Title Six. Revision of the Federal Constitution and Transitional Provisions
Chapter 1. Revision
Article 192. Principle
- The Federal Constitution may be totally or partially revised at any time.
- Unless the Federal Constitution and the legislation based on it provides otherwise, any revision of the Federal Constitution is made by the legislative process.
Article 193. Total revision
- A total revision of the Federal Constitution may be proposed by the People or by either of the two Councils or be decreed by the Federal Assembly.
- If the initiative emanates from the People or if the two Chambers are unable to agree, the People decide on whether a total revision should be carried out.
- If the People vote for a total revision, new elections shall be held to both Chambers.
- The mandatory provisions of international law must not be violated.
Article 194. Partial revision
- A partial revision of the Federal Constitution may be requested by the People or decreed by the Federal Assembly.
- The partial revision must respect the principle of cohesion of subject matter and must not violate mandatory provisions of international law.
- The popular initiative for partial revision must also respect the principle of consistency of form.
Article 195. Commencement
The totally or partly revised Federal Constitution comes into force when it is approved by the People and the Cantons.
Chapter 2. Transitional Provisions
Article 196. Transitional provisions in terms of the Federal Decree of 18 December 1998 on a new Federal Constitution
1. Transitional provision to Article 84 (Transalpine transit traffic)
The transfer of freight transit traffic from road to rail must be completed ten years after the adoption of the popular initiative for the protection of the alpine regions from transit traffic.
2. Transitional provision to Article 85 (Flat-rate heavy vehicle charge)
- The Confederation shall levy an annual charge for the use of roads that are open to general traffic on domestic and foreign motor vehicles and trailers that have a maximum permissible weight of over 3.5 tonnes.
- This charge amounts to:
- for trucks and articulated motor vehicles of
- over 3.5 to 12 t … Fr. 650
over 12 to 18 t … Fr. 2000 over 18 to 26 t … Fr. 3000 over 26 t … Fr. 4000
- over 3.5 to 12 t … Fr. 650
- for trailers of
- over 3.5 to 8 t … Fr. 650
over 8 to 10 t … Fr. 1500 over 10 t … Fr. 2000
- over 3.5 to 8 t … Fr. 650
- for coaches … Fr. 650
- for trucks and articulated motor vehicles of
- The rates of the charge may be adjusted by federal act insofar as this is justified by the cost of road transport.
- In addition, the Federal Council may adjust by ordinance the tariff category above 12 t in accordance with paragraph 2 to comply with any amendments to the weight categories contained in the Road Traffic Act of 19 December 1958.
- For vehicles that are not on the road in Switzerland for the entire year, the Federal Council shall determine suitably graduated rates of the charge; it shall take account of the costs of collecting the charge.
- The Federal Council shall regulate the implementation of the charge. It may determine rates in terms of paragraph 2 for special categories of vehicle, exempt certain vehicles from the charge and issue special regulations, in particular for journeys in border areas. Such regulations must not result in vehicles registered abroad being treated more favourably than Swiss vehicles. The Federal Council may provide for fines in respect of contraventions. The Cantons shall collect the charge on vehicles registered in Switzerland.
- The charge may be limited or abolished by law.
- This provision applies until the Heavy Vehicle Charge Act of 19 December 1997 comes into force.
3. Transitional provision to Article 87 (Railways and other carriers)
- The major rail projects include the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA), RAIL 2000, the connection of Eastern and Western Switzerland to the European High Speed Rail Network as well as the improvement of noise protection along railway lines through active and passive measures.
- In order to fund the major rail projects, the Federal Council may:
- use all revenues from the flat-rate heavy vehicle charge in accordance with Article 196 No 2 until the performance or consumption based heavy vehicle charge in terms of Article 85 comes into force and may, for this purpose, increase the rates of the charge by a maximum of 100 per cent;
- use a maximum of two thirds of the revenues from the performance or consumption-based heavy vehicle charge in terms of Article 85;
- use mineral oil tax revenues in terms of Article 86 paragraph 3 letter b in order to cover 25 per cent of the total expenditures on the NRLA base lines;
- raise funds on the capital market, up to a maximum however of 25 per cent of the total expenditures for NRLA, RAIL 2000 and connection of Eastern and Western Switzerland to the European High Speed Rail Network;
- increase the value added tax rates laid down in Article 130 paragraphs 1-3 by 0.1 percentage point;
- provide for additional funding from private sources or through international organisations.
- The funding of the major rail projects in accordance with paragraph 1 shall be carried out through a fund that is legally dependent on the Confederation but which keeps its own accounts. The resources from the charges and taxes mentioned in paragraph 2 shall be entered in the financial accounts of the Confederation and paid into the fund in the same year. The Confederation may grant advances to the fund. The Federal Assembly shall enact the fund regulations in the form of an ordinance.
- The four major rail projects in terms of paragraph 1 shall be adopted by federal acts. Proof must be established of the necessity and readiness for implementation. For each major project in its entirety. In the case of the NRLA project, each of the construction phases shall form the subject matter of a federal act. The Federal Assembly shall approve the required funding through guarantee credits. The Federal Council shall approve the construction phases and determines the time schedule.
- This provision applies until the conclusion of the construction work and of the funding (through repayment of the advances) of the major rail projects mentioned in paragraph 1.
4. Transitional provision to Article 90 (Nuclear energy)
Until 23 September 2000, no general, construction, start-up or operating licences for new facilities for the production of nuclear energy may be granted.
5. Transitional provision to Article 95 (Private economic activity)
Until the enactment of federal legislation, the Cantons must mutually recognise their education or training qualifications.
6. Transitional provision to Article 102 (National economic supply)
- The Confederation shall guarantee the national supply of bread grain and baking flour.
- This transitional provision remains in force until 31 December 2003 at the latest.
7. Transitional provision to Article 103 (Structural policy)
For no more than ten years from the date on which the Constitution comes into force, the Cantons may retain existing regulations that make the opening of new businesses dependent on establishing a need, in order to guarantee the existence of important parts of a specific branch of the hotel and restaurant industry.
8. Transitional provision to Article 106 (Gambling)
[Article 106 was revised on 11 March 2012.]
9. Transitional provision to Article 110 para. 3 (National Day of the Swiss Confederation)
- Until the amended federal legislation comes into force, the Federal Council shall regulate the details.
- The National Day of the Swiss Confederation shall not be included in the calculation of the number the public holidays in accordance with Article 18 paragraph 2 of the Employment Act.
10. Repealed by the popular vote on 28 Nov 2004, with effect from 1 Jan. 2008
11. Transitional provision to Article 113 (Occupational Pension Scheme)
Insured persons who belong to the generation working at the time of the introduction of the occupational pension scheme and therefore do not contribute for the full period shall receive the statutory minimum benefits, according to their income, within 10 to 20 years of the Act coming into force.
12. Transitional provision to Article 126 (Financial management)
[Article 126 was revised on 2 Dec. 2001.]
13. Transitional provision to Article 128 (Duration of tax levy)
- The power to levy the direct federal tax shall be limited until the end of 2020.
14. Transitional provision to Article 130 (Value Added Tax)
- The power to levy value added tax is limited until the end of 2020.
- In order to guarantee the funding of invalidity insurance, the Federal Council shall raise the value added tax rates from 1 January 2011 until 31 December 2017 as follows:
- by 0.4 percentage points of the standard rate in accordance with Article 36 paragraph 3 of the Federal Act of 2 September 1999 on Value Added Tax (VATA);
- by 0.1 percentage points of the reduced rate in accordance with Article 36 paragraph 1 VATA;
- by 0.2 percentage points of the special rate for accommodation services in accordance with Article 36 paragraph 2 VATA.
- The revenue from the increase in rates in accordance with paragraph 2 will be allocated in full to the Compensation Fund for Invalidity Insurance.
15. Transitional provision to Article 131 (Beer tax)
Until a federal act comes into force, the beer tax shall be levied in accordance with the current law.
16. Repealed by the popular vote on 28 Nov 2004, with effect from 1 Jan. 2008
Article 197. Transitional provisions following the adoption of the Federal Constitution of 18 April 1999
1. Accession of Switzerland to the United Nations
- Switzerland shall accede to the United Nations.
- The Federal Council shall be authorised to submit an application to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) requesting Switzerland’s accession to the organisation, together with a declaration on the acceptance of the obligations contained in the UN Charter.
2. Transitional provision to Article 62 (School education)
From the date on which the Federal Decree of 3 October 2003 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and the Allocation of Tasks between the Confederation and Cantons comes into force, the Cantons shall, until they have their own approved special-needs school strategies, but for a minimum of three years, assume responsibility for the current payments made by the Invalidity Insurance for special needs education (including the special needs pre-school education in accordance with Article 19 of the Federal Act of 19 June 1959 on Invalidity Insurance).
3. Transitional provision to Article 83 (National roads)
The Cantons shall construct the national roads listed in the Federal Decree of 21 June 1960 on the National Road Network (in its version valid on the commencement of the Federal Decree of 3 Oct. 2003 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and the Allocation of Tasks between the Confederation and Cantons) in accordance with the regulations of and under the supervision of the Confederation. The Confederation and Cantons shall share the costs. The share of the costs borne by the individual Cantons shall be determined by the burden imposed on them by the national roads, their interest in these roads, and their financial capacity.
4. Transitional provision to Article 112b (Promoting the rehabilitation of people eligible for invalidity benefits)
From the date on which the Federal Decree of 3 October 2003 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and the Allocation of Tasks between the Confederation and Cantons comes into force, the Cantons shall assume responsibility for the current payments made by the Invalidity Insurance to institutions, workshops and residential homes until they have an approved strategy on people with disabilities that also regulates the granting of cantonal contributions towards the construction and running of institutions that accept residents from outside the relevant canton, but for a minimum of three years.
5. Transitional provision to Article 112c (Aid for elderly people and people with disabilities)
The current payments under Article 101bis of the Federal Act of 20 December 1946 on the Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance for assistance and care in the home for elderly people and people with disabilities shall continue to be paid by the Cantons until cantonal regulations on the financing of assistance and care in the home come into force.
7. Transitional Provision to Article 120 (Non-human gene technology)
Swiss agriculture shall remain free of gene technology for a period of five years following the adoption of this constitutional provision. In particular, the following may neither be imported nor placed on the market:
- genetically modified plants that are capable of propagation, parts of plants and seeds that are intended for agricultural, horticultural or forestry use in the environment;
- genetically modified animals that are intended for the production of foodstuffs and other agricultural products.
8. Transitional provision to Article 121 (Residence and Permanent Settlement of Foreign Nationals)
The legislature must define and add to the offences covered by Article 121 paragraph 3 and issue the criminal provisions relating to illegal entry in accordance with Article 121 paragraph 6 within five years of the adoption of Article 121 paragraphs 3–6 by the People and the Cantons.
9. Transitional provision to Article 75b (Second homes)
- If the relevant legislation does not come into force within two years of the adoption of Article 75b, the Federal Council shall issue the required implementing provisions on construction, sale and recording in the land register by ordinance.
- Building permits for second homes granted between 1 January of the year following the adoption of Article 75b and the date on which the implementing provisions come into force shall be null and void.
10. Transitional provision to Article 95 para. 3
Until the statutory provisions come into force, the Federal Council shall issue the required implementing provisions within one year of the adoption of Article 95 paragraph 3 by the People and the Cantons.
11. Transitional provision to Article 121a (Control of immigration)
- International agreements that contradict Article 121a must be renegotiated and amended within three years of its adoption by the People and the Cantons.
- If the implementing legislation for Article 121a has not come into force within three years of its adoption by the People and the Cantons, the Federal Council shall issue temporary implementing provisions in the form of an ordinance.