Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Swiss Federal Council

The Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Swiss Federal
Council hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties;
Aware of the particular importance of foreign trade and of different
forms of economic cooperation for the economic development of both countries;
Expressing their preparedness to cooperate in seeking ways and means to
expand trade and economic relations in accordance with the principles and
conditions of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in
Europe (CSCE) signed in Helsinki on August 1, 1975, and other CSCE/OSCEdocuments,
notably the Charter of Paris for a new Europe and the principles
contained in the final document of the Bonn Conference on Economic
Cooperation in Europe;
Reaffirming their commitment to pluralistic democracy based on the rule
of law, human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities,
fundamental freedoms and to market economy;
Desirous of creating favourable conditions for a substantial and
harmonious development and diversification of trade between them and for the
promotion of commercial and economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest;
Declaring their readiness to examine the possibilities of developing and
deepening their relations and to extend them to fields not covered by this
Resolved to develop their trade relations in accordance with the basic
principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the
Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO);
Noting the status of the Swiss Confederation as a member of the WTO
and the participation of the Republic of Armenia as an observer in the WTO
Have decided, in pursuit of the above, to conclude this Agreement:
Article 1
The objective of this Agreement is to establish a framework of rules and
disciplines for the conduct of mutual trade and economic relations between the
Contracting Parties. The Contracting Parties undertake, within the framework of
their internal legislation and international obligations, to harmoniously develop
mutual trade as well as various forms of commercial and economic cooperation.
The Contracting Parties recognize that the principles established by the
CSCE/OSCE process are essential for the achievement of the objective of this
Article 2
The Contracting Parties shall make every effort to promote, expand and
diversify their trade according to GATT/WTO principles.
Article 3
The Contracting Parties shall accord each other most-favoured-nation
treatment with respect to customs duties and charges of any kind imposed on or
in connection with importation or exportation of goods or imposed on the
international transfer of payments for importation or exportation as well as taxes
and other charges levied directly or indirectly on imported goods, and with
respect to the methods of levying such duties, taxes and charges, and with
respect to all rules and formalities in connection with trade.
Paragraph 1 shall not be construed so as to oblige one Contracting Party
to extend to the other Contracting Party advantages it accords in order to
facilitate frontier trade;
with the aim of creating a customs union or a free trade area or pursuant
to the creation of such an union or area in accordance with article XXIV of the
GATT 1994;
to developing countries in accordance with GATT/WTO or other
international arrangements.
Article 4
No prohibitions or quantitative restrictions, including licensing, on
imports from or exports to the territory of the other Contracting Party shall be
applied, unless the importation of the like product from third countries or the
exportation of the like product to third countries is similarly prohibited or
restricted. The Contracting Party, which introduces such measures, shall
implement them in a manner, which causes minimum harm to the other
Contracting Party.
Article 5
National treatment
The goods of the territory of one Contracting Party imported into the
territory of the other Contracting Party shall be accorded treatment no less
favourable than that accorded to like goods of national origin in respect of
internal taxes and other internal charges and all laws, regulations and
requirements affecting their internal sale, offering for sale, purchase,
transportation, distribution or use.
Article 6
Payments in connection with the trade in goods and in services between
the countries of the Contracting Parties shall be made in freely convertible
Parties to individual transactions of either country shall not be treated less
favourably than parties to individual transactions of any third State with respect
to the access to and the transfer of freely convertible currency.
Article 7

Other business conditions

Goods shall be traded between the parties to individual transactions at
market-related prices. In particular state agencies and state enterprises shall
make any purchases of imports or sales of exports solely in accordance with
commercial considerations including price, quality and availability; they shall,
in accordance with customary business practice, accord to enterprises of the
other Contracting Party adequate opportunity to compete for participation in
such transactions.
Neither Contracting Parties will require parties to individual transactions
to engage in barter or countertrade transactions, nor will they encourage them to
do so.
Article 8


The Contracting Parties shall make available their legislation, judicial
decisions and administrative rulings related to commercial activities and inform
each other of changes in their tariff or statistical nomenclature as well as
changes in their internal legislation, which may affect the implementation of this
Article 9

Market disruption

The Contracting Parties shall consult each other if any good is being
imported into the territory of one of them in such increased quantities or on such
conditions as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to domestic producers
of like or directly competing goods.
The consultations requested pursuant to paragraph 1 shall be held with a
view to seeking mutually satisfactory solutions; they shall be completed not
later than 30 days from the date of notification of the request by the Contracting
Party concerned, unless the Contracting Parties agree otherwise.
If, following action under paragraphs 1 to 2, agreement is not reached
between the Contracting Parties, the Contracting Party affected by the injury
shall be free to restrict imports of the goods concerned to the extent and for such
time as is absolutely necessary to prevent or remedy the injury. In this event and
after consultations within the Joint Committee, the other Contracting Party shall
be free to deviate from its obligations under this Agreement.
In the selection of measures pursuant to paragraph 3, the Contracting
Parties shall give priority to those, which cause the least disturbance to the
functioning of this Agreement.
Article 10

Intellectual property

The Contracting Parties shall ensure in their national laws adequate,
effective and non-discriminatory protection of intellectual property rights,
including in particular adequate and effective protection of copyright (including
computer programmes and databases) and neighbouring rights, trademarks for
goods and services, geographical indications for goods and services, patents for
inventions in all fields of technology, plant varieties, industrial designs,
topographies of integrated circuits and undisclosed information.
Compulsory licensing of patents shall be non-exclusive, nondiscriminatory,
subject to compensation commensurate with the market value
for the license of the patent and to judicial review. The scope and duration of
such license shall be limited to the purpose for which it was granted. Licenses
granted on the grounds of non-working shall be used only to the extent
necessary to satisfy the domestic market on reasonable commercial terms.
The Contracting Parties shall provide for enforcement provisions under
their national laws that are adequate, effective and non-discriminatory so as to
guarantee full protection of intellectual property rights against infringement, in
particular against counterfeiting and piracy. Such provisions shall include civil
and criminal sanctions against infringements of any intellectual property rights.
The relevant measures shall be fair and equitable. They shall not be
unnecessarily complicated and costly, or entail unreasonable time limits or
unwarranted delays. They shall include in particular injunctions, damages
adequate to compensate for the injury suffered by the right holder, as well as
provisional measures, including inaudita altera parte ones. Final administrative
decisions in intellectual property matters shall be subject to review by a judicial
or quasi-judicial authority.
If the domestic legislation of either Contracting Party does not provide
for the protection referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article, it shall be
adjusted not later than 0l.01.2000.
The Contracting Parties shall take all measures to comply with the
substantive provisions of the following multilateral agreements:
(1) WTO Agreement, of 15 April 1994, on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement);
(2) Paris Convention, of 20 March 1883, for the Protection of Industrial
Property (Stockholm Act, 1967);
(3) Berne Convention, of 9 September 1886, for the Protection of
Literary and Artistic Work (Paris Act, 1971);
(4) International Convention, of 26 October 1961, for the Protection of
Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome
Furthermore, the Contracting Parties, which are not parties to one or
more of the agreements listed above, shall undertake to obtain their adherence
thereto not later than five years from the date of entry into force of this
Where the acquisition of an intellectual property right is subject to the
right being granted or registered, the Contracting Parties shall ensure that the
procedures for grant or registration is of a high quality, non-discriminatory, fair
and equitable. They shall not be unnecessarily complicated and costly, or entail
unreasonable time limits or unwarranted delays.
A Contracting Party which is not party to one or more of the following
agreements shall undertake to obtain their adherence to them not later than five
years from the date of entry into force of this Agreement:
(1) Madrid Agreement, of 14 April 1891, concerning the International
Registration of Marks (Stockholm Act, 1967);
(2) Protocol, of 27 June 1989, relating to the Madrid Agreement
concerning the International Registration of Marks;
(3) The Hague Agreement, of 6 November 1925, concerning the
International Deposit of Industrial Designs (Stockholm Act, 1967).
The Contracting Parties shall accord to each other’s nationals’ treatment
no less favourable than that they accord to their own nationals. Exemptions
from this obligation must be in accordance with the substantive provisions of
Article 3 of the TRIPS Agreement.
The Contracting Parties shall grant to each other’s nationals treatment no
less favourable than that accorded to nationals of any other State.
In accordance with Article 4, paragraph (d) of the TRIPS Agreement, any
advantage, favour, privilege or immunity deriving from international
agreements in force for a Contracting Party at the entry into force of this
Agreement and notified to the other Contracting Party at the latest six months
after the entry into force of this Agreement, shall be exempted from this
obligation, provided that it does not constitute an arbitrary or unjustifiable
discrimination of nationals of the other Contracting Party. A Contracting Party,
which is a WTO Member, shall be exempted from the notification if it has
already made such notification to the TRIPS Council.
With a view to further improve protection levels and to avoid or remedy
trade distortions related to intellectual property rights, reviews under Article 14
(Review and extension) may deal with the provisions of this Article.
If any Contracting Party considers that the other Party has failed to fulfill
its obligations under this Article, it may take appropriate measures under the
conditions and in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 13 (Joint
Committee) of this Agreement. The Committee shall promptly make
arrangements for examining the matter not later than 30 days from the date of
notification of the request by the Contracting Party concerned. The Joint
Committee may make appropriate recommendations and decide about further
proceedings. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not found within 60 days from
the date of notification, the Contracting Party affected by the injury may take
measures necessary to remedy the injury.
Article 11

Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a
manner, which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable
discrimination of or a disguised restriction on trade between the Contracting
Parties, this Agreement shall not preclude the Contracting Parties from taking
measures justified on grounds of public morality;
protection of human, animal or plant life or health and the protection of
the environment;
protection of intellectual property; or any other measure referred to in
Article 20 of the GATT 1994
This Agreement shall not limit the right of either Contracting Party to
take any action justified on grounds referred to in Article 21 of the GATT 1994.
Article 12

Economic cooperation

1. The Contracting Parties shall make efforts to encourage and promote
economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
2. The objectives of such economic cooperation shall be, inter alia to
reinforce and diversify economic links between the Contracting Parties; to
contribute to the development of their economies; to open up new sources of
supply and new markets;
to encourage cooperation between economic operators with a view to
promoting joint ventures, licensing agreements and other forms of cooperation;
to enhance structural changes in their economies and to give support to
the Republic of Armenia in trade policy matters;
to encourage the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in
trade and cooperation;
to further and deepen cooperation in the field of intellectual property,
inter alia by developing appropriate modalities for technical assistance between
the respective authorities of the Contracting Parties, to this end, they shall
coordinate efforts with relevant international organizations.
Article 13

Joint Committee

A Joint Committee shall be set up in order to ensure the operation of this
Agreement. It shall consist of representatives of the Contracting Parties, act by
mutual agreement and meet whenever necessary and normally once a year in the
Republic of Armenia and in Switzerland alternately. It shall be chaired
alternately by each of the Contracting Parties.
The Joint Committee shall:
keep under review the functioning of this Agreement in particular
regarding the interpretation and application of its provisions and the possibility
of broadening its scope;
examine favourably ways of improving conditions for the development
of direct contacts between firms established in the territory of the Contracting
serve as forum for consultations with the aim of solving problems
between the Contracting Parties;
consider matters related to and affecting trade between the Contracting
review progress towards expanding trade and cooperation between the
Contracting Parties;
exchange trade-related information and forecasts, as well as information
pursuant to Article 8 (Transparency);
serve as forum for consultations pursuant to Article 9 (Market
serve as forum to hold consultations concerning bilateral questions and
international developments in the field of intellectual property rights; such
consultations may also take place between experts of the Contracting Parties;
develop economic cooperation according to Article 12;
formulate and submit to the authorities of the Contracting Parties
amendments to this Agreement in order to take account of new developments,
as well as recommendations in relation with the operation and broadening of the
scope of this Agreement pursuant to Article 14 (Review and extension).
Article 14

Review and extension

The Contracting Parties agree to review the provisions of this Agreement
upon request of either of them.
The Contracting Parties declare their readiness to develop and deepen the
relations established by this Agreement and to extend them to fields not covered
thereby, such as services and investments. Each Contracting Party may submit
reasoned requests to that effect in the Joint Committee.
Article 15

Territorial Application

This Agreement is extended to the Principality of Liechtenstein as long
as the bilateral agreement of March 29, 1923 between the Swiss Confederation
and the Principality of Liechtenstein is in force.
Article 16
Entry into force
This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the month
following the day on which both Contracting Parties have notified each other
through diplomatic channels that their constitutional requirements or other
procedures provided for in their legislation for the entry into force of this
Agreement have been fulfilled.
Article 17

Validity and denunciation

The present Agreement will be concluded for a period of five years. It
will be automatically extended for a further period of five years, unless either
Contracting Party notifies in writing to the other Contracting Party within a
minimum of six months prior to the expiration of the current period of validity,
its intentions to terminate the present Agreement.
Each Contracting Party reserves the right to suspend this Agreement in
whole or in part with immediate effect in case the basic principles underlying
this Agreement are not respected or if a serious violation of the essential
provisions of this Agreement occurs.
In witness whereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly
authorized thereto, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Bern on 19th November 1998 in two originals in the Armenian,
French and English languages, each text being equally authentic. In case of
divergence the English text shall prevail.
The Agreement has entered into force on January 1, 2000.