Switzerland bans imports of Russian gold – Economy
Switzerland bans imports of Russian gold
ZURICH (AFP) – Switzerland, a major refiner and manufacturer of gold bullion, is banning imports of the precious metal from Russia, the government announced on Wednesday.
The central government has aligned itself with the sanctions of the EU which, on July 21, added a ban on imports of gold of Russian origin to the list of restrictions following the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow .
The ban comes into effect on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT), the Swiss Federal Council said in a statement.
Under the new sanctions, Switzerland prohibits “purchasing, importing or transporting gold and gold products from Russia,” the statement said, adding that “services related to these goods are also prohibited.” .
Traditionally neutral, Switzerland broke with its usual position in the days following the start of the war in Ukraine by aligning itself with the economic sanctions of the European Union.
In May, three tonnes of gold from Russia were imported from Britain, but it was unclear which company was responsible for bringing it to Switzerland, Bloomberg News reported.
The Swiss Association of Manufacturers and Traders in Precious Metals (ASFCMP), which represents the country’s largest refiners, contacted its members and said none of them were responsible for the imports.
The association insisted that “dubious gold” had “no place in Switzerland” and urged its members to act “with the utmost caution”.
Swiss customs said at the time they were reviewing imports in light of the sanctions, but insisted gold imports from Russia were not banned.
While gold exports were already subject to sanctions, imports were not banned under the sanctions order, customs officials said.
The fourth set of sanctions imposed by the EU included luxury goods, prohibiting the sale, supply, transfer or export of luxury goods to Russia, including gold, silver, pearls and diamonds.
But on July 21, the EU also explicitly added a ban on the import of gold from Russia, including in the form of powder, scrap or gold coins.
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