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Government approves accord with UK to ease trade for companies 

Switzerland has signed a number of deals with the UK as part of its "Mind the Gap" strategy to maintain bilateral relations as much as possible in the wake of Brexit. (Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter and the UK's Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay seen here in 2019) Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The Swiss government has approved an agreement with Britain on mutual recognition of companies with “AEO” customs security approval, designed to facilitate trade.  

This content was published on April 14, 2021 - 12:55
swissinfo.ch/jc

This agreement is “intended to reduce technical barriers to trade and facilitate trade with the United Kingdom for companies with AEO status”, according to a government press releaseExternal link on Wednesday. The accord has yet to be ratified by Britain. 

Authorised Economic OperatorExternal link (AEO) status for approved companies was introduced as part of international measures to increase customs security after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Companies with AEO status are “considered particularly trustworthy, which is why they enjoy privileges with respect to security-related customs controls and can take advantage of customs clearance simplifications”, says the government press release.  

This comes after Britain officially left the European Union on December 31, 2020, bringing more customs formalities for British companies. 

In October 2016, the Swiss government adopted its "Mind the GapExternal link" strategy aimed at guaranteeing as far as possible the mutual rights and obligations of citizens in all areas that currently link Switzerland and Britain. Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland follows many EU rules, notably on trade. 

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