* Change to take effect on Nov. 1
* Move comes after Swiss grenades wound up in Syria
ZURICH Oct 10 Switzerland is toughening up
rules to prevent weapons sold to one country being re-exported
to areas of conflict after Swiss-made grenades turned up in
The move comes after an investigation found that the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) had given Jordan grenades sold by
Switzerland in 2003 and 2004 which later were channeled to
Syria, where a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad erupted
18 months ago.
The government approved on Wednesday a change to its war
materiel export ordinance: foreign buyers of Swiss-made weapons
will have to declare in writing they will not export, sell, give
or lend the arms without the agreement of Swiss authorities.
The declaration, which must be signed by a top foreign
official, allows Switzerland to conduct on-site inspections
after the weapons have been shipped. The change takes effect on
That finding prompted the Swiss government on Sept. 21 to
require the UAE to guarantee that no weapons imported from
Switzerland would re-exported.
The change now applies to other countries as well.
A general prohibition on re-exportation was codified in
Swiss law in 2006. The change to the ordinance is intended to
ensure purchase agreements comply with the law, a spokeswoman
for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) said.
(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Michael Roddy)