Precious metal articles, multimetal articles and plated articles sold in Switzerland must bear a responsibility mark registered in Switzerland.
Registration of a responsibility mark
Besides the other designations prescribed by law (standards of fineness, designations for plated articles, etc.), precious metal, multimetal and plated articles have to bear a Responsibility Mark (RM) registered at the Central Office for Precious Metals Control.
One might compare the responsibility mark with a signature; by striking his mark the owner vouches for the accuracy of the article's composition and accepts the consequences of any further dispute.
The registration applies for a period of 20 years after the date of registration. The registration fee is CHF 800.00.
There are few binding provisions concerning the shape and the appearance of the RM; however it may not be confounded with official hallmarks, it should not be similar or identical to other already registered RMs, to registered trade marks or brand names, or to the abbreviations of international organizations.
In order to start the registration process, we kindly ask you to send us the following documents (by post or e-mail):
- Form for responsibility mark (DOCX, 62 kB, 22.12.2021) (duly filled in and signed)
- Several designs, numbered in the order of your preference, of the image you wish to register as responsibility mark
After receiving the confirmation, the documents mentioned below are required for the final registration:
- 1 reproduction of your mark, sharp and impeccable, in black and white, suitable for typographic reproduction
- A certified extract of your registration in the commercial registry or, if you are not registered in the commercial registry, an official attestation of the seat of your company or of your workshop or domicile (the document must be less than 1 year old)
- The registration fee of CHF 800.00 (Swiss francs) (for each mark)
- The brass plate with several imprints of your responsibility mark
Important information about the brass plate
The brass plate is sent by us together with the confirmation. Please mark it five times in different intensities with your steel stamp. If you do not apply the markings with a steel stamp but by laser engraving, please engrave all sizes on the plate, which will be used for your objects in the future.
The imprints of the steel stamp / the laser engravings have to correspond exactly to the submitted image in reduced form.
Example of a stamped brass plate
Examples of responsibility marks
Black on the image means recessed on the object (impressed into the surface).
White on the image means embossed on the object (in relief).
Renewal of the responsibility mark
In accordance with article 12 paragraph 1bis of the Precious Metals Control Act, the registration applies for a period of 20 years after the date of registration. Before expiry of this period, it may be extended for a further 20 years. The registration renewal fee is CHF 800.00.
Three months before the expiration date, the owners of a responsibility mark receive a reminder with the documents for the renewal. The responsibility mark can either be renewed for another 20 years or deleted from the register by means of a written notification (by post or e-mail).
The legal regulations do not permit a renewal of shorter period (less than 20 years). For responsibility mark owners, who stand shortly before the closing of their business, the possibility exists of selling their responsibility mark. In this case the owner change must be communicated to the Central Office.