Switzerland

1. Country: Switzerland

 

2. Summary of hallmarking system:

 

State.

All watch-cases in gold, silver, platinum or palladium, of foreign or local manufacture, sold in Switzerland, are subject to control and compulsory official marking.

For watch-cases composed of precious metals and base metals (multimetals) official hallmarking is voluntary.

Apart from watch-cases, that is for all other precious metal articles, and multimetal goods, the control procedure is voluntary.

A single official hallmark will be used for all precious metals and all fineness standards, the "head of a St. Bernhard dog":

The Legal Bases are:

• The Precious Metals Control Act of 20th June 1933 www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/c941_31.html
• The Precious Metals Control Ordinance of 8th May 1933 www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/c941_311.html
• The Precious Metals Control Instructions of 1st May 2010 PMCI, D243

 

3. Ministry responsible:

 

 Name and contact details

Member IAAO

Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) / Integration Office
Ressort Wirtschafts- und Finanzfragen
Bundeshaus Ost
Berne CH-3003
Switzerland
Tel: +41 31 322 22 45
Fax: +41 31 322 23 80
E-mail: francine.zimmermann@ib.admin.ch
Web site: www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/dfa/orgcha/secst/intoff.html

No

 

4. Contact Point for Hallmarking Information:

 

 Name and contact details

Member IAAO

Central Office for Precious Metals Control
Monbijoustrasse 40
Berne CH-3003
Switzerland
Tel: +41 31 322 66 22
Fax: +41 31 324 84 41
E-mail: sekretariate.ozd-emk@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

Yes

 

5. Other representative bodies:

 

 Name and contact details

Member IAAO

None

No

 

6. Assay Offices:

 

Name and contact details

Mark

Member IAAO

Edelmetallkontrolle Basel
Post-Passage 5
Basel CH-4002
Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 201 22 33 / 40 / 41
Fax: +41 61 201 22 35
E-mail: patrick.eichenberger@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

No

Edelmetallkontrolle Basel / Contrôle métaux précieux Bâle
DA Biel/Bienne / Subdivision Biel/Bienne
Schwanengasse 50a / Rue des Cygnes 50a – P.O. Box 3512
Biel/Bienne 3 CH-2500
Switzerland
Tel: +41 32 366 70 16
Fax: +41 32 366 70 17
E-mail: eichenberger@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

No

Contrôle des métaux précieux Bâle
Subdivision Le Noirmont
Rue du Doubs 9
Le Noirmont CH-2340
Switzerland
Tel: +41 32 957 66 88
Fax: +41 32 957 66 80
E-mail: paul-andre.amez-droz@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

No

Controllo dei metalli preziosi Chiasso
Via Giuseppe-Motta 22
Chiasso CH-6830
Switzerland
Tel: +41 91 695 55 80 / 81 / 82
Fax: +41 91 695 55 89
E-mail: massimo.tela@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch
No

Contrôle des métaux précieux Genève
Rue des Gares 12
Case postale 2294
Genève 2 Cornavin CH-1211
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 748 28 28 / 20
Fax: +41 22 748 28 29
E-mail: fabrice.schafer@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

No
Edelmetallkontrolle Zürich
Molkenstrasse 8
Zürich CH-8026
Switzerland
Tel: +41 44 245 82 41 / 42 / 43
Fax: +41 44 245 82 49
E-mail: thomas.kohler@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch
No

Bureau cantonal du contrôle des ouvrages en métaux précieux
Avenue Léopold-Robert 67
La Chaux-de-Fonds CH-2300
Switzerland
Tel: +41 32 913 75 65
Fax: +41 32 913 75 91
E-mail: pierre.hirsig@ezv.admin.ch
Web Site: www.swissassay.admin.ch

No

 

7. Typical mark formation:

A legal hallmark on watch-cases in Switzerland comprises three marks:
(I) A responsibility mark (sponsor’s mark).
(II) A millesimal standard of fineness mark.
(III) The official Swiss Hallmark (compulsory).

 

 


A legal hallmark on other articles than watch-cases in Switzerland comprises three marks:
(I) A responsibility mark (sponsor’s mark).
(II) A millesimal standard of fineness mark.
(III) The official Swiss Hallmark (optional).

 

 

8. Sponsor mark details:

Precious metal articles, multimetal articles and plated articles sold in Switzerland must bear a responsibility mark (RM) registered at the Central Office for Precious Metals Control in Berne. The register contains about 15.000 RM registered by Swiss or foreign companies; it is public and anyone can ask for information with regard to a specific mark.

One might compare the RM with a signature; by striking his mark the owner vouches for the accuracy of the article’s composition and accepts the consequences of any further dispute.

There are few binding provisions concerning the shape and the appearance of the RM; however, it may not be confounded with official hallmarks, it should not be similar or identical to other already registered RMs, to registered trade marks or brand names, or to the abbreviations of international organizations.

 

 


9. Finenesses accepted and fineness mark details:

  • Gold

Fineness (ppt)

Symbol

Traditional symbol

375

The standard of fineness is expressed in parts per thousand (‰) in relation to the total mass of the alloy concerned.

Other finenesses are not accepted for the Swiss market except for medals.

585

750

916

999

     

  • Silver

 

Fineness (ppt)

Symbol

Traditional symbol

 

800

 

 The standard of fineness is expressed in parts per thousand (‰) in relation to the total mass of the alloy concerned.

Other finenesses are not accepted for the Swiss market except for medals.

 

925

 

 

999

 

     

  • Platinum

 

Fineness (ppt)

Symbol

Traditional symbol

850

The standard of fineness is expressed in parts per thousand (‰) in relation to the total mass of the alloy concerned.

Other finenesses are not accepted for the Swiss market except for medals.

900

950

999

 

  • Palladium

 

Fineness (ppt)

Symbol

Traditional symbol

500

The standard of fineness is expressed in parts per thousand (‰) in relation to the total mass of the alloy concerned.

Other finenesses are not accepted for the Swiss market except for medals.

950

999

 

  • Other metals

 

  • Mixtures of precious metals and other metals and materials

Mixed articles (2 or more precious metals) can only be placed on the market if they bear the fineness mark of each constituting precious metal.

If the precious metal composing an article are clearly distinguished by their colour, their fineness must be marked on each precious metal part.
One responsibility mark is sufficient for each article.

When technical or aesthetic reasons exclude the marking of one of the precious met-als, it may be applied on the other. In this case the marking must be completed by the name or the chemical symbol of the concerned metals, i.e. "Ag 925/Au 750". The metal predominant in volume must be mentioned first.

If precious metals are not identifiable by their colour, only the fineness of the least precious metal may be marked. Precious metals are deemed to become more pre-cious in the following order: silver, palladium, gold, platinum.

Multimetal articles as such (precious metal combined with base metal) can only be put on the market if they satisfy the composition requirements and bear the neces-sary designations.

The different metals of multimetal articles must have a difference of colours suffi-ciently clear and the marking of the article sufficiently explicit to exclude any danger of confusion.

The precious and base metal parts of multimetal articles must bear separate marks:
– precious metal parts: fineness and responsibility mark;
– base metal parts: the specific indication of the metal or the word "METAL".

If technical or aesthetic reasons prevent marking on one part, it can be put on another one. In this case the fineness mark must be associated with the name or the chemical symbol of the concerned metal such as "GOLD 750/TITAN" or "STEEL/Ag 925". The metal predominant in volume must be mentioned first

 

10. Hallmarks accepted from other countries:

 

Convention hallmarks

Member of International Convention

 

National hallmarks – EEA countries accepted:

  • Austria (AU)
  • France (FR)
  • Spain (ES)

Other countries accepted:

Following bilateral and multilateral conventions have been signed between different States and Switzerland so that their hallmarks can be accepted at certain conditions.

 

(I) Vienna Convention (Common Control Mark)
Switzerland is a signatory to The Vienna Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals and thus accepts items bearing Convention hallmarks.
Further information: www.hallmarkingconvention.org

 

(II) Bilateral Convention Switzerland-France
Mutual recognition of official hallmarks by both countries, eliminate a double control of articles. It is not necessary to register the responsibility mark in the country of destina-tion.
Further information (in German, French or Italian): www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c0_941_334_91.html

 

(III) Bilateral Convention Switzerland-Spain
Mutual recognition of the official hallmarks on watch-cases and their accessory parts (for example watch bracelets).
Further information (in German, French or Italian):
www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c0_941_333_2.html

 

(IV) Bilateral Convention Switzerland-Austria
Mutual recognition of the official hallmarks on watch-cases.
Further information (in German, French or Italian):
www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c0_941_316_3.html

 

(V) Bilateral Convention Switzerland-Italy
Swiss articles with an official hallmark need not bear the identification mark of the im-porter as required by the Italian act; in exchange the Italian maker’s identification mark is recognized as a responsibility mark in Switzerland. Watch-cases with Italian identification marks are not subject to the compulsory official hallmarking.
Further information (in German, French or Italian): www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c0_941_345_4.html

 

11. Other IAAO observers in country

None.

 

12. Other information:

Concern: "National hallmarks – EEA countries accepted": only at certain conditions and not for all precious metals articles (see under "Other countries accepted")

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