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National Authority CWC

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force on 29 April 1997 and to date 193 States have acceded to this legally binding international treaty (as of August 2021). They undertake to destroy any chemical weapons stockpiles they may have within specified deadlines, not to develop, produce, acquire or use such weapons, and to subject their chemical industries to a strict international verification regime. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague, monitors the implementation of the CWC in the States Parties.

States Parties are obliged to report the production, processing, consumption and transfer of certain chemicals above a specified threshold to the OPCW Technical Secretariat and to allow inspections on their territory. OPCW inspectors check the submitted declarations for correctness and completeness. These inspections verify compliance with the treaty and promote transparency and trust among Member States.

Switzerland does not possess any chemical weapons. However, its chemical and pharmaceutical industry works with chemicals that are controlled by the CWC. These are so-called dual-use chemicals, which can be used for both civilian and military purposes. For this reason, Swiss companies and, on the basis of an agreement, also those from the Principality of Liechtenstein that carry out such CWC-relevant activities are subject to corresponding declaration and inspection obligations.

The CWC requires each State Party to establish a National Authority for the implementation of the CWC. In Switzerland, the International Security Division (AIS) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) heads this CWC National Authority. Also represented in this authority are: the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), International Relations Defence (IB V) and the Spiez Laboratory of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).

This website is intended to serve in particular as a source of information for the industry concerned in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein regarding their obligations under the CWC. For further questions or concerns, please contact the representatives of the National Authority directly. 

Structure of the Swiss National Authority
Structure of the Swiss National Authority

Legal bases

The Goods Control Act (GCA) forms the legal basis for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in Switzerland. The corresponding implementing regulations are contained in the Chemicals Control Ordinance (CCO). The annex to the CCO lists the controlled chemicals.


Spiez Laboratory Austrasse
CH-3700 Spiez
Tel.
+41 58 468 14 00

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Spiez Laboratory

Austrasse
CH-3700 Spiez