The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force on 29 April 1997 and has been ratified by 192 states (as of Nov. 2015). They undertake to destroy any chemical weapon stockpiles within 10 years, not to develop, produce or deploy such weapons and to subject their chemical industry to a strict international verification regime. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) resident in The Hague supervises implementation of the CWC in the signatory states.
The signatory states are obliged to declare the production, dissemination, use and transfer of certain chemicals beyond a certain limit to the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW and to permit inspections on their own territory. Here the inspectors check whether the declarations are correct and complete. Compliance with the treaty is thus verified and transparency and confidence is established between the member states.
Switzerland has no chemical weapons. However, its chemical and pharmaceutical industry work with chemicals that are subject to CWC controlling. These chemicals are what are known as dual-use goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. Therefore, Swiss companies involved in CWC relevant activities and, on the basis of an agreement, also those of the Principality of Liechtenstein are subject to corresponding declaration and inspection duties. The CWC obliges all signatory states to create a national authority for the implementation of the CWC. In Switzerland the Security Policy Division (ASP) of the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) chairs the national authority. Other representatives in this authority are: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), International Relations Defence (IR D) and Spiez Laboratory of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).
This website is especially designed to provide the relevant industries in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein with information concerning their duties relating to the CWC. Please address the representative of the national authority for more detailed questions or concerns.
English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only. [ and has no legal force].Top of page