Regulating activities, not companies
Commodity trading brings together different activities, each with its own set of regulations. The challenge for decision makers is to adopt new regulations suited to the specificities of activities rather than companies.
STSA actively monitors and advocates in favour of fit-for-purpose policies and regulations that create a level playing field for Swiss operators, both within Switzerland and on an international level.
In order to assist policymakers in their task, STSA coordinates a number of specialised committees, thematic working groups and task forces devoted to the key issues shaping the outlook for the sector.
STSA recognises the need for the right balance between soft and hard law.
As key stakeholders in the commodity value chain, traders have been actively developing, implementing and promoting industry-specific voluntary codes and best practices covering a range of different commodities.
These complement the existing laws and regulations adopted by governments and public authorities, as well as the international standards enforced at the global level.
STSA is the voice of the swiss commodity trading industry in the public policy arena
STSA offers a unique expertise on regulatory and legislative issues and engages with all stakeholders (NGOs, academics, federal and cantonal authorities, media).
It works proactively to communicate its position on issues that might affect the commodity trading industry in Switzerland and provides information about the industry to policymakers.
STSA monitors issues that have the potential to impact the commodity trading industry.
There are 4 main areas of policy and regulatory activities
Business & Human Rights
STSA actively promotes the dissemination and adoption of voluntary principles for the commodity trading community and is leading the way for the industry .
The Association is working together with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to steer this process to completion.
STSA is supportive of transparency initiatives for commodity trading and of advancing the transparency discussion.
Not only does the Association encourage sector-specific sustainability initiatives, but STSA is a member of the EITI's Commodity Trading Working Group since 2015.
Financial regulation is a major topic for the trading and shipping industry. Following the 2008 credit crisis, the 2009 G20 Summit in Pittsburgh ushered in a new regulatory landscape for commodity traders.
STSA is deeply involved in political discussions at the Swiss level to safeguard the interests of the industry and works with its members on the implementation of the new rules.
Taxation policy plays a key role in defining the attractiveness of Switzerland.
STSA monitors negotiations in Switzerland on the Corporate Tax Reform III package and is supporting the introduction of a Swiss tonnage tax for shipping activities. It also follows the implementation of the OECD's 2015 Base Erosion and Profit Sharing Action Plan.
Swiss federal policy on commodity trading
Swiss policy on commodities is set at the federal level and involves several federal departments such as the Foreign Affairs Department, the Department for the Economy and the Federal Department of Finance. In 2013, Swiss authorities published an in-depth background report on commodities, setting the roadmap for future regulation of the industry in Switzerland.
STSA is regularly consulted by political authorities to bring its expertise at the federal and cantonal level. STSA participates in public consultations at both levels.