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Raw Materials: Switzerland Offers More Transparency in the International Gold Trade

September 24, 2020 |Financial News 

Raw Materials: Switzerland Offers More Transparency in the International Gold Trade

On 24 September, Switzerland proposed the World Customs Organization (WCO) an amendment to the international customs duty classification for gold to improve transparency and traceability in the gold trade. Switzerland will implement the amendment for gold imports into Switzerland from 1 January 2021.


Now, the nomenclature of World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System (HS) has a single code for the different types of traded unwrought gold (native in lumps, lumps, grains, ingots, cast bars, pellets). Hence, it is hard to differentiate in the HS between refined and unrefined gold or between bank-grade gold and gold alloys. Switzerland supports different international and national efforts to give the gold trade more transparency. As well, Switzerland wants to improve the traceability of supply chains and to receive more accurate statistics.


The Swiss proposal to the WCO takes account of practices that are already accepted at the international level, as it is based on current best practices in the gold industry (London Bullion Market Association LBMA), in particular on the OECD guidelines for this sector. The proposal also takes into consideration the recommendation by the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) to differentiate between mined gold and banking gold in the Swiss customs tariff. The aim of this is to improve traceability of commodity flows, transparency of statistics and quality of controls.

Switzerland will implement the proposed changes to gold imports into Switzerland from 1 January 2021. From this date, importers have to provide supplementary information about gold types in the import declaration. This will give the possibility to record the mined and the banking gold in the statistics separately. If the WCO approves the Swiss proposal, the new customs tariff classification for gold will become the international standard from 2027.

With this proposal, the Federal Administration helps the implementation of the Federal Council’s recommendations of November 2018. The existing conditions for the Swiss gold sector will be protected at the international level.

Switzerland is one of the most important global commodities trading hubs. It is a crucial player in gold trade as one-fifth of the world’s gold trade passes through Switzerland.
Sourcehttps://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-80500.html

Legal disclaimer. This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The article should be used for informational purposes only.
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