Bern, 26.06.2019 – The Directorate of Political Affairs at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) issued a ban on services provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates based on the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA). The Directorate has also filed a report with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.
The Directorate of Political Affairs has reviewed the services supplied by Pilatus Aircraft in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, which include technical support, replacement parts management and rectifying faults affecting the Pilatus PC-21 aircraft. These services qualify as logistical support for armed forces and must therefore be declared in accordance with the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA).
Having investigated the matter carefully, the Directorate of Political Affairs has concluded that support services supplied by Pilatus Aircraft to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are in breach of Article 1 para b of the PSSA, as they are incompatible with the federal government’s foreign policy objectives. The FDFA has therefore called for these services to be discontinued.
Pilatus Aircraft now has 90 days to pull out of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, the FDFA saw no grounds for prohibiting the company’s activities in the service of the armed forces in Qatar and Jordan.
Evidence of non-compliance with the declaration requirement
The Directorate of Political Affairs also assessed whether Pilatus Aircraft was in breach of the obligation to declare its activities. It believes there is sufficient evidence that Pilatus Aircraft failed to comply with its statutory obligations in this case and has therefore reported the incident to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. It is now for the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland and the courts to determine whether Pilatus Aircraft is, in fact, in breach of applicable law.