National Implementation of IHL
Ordinance on the Use of Private Security Companies Abroad by the Federal Government, 2015
Ordonnance sur l’engagement d’entreprises de sécurité privées par des autorités fédérales pour l’exécution de tâches en matière de protection (Ordonnance sur l’engagement d’entreprises de sécurité, OESS) du 24 juin 2015 (état du 20 octobre 2015)

In French: Recueil systématique du droit fédéral, 124, 20 octobre 2015, 6 p. (last accessed on 22.02.2016)
In English: Classified Compilation of Federal Legislation, 124, 20 October 2015, 6 p. (last accessed on 22.02.2016)

On 24 June 2015, the Swiss Federal Council also adopted the ordinance on the engagement of private security services abroad by federal authorities outlining the conditions under which a federal authority can employ a private security company in Switzerland or abroad. This ordinance implements and further develops the provisions contained in section 7 of the federal law on private security services provided aboard adopted on 27 September 2013.

According to Article 1, the ordinance applies to federal authorities that contract a private security company for the performance of protection tasks in Switzerland or abroad. Article 2 further specifies that such delegation of performance of protection is subject to statutory basis authorization.

Prior to contracting a private security company, the authority shall consult the security officer of its department; or the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport when the company is operating abroad (Article 3). Moreover, the company must meet the cumulative criteria set out by Article 4 encompassing good reputation; guarantees on recruitment and training of personnel; solvability; internal control system; authorization to carry out activities in the domain of private security; and liability insurance.

In addition, Article 5 underlines the importance of an adequate training for personnel of private security company. In particular, such training should include fundamental rights, use of force, first aid and anti-corruption components. Personnel of private security company should be clearly identifiable (Article 6) and shall not carry weapons unless in Switzerland (Article 7) or when exceptional situations require it (Article 8). In any case, the recourse to force would be limited to legitimate defense and state of necessity situations. Besides, Articles 9 and 10 recognize the possibility for a private security company to undertake police measures if the personnel is adequately trained and authorized by the relevant law.

Finally, the ordinance provides a list of clauses required for a contract with private security companies and refers to model contracts elaborated by the Federal Department of Justice and Police and the FDFA for this purpose.

File TypeSizeFile Name
application/pdf 97 KB Switzerland - Ordinance on the Use of Private Security Companies Abroad by the Federal Government, 2015 [Fre].pdf
application/pdf 102 KB Switzerland - Ordinance on the Use of Private Security Companies Abroad by the Federal Government, 2015 [Eng].pdf