Article 149a of the Swiss Law on Debt Collection and Bankruptcy (SchKG) provides that claims based on a loss certificate become time-barred within 20 years after the date of its issuance. According to the transitional provisions, this time limit applies equally to loss certificates issued prior to the enactment of article 149a which came into force on 1 January 1997.1 Prior to that change in the law, claims based on loss certificates were not subject to prescription. 

Consequently, the time limit for all loss certificates that were issued before 1 January 1997 will end on 1 January 2017.2 So as to avoid loss of enforceability of claims based on a loss certificate it is recommended to interrupt the limitation period in time. This may be achieved in particular by filing a debt collection request or a request for conciliation. 3