Following the conclusion of the nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), the Federal Council decided on 11 November 2015 to conduct a total revision of the Ordinance on Measures regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran (SR 946.231.143.6, „Iran-Ordinance“; see the respective report in the MME magazine).

The revision that came into force on 17 January 2016 caused an unintentional tightening of the export criteria for certain dual-use goods bound for Iran. On 18 May 2016, the Swiss Federal Council decided punctual amendments on certain aspects of the Ordinance on Measures regarding the Islamic Republic. This involved adapting the licensing criteria for trade in certain dual-use goods (Art. 3 para 3-3ter Iran-Ordinance):

  • For dual-use goods listed in Annex 2 Section 2 of the Ordinance, Iran is no longer required to grant the right to examine the end-use of the relevant goods.
  • The licensing procedure for these goods is simplified in that a licence no longer has to be issued by the interdepartmental export control group, but may be issued by SECO.
  • In cases where SECO has already issued a licence for the export of the relevant goods, the provision of serviced will be exempt from the licensing obligation.

The amendment of the Ordinance came into force at 6pm on 18 May. In parallel to the Federal Council decision, the EAER amended annexes 6 and 7 of the Ordinance on 17 May.2016. This reflects recent changes to the EU’s corresponding sanction list. Two entries have been removed from Annex 7, and 23 entries in Annexes 6 and 7 have been amended.

Consequently, trade in these dual-use goods will again be assessed according to the same criteria as applied before the vast majority of sanctions against Iran were lifted in January of this year.