Campaigners for cheap imports gain ground

The Senate has come out in favour of allowing the parallel import from the Euorpean Union of some goods which are currently protected by patent in Switzerland.

This content was published on September 24, 2008 - 16:15

These imports could then be sold more cheaply than the identical items made in Switzerland. However, the Senate wants pharmaceuticals to be exempted from the measure.

The other parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives, has previously come out against easing the ban on parallel imports. It will now discuss the issue again.

Supporters of parallel imports say consumers would benefit from an easing of regulations.

The retail sector says a lifting of the ban could save up to SFr1.4 billion ($1.3 billion) per year.

Opponents, including the government, warn that patent protection is crucial to enable the country to ensure inventions, research and jobs.

The issue will go back to the House for further discussions at one of its next sessions.

Consumer organisations are considering forcing a nationwide vote to force lower import prices.

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.