Navigation

Consumers receive good news

The parallel import of goods from the European Union which are protected by patent in Switzerland will be allowed from July.

This content was published on May 29, 2009 - 14:03

The move is expected to reduce prices of some of the affected products, since they can be sold more cheaply than identical Swiss-made ones.

Parallel imports are branded goods manufactured or purchased abroad at a reduced cost and then sold in Switzerland at a lower-than-usual price.

Consumer groups argued for years that the trade restrictions made Switzerland an island of high prices.

However, the business lobby successfully defended the ban, saying it boosted Swiss innovation and ensured sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry could continue to flourish.

Parliament finally agreed to end the ban, but decided to exempt pharmaceutical products. Parallel imports are expected to save Swiss consumers around SFr150 million ($140 million) a year.

The debate over parallel imports dates back to 1999 when the Federal Court ruled against the company Kodak, which attempted to sell film manufactured abroad at a price lower than on the Swiss market.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

Articles in this story

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. 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 english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?