Switzerland’s government has moved closer to agreeing on tighter rules that could mean that only watches where 60% of the value originates in Switzerland will be permitted to use the "Swiss-made" label.
According to a Reuters report, on Thursday Switzerland’s upper house of parliament agreed, by a slim majority, with the lower house’s position on a draft bill that proposes only allowing the tag of "Swiss made" to be attached to products where 60% of the item value originates in Switzerland. The draft law includes products from other industries too but is of great interest to the watch industry, where the Swiss-made label can potentially double product prices.
Currently, the watch industry complies with a 40-year-old directive that says that at least 50% of the value of the watch movement, not including the strap, case, glass and dial, must be Swiss.
Thursday’s development could move the industry closer to the possible legislation, which should help tighten the use of the coveted label "Swiss made".
Different rules for different industries are included in the draft law and it could still fail due to small differences between the parliament houses on other industries such as animal products. For a law to be submitted to a final vote both houses must agree on a common proposal.
On Tuesday, the lower house will re-examine the bill.