Rules on private security services abroad harmonised

Press release, 11.11.2020

Common terminology, a new consultation mechanism, and clear areas of responsibility: at its meeting of 11 November 2020, the Federal Council amended the Ordinance to the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad.

The updated ordinance sets out the consultation mechanism between the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), which is based on the existing mechanisms in the War Material Act and Goods Control Act. The consultation mechanism stipulates that the authorities must submit to the Federal Council any matters on which opinions diverge or are of major political significance.

Another amendment states that services provided in close connection with exports under the War Material Act or Goods Control Act are no longer subject to the obligation to provide information. The Federal Council also amended the ordinance in response to parliamentary procedural requests regarding the Pilatus case calling for better coherence in this area.

The amendments include more precise definitions of certain terms – 'logistical support', 'advising and training members of armed or security forces' and 'operating and maintaining weapons systems' – which will make it easier for the companies involved to comply with the law.

Possibility of additional legislative amendments under review
The current amendments to the ordinance were drawn up by the FDFA in conjunction with the EAER, DDPS and Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) as tasked by the Federal Council in February 2020, when it also approved a report on the subject.

Once the amendments to the ordinance have been adopted, the departments involved will jointly examine the need for a more extensive revision of the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA) itself.

This text (DE) is a provisional version. The final version which will be published under is the authentic text.(pdf, 288kb)

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For further information:
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The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs