Free trade agreement between China and Switzerland 

August 27:  Representatives of the governments of Switzerland and China in July 2013 signed a free trade agreement—making Switzerland the first country in continental Europe to enter in such an agreement with China.

The free trade agreement applies for trade in goods and trade in services; and the agreement also provides rules concerning intellectual property, investment promotion, environmental issues as well as government procurement.

In general, Swiss exports will be exempt from import tariffs in China (immediately for some goods, and phased in over a number of years for other goods).

KPMG observation

As has been observed, the new free trade agreement—together with the income tax treaty between Hong Kong and Switzerland (that entered into force in October 2012)— makes Switzerland an attractive headquarters location for Chinese and Hong Kong companies, as well as may provide an ideal gateway to Europe for these companies.

In order to react appropriately and effectively, companies need to start preparing now for changing rules for customs procedures, rules of origin, trade facilitation, trade remedies, non-tariff barriers to trade, etc., or for direct investments so as to benefit fully from the new free trade agreement.

Read a July 2013 blog posting prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland: Free Trade Agreement Between Switzerland and China

For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:

Douglas Zuvich

(312) 665-1022

Andrew Siciliano

(631) 425-6057

John L. McLoughlin

(267) 256-2614

Todd R. Smith

(949) 885-5617

Luis A. Abad

(212) 954-3094

Amie Ahanchian

(202) 533-3247

Or your local KPMG Trade & Customs professional.

©2013 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International.

KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever.

The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Direct comments, including requests for subscriptions, to
For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at:

+ 1 202 533 4366

1801 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006.

Share this

Share this


Current and future KPMG clients may subscribe to TaxNewsFlash email alerts.

Email your contact information.

TaxNewsFlash-Trade & Customs by year