The Swiss parliament started 2017 with a vast array of new constitutional changes to some important laws in the country. Some of the changes affect anything from sharing bank information, child support for separated parents, along with other significant changes to Swiss manufacturing.
The new constitutional modification to child support according to the latest changes from parliament outline that children of separated parents are to receive the same level of support both in cash and contributions irrespective of whether the parents are still married or not. The law outlines that financial support for children takes precedence over other claims. It also divides pension assets equally in divorce between both partners.
Sharing Bank Information
Switzerland has been known as a tax haven and is especially praised for that, however this will change. Swiss banks will now be required to share banking information, the International Convention on the Automatic Exchange of Banking Information conforms Switzerland’s standards with international requirements for taxation.
Established by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD the new requirements outline the annual sharing of financial information on Swiss bank accounts held by citizens of specific countries.
Switzerland will start collecting and sharing bank data from 2017 onwards, over a hundred other countries have already signed the agreement in line with international standards on taxation.
Switzerland is placing stringent measures on its branding industry, for example the made in Switzerland brand along with the Swiss cross label will now be significantly monitored. According to the new manufacturing law specific conditions have to be met in order for businesses to claim that their products are being Swiss made.
Agricultural produce of plant and animal origin must be 100% domestic in order to use the Swiss label. Regarding food products, 80% of the raw material must be sourced within Switzerland. In addition to that, industrial goods must have at least 60% of the production cost within Switzerland. Moreover timepieces must include a minimum of 60% of Swiss value to carry the Swiss label.
Among other important changes outlined are those for emergency workers, starting 2017 volunteer firefighters and other off duty rescue volunteers will be allowed to respond to emergencies even if they have been drinking moderately. The new law allows them to respond as long as their blood alcohol level is 0.5% or less. This is an increase from the preceding limit of 0.1%.
Dog owners will not be required to take theoretical and practical courses by the federal authorities, however each canton has its own rules with regards to training, and they can continue to impose the training if that is their preference. Motorists will also notice new energy labels on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of their vehicles.