On 7 June 2013, Russia signed a ratification law on the bilateral Swiss-Russian Agreement on the mutual recognition of hallmarks for precious metals in the watch industry (the “Agreement”). The Agreement was signed in Moscow on 14 December 2011 as part of the work of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic co-operation between the Russian Federation and the Swiss Confederation. The latter had been pushing for the conclusion of the Agreement in the context of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Once the ratification process of the Agreement is fully completed:
- Swiss-made precious metal watches will no longer be subject to hallmark affixing in Russia, and vice versa.
- During customs control, a competent agency will check that hallmarks (i) are affixed to the precious metal watches and (ii) match the standard samples previously provided.
- Watches without official stamps or hallmarks, or those with hallmarks that do not match the samples will be returned to the importer with a note explaining the reason for the return.