Bern, 21 November 2022
Switzerland and the UK have extended their Services Mobility Agreement until 31 December 2025. This agreement allows Swiss companies easy access to British service providers and regulates Swiss service providers’ access to the British market.
The Services Mobility Agreement (SMA) maintains ease of access for service providers following the end of the free movement of persons between Switzerland and the United Kingdom with the latter’s withdrawal from the European Union. It regulates market access and temporary stay for service providers such as business consultants, IT experts and engineers. The agreement is temporary and has applied provisionally since 1 January 2021. The Federal Council decided on 9 November 2022 to extend it for three years. A stakeholder consultation has shown that the SMA meets a need in the Swiss economy and is working well.
Under the agreement, Switzerland continues to apply the notification procedure to UK professionals seeking to provide a service in Switzerland for a maximum period of 90 days per calendar year. The flanking measures for the free movement of persons also apply. Since 2021 more than 4,000 British services suppliers have used the notification procedure to provide services in the Swiss market under the SMA.
Likewise, the agreement gives Swiss exporters preferential access to the UK market in over 30 service sectors. In 2022 the UK facilitated market access in the areas covered by the agreement, in particular for service providers from the Swiss vocational education and training system. In many areas, service providers no longer need to prove they hold a university degree or have experience in order to be admitted to the UK market; some Swiss higher vocational education and training qualifications are now recognised by the UK as equivalent to a university degree. Furthermore, the UK has simplified some of the procedures for obtaining a business visa. The UK government has issued a political declaration to this effect.
Switzerland and the United Kingdom have exchanged notes extending the agreement until 31.12.2025. This amendment to the agreement enters into force on 1 December 2022.
Source – Swiss Government