Already on September 1st 2015 the Federal Act on Private
Security Services Provided Abroad PSSA entered into force (link). Many companies in
industry may not realize that the PSSA may be relevant for their
kind of operation as article 4 PSSA defines security services very
broad. Following activities, amongst others, are defined as
security services and may require a license when provided
Operational and/or logistical support for armed- or security
forces Operating and maintaining weapon systems Advising or
training members of armed or security forces
Companies supplying products or services to armed- or security
forces should evaluate whether the rendered activities fall under
the reporting/license obligation of the PSSA. Especially those
companies dealing with dual-use or military goods, and/or being
contractually linked to armed- or security forces should conduct a
The federal agency has published a guideline dealing with
overlapping obligations of the PSSA, the goods control ordinance
and the war material ordinance respectively. It details certain
simplifications for services that are covered by a SECO export
license (available in German only: link).
Furthermore Swiss companies need to consider that services of
controlled foreign entities may be subject to the PSSA as well. The
definition of controlled entity follows the Swiss Code of
Obligation for holding companies and the Federal Law on Acquisition
of Real Estate by Persons Resident Abroad for partnerships.
Companies in control of foreign entities with contractual ties to
armed- and/or security forces should evaluate potential exposure to
the Swiss PSSA.
MME Compliance AG supports companies with the analysis of
potential PSSA reporting- and licensing obligations as well as the
implementation of appropriate compliance programs.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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