Swissness and brands: how can you affirm a true Swiss identity for a product or service?

Swissness and brands: how can you affirm a true Swiss identity for a product or service?

Part One

The new “Swissness” legislation[1] has been written to protect and promote the “Swiss” label for brands.  This includes the “Swiss made” label and the use of a visible “Swiss Cross” on their products and services. To achieve this objective, certain clear new rules have been established to govern the use of “Swiss made”, and four categories have been created. In this first part, we will look at industrial and natural products.

In order to use the “Swiss made” label for industrial products, 60% of the production costs (including research and development costs) must have been incurred in Switzerland. Next, an essential part of the production process must be completed in Switzerland. For cosmetics in particular, a decree[2]  has stated that the bulk manufacture of the product and its primary packaging must be completed in Switzerland; the ingredients may come from abroad, provided that the production cost conditions are met. As such, Cosmesens(R), a new brand of face and body care products, can use their Swiss geographic origin on their products and place the Swiss Cross on their brand.

On the other hand, for natural products, the Swissness criteria varies according to the type of product. For mineral products or water, for example, the extraction site is the determining factor, while it is the harvest location for plant products. For example, Valser(R) can use the Swiss cross next to their brand, as their water is extracted in Vals, in Switzerland.

We shall look at the Swissnees criteria for food products and services in our next issue.

For more information you may contact Sonia.elkrief@alatis.ch.

Sonia Elkrief, Attorney-at-law, Geneva and Paris Bar

[1] The federal law for the protection of brands and geographic origin labels from the 28 August 1992 (in force on the 1st of January 2017), RS 232. 11 (LPM).

[2] Decree for the use of Swiss origin labels for cosmetic products from the 23 November 2016 (in force on the 1st of January 2017).