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Philippe Reich

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Philippe Reich is the head of Baker & McKenzie's Antitrust and Trade Law Practice Group in Switzerland and a member of the European Competition Law and transactional practice groups. He is a member of the EMEA Steering Committee of the International Trade and Commerce Practice Group and of the Global Steering Committee for the Firm's India Practice. He is also the Chairman of the Swiss Indian Chamber of Commerce and forms the Indian Desk in Switzerland. Mr. Reich regularly publishes articles on Swiss antitrust and trade laws and the Swiss-EU as well as Swiss-Indian bilateral relations.

On August 9, 2021, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada significantly escalated sanctions against Belarus in a multilateral effort to put pressure on the current Lukashenko regime. These sanctions were announced on the first anniversary of the fraudulent elections held in Belarus on August 9, 2020 and follow a series of previous measures against Belarus, including most recently the coordinated measures between the UK, US, Canada and the EU in June (see our previous blog post here) and the sectoral sanctions also introduced by the EU in June (see our previous blog post here).

On 7 July 2021, the Swiss government amended the list of designated parties in its Ordinance of Measures against Belarus, targeting an additional 78 individuals and 7 entities. These designated parties are subject to asset freezes, travel bans and a prohibition on funds and economic resources being made available to them or parties owned or controlled by them.

The Medical Device Regulation (“MDR”) enters into force in the EU. As from that date, the Mutual Recognition Agreement (“MRA”) between Switzerland and the EU no longer applies to trade in medical devices. To avoid a ban on imports, the Swiss Federal Government on 19 May 2021 adopted contingency rules providing for a grace period and clarifying the rules that medical devices need to meet for continued import into Switzerland.

On 11 December, the Swiss Federal Council extended sanctions against Belarus. Financial sanctions and travel bans were imposed on 15 individuals, including President Alexander Lukashenko. The new measures entered into force at 6pm on 11 December. The sanctions are in line with the decisions taken by the EU on 6…

On 29 November 2020, Swiss voters opted for the introduction of EU-style ESG reporting and due diligence requirements and against the so-called Responsible Business Initiative. While the initiative would have added teeth to the civil liability regime for the violation of international human rights and environmental standards across the supply chain, the substantive requirements regarding ESG reporting and due diligence across the extended enterprise are not any lighter under the chosen approach. We expect that affected companies will have to apply the new requirements in financial year 2023.

As a result of the extraordinary situation resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in Switzerland, the Executive Board of the Federal Procurement Conference (FPC) has issued recommendations for the public procurement of goods and services and contractual matters during the current COVID-19 crisis. The main goal is to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Swiss economy from a public procurement perspective.

The recommendations are valid during the exceptional situation as defined in the COVID-19-Ordinance 2 on measures to combat the coronavirus (SR 818.101.24) and for six months after the end of the exceptional situation.

However, owing to federalism, procurement law is not uniform. The recommendations of the FPC are not legally binding and, thus, the cantons may deviate from them.

In Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated March 24, 2020, the Government of India (“GOI”) imposed a nationwide shutdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19 epidemic in the country. The Order issues specific guidelines on the measures to be strictly implemented by all Ministries and Departments of the GOI, and the State…