of separate bilateral agreements. Other free trade agreements, such as Japan and China, extend EFTA rules on trade in services, investment and government procurement.  The Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan was concluded in February 2009 and strengthened the already strong relationship between Japan and Switzerland. A free trade agreement between China and Switzerland was signed in 2013, resulting in lower tariffs and lower non-tariff barriers.
A free trade agreement in the services sector is important, as many Chinese service providers are interested in Switzerland as a business centre and many Swiss service providers operate in China.  In total, Switzerland has thirty free trade agreements with forty countries. Negotiations are under way with Indonesia, India and the Mercosur countries.  These guidelines contain information on aspects of trade that will change as soon as the agreement between the United Kingdom and Switzerland comes into force.