National Authority CWC
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force on 29th April 1997. Since then 188 States have ratified the convention. Possessor states, who have ratified the CWC have to destroy their Chemical Weapons (CW) stockpile within ten years. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never ever under any circumstances to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons. Domestic chemical industry is subject to a strict international verification regime. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague is the implementing body of the convention.
The convention mandates each State Party to declare activities involving production, processing or consumption of certain chemicals and to accept inspections on territories under their jurisdiction. These declaration and inspection activities serve on one hand to verify compliance with the CWC and on the other hand to strengthen transparency and confidence between State Parties.
Switzerland has no chemical weapons. However, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland is working with chemicals that have a certain relevance to the convention, namely, dual-use chemicals. Dual-use means that chemicals can be used legitimately but they could also be misused for chemical weapon production. Thus, the affected industry in Switzerland who deals with CWC relevant activities are also subject to declaration and inspection obligations.
All State Parties have to designate a National Authority for the implementation of the CWC. In Switzerland the Division for Security Policy within the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) chairs the authority. The National Authority is complemented by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO within the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), the International Relations Defence (IR D) and SPIEZ LABORATORY within the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).
This website is particularly intended to assist the Swiss chemical industry with regard to their obligations under the CWC. If queries arise, please feel free to directly contact one of the representatives of the National Authority.