European Union

Access to EU markets is of strategic importance for the Swiss financial sector. In the tax arena, the agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of financial account information has been in force since 1 January 2017. The TRAF tax reform, which abolished controversial tax regimes, came into force on 1 January 2020.

Financial sector

Numerous pieces of EU financial market legislation include provisions that regulate relations with third countries. These provisions regularly provide for market access and/or reduced prudential requirements if the third country has equivalent regulation (equivalence).

Equivalence procedures are an important element in maintaining the competitiveness of the Swiss financial centre. Recognition of the equivalence of Swiss regulation and supervision by the EU enables Swiss financial service providers to access some areas of the EU internal market or to benefit from regulatory simplifications for foreign business.

In recent years, various equivalence decisions have been adopted by the EU in recognition of the Swiss legal framework. SIF is committed to the rapid initiation and conclusion of further equivalence procedures in several areas.

Equivalence procedures with the EU

Taxation

The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) has been in force since 1 January 2017 and applies for all EU member states. The agreement implements the global AEOI standard of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It helps to combat cross-border tax evasion.

AEOI agreement with the EU (in French, German and Italian)

On 14 October 2014, Switzerland and the 28 EU member states signed a joint statement on business taxation, in which Switzerland undertook to abolish five controversial tax regimes and the EU member states reaffirmed their intention to repeal any countermeasures taken once the tax regimes in question had been abolished.

Swiss voters approved the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF) in a referendum in May 2019. With the full entry into force of the TRAF on 1 January 2020, Switzerland abolished tax regimes that were no longer in line with international standards. Internationally compatible tax measures, such as a patent box, were introduced to ensure that Switzerland remains competitive. The economics and finance ministers of the EU member states acknowledged this progress and decided during their meeting on 10 October 2019 to remove Switzerland from their tax list.

TRAF

 

Further information

Last modification 24.09.2020

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