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The Agreement on the fight against fraud of 2004 improves co-operation between Switzerland and the EU in combating smuggling and other offences in the area of indirect taxation (customs duties, value added tax, consumer tax), as well as in relation to subsidies and public pro-curement markets. In principle, Switzerland provides administrative and legal assistance in all cases of serious crime in these areas. When acting on behalf of the EU authorities and its member states in such cases, Switzerland applies the same legal instruments as it uses for Swiss proceedings (so-called national treatment). Coercive measures such as house searches, seizures and inspection of bank accounts are now possible also as part of administrative as-sistance between administrative authorities and are no longer limited to legal assistance between judicial authorities alone. Direct taxation is not affected by the Agreement.
Thanks to Swiss assistance, the EU will be more effective in its efforts to eliminate activities such as cigarette smuggling and other forms of fraud, and thus avoid the loss of tax revenues. For its part, Switzerland has no intention of becoming a hub for fraud; such activities would only harm the country's reputation and its financial sector.
Status June 2012
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