Hazardous chemicals and pesticides

In the case of cross-border movement, the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) are responsible for enforcing the following provisions:

Ordinance on Chemical Risk Reduction

The Ordinance on Chemical Risk Reduction summarises the restrictions and bans that traders have to observe when putting chemicals and products containing chemical substances into circulation (i.e. preparation for third parties and delivery to third parties, as well as importation for professional or commercial purposes).

The Federal Office for the Environment has summarised the applicable restrictions and bans in order to give an easy overview.

PIC pesticides (Rotterdam Convention)

Switzerland is a signatory to the Rotterdam Convention (Rotterdam Convention PIC) on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure.

The convention regulates the international trade in certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides. 

The national regulations are governed by the PIC Ordinance. The Parties are committed to reaching a decision on whether the import of certain chemicals named in the Convention should be prohibited and on the conditions under which this should be allowed.

This procedure is called Prior Informed Consent (PIC). Deliveries of chemicals contrary to the wishes of the importing country are not permitted. In addition, the parties to the Convention have committed themselves to notifying recipient countries of any exports of regulated substances.

It is the responsibility of importers and exporters to find out about the regulations and import responses of the contracting states. They must apply the legal principles accordingly.

The indication "PIC" in the electronic customs tariff - Tares means that the goods in question are subject to these provisions.

Background for these measures

The legislation on chemicals protects the life and health of people from the harmful effects of substances and preparations. Furthermore, people, plants and animals, and their communities and habitats, should be protected from harmful or irritating effects. In addition, natural resources, particularly biodiversity and soil fertility, should be preserved on a sustainable basis.

Further information is available from the FOEN (chemicals@bafu.admin.ch).