Federal Council brings Federal Act on Implementation of Recommendations of Global Forum into force

Bern, 27.09.2019 - During its meeting on 27 September 2019, the Federal Council decided to bring into force the Federal Act on the Implementation of Recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) on 1 November 2019.

Parliament adopted the implementing act on 21 June 2019. The referendum period will run until 10 October 2019 and has not yet been used. The act implements recommendations made by the Global Forum to Switzerland in its phase 2 report.

According to the act, bearer shares only remain permitted if the company has equity securities listed on a stock exchange or if the bearer shares are structured as intermediated securities. 18 months after entry into force, i.e. on 1 May 2021, impermissible bearer shares will be converted into registered shares. The act also provides for a procedure to identify shareholders who have not complied with their duty to report to the company and whose shares have been converted. Shares held by non-registered shareholders will become void five years after the entry into force of the act, i.e. on 1 November 2024.

The act also provides for a fine to be imposed on shareholders or companies that fail to report beneficial owners or fail to maintain the share register and the list of beneficial owners of shares. In addition, the act requires legal entities headquartered abroad with effective administration in Switzerland to keep a register of their owners at the effective place of administration.

The Federal Administration will publish guidance on implementing the act when it comes into force.

Address for enquiries

State Secretariat for International Finance SIF
tel. +41 58 462 46 16, info@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance