History

The “restriction on the acquisition of real estate” has a long and eventful history.

  • 23 March 1961
    • First federal resolution concerning the imposition of a permit for the acquisition of real estate by persons abroad, limited to 5 years (so-called Lex von Moos)
    • Extension of the first fixed-period regulation on two occasions, in each case by 5 years.
    • with tougher provisions to prevent transactions intended to circumvent the rules
  • 26 June 1972
    • Federal Council resolution introduced under emergency law (so-called Lex Celio)
    • Ban on the investment of foreign money in domestic real estate.
  • 31 January 1974
    • Lifting the Federal Council resolution that was introduced for currency policy reasons
  • 01 February 1974
    • Amended Federal Council resolution (so-called Lex Furgler)
    • Extension on two occasions by 5 and by 2 years respectively
    • with stricter provisions to prevent transactions designed to circumvent the rules, tighter rules concerning the acquisition of holiday homes and residential units in apartment hotels as well as tougher federal supervision
  • 16/12/1983
    • Passing of the Federal Swiss Act concerning the Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Abroad (Bundesgesetz über den Erwerb von Grundstücken durch Personen im Ausland – “BewG”)
  • 01 January 1985
    • BewG comes into force (indefinitely)
  • 25 June 1995
    • Referendum to amend Lex Friedrich did not attract a majority of the votes
  • 30 April 1997
    • Parliamentary resolution within the context of the so-called investment programme in respect of economic policy measures concerning the liberalisation of real estate used for commercial purposes
      • previously
        • all types of real estate subject to licensing requirements
      • new (proposed amendment)
        • general waiver of licensing requirements for real estate used for commercial purposes
        • Permission for persons abroad to make capital investments in real estate used for commercial purposes
  • 01 October 1997
    • The partial amendment comes into force
  • 08 October 1999
    • Harmonisation with the Treaty of 21 June 1999 between the European Union (EU) and its member states of the one part and the Swiss Confederation of the other concerning the free movement of persons as well as on 14 December 2001 with the amendment of 21 June 2001 of the Treaty to Establish the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  • 01 June 2001
    • Amendment of the EU/EFTA treaties come into force
    • From this date onwards the following acquisitions are possible for the following persons
      • EU/EFTA citizens who are domiciled in Switzerland
        • acquisition of all real estate categories (BewG 5 Para. 1 lit. a)
      • EU and EFTA international commuters 
        • acquisition of a second home in the region of their place of work (BewG 7 lit. j)
  • 22/03/2003
    • Parliamentary resolution concerning easing of regulations in the field of holiday homes, without undermining the system of permits and quotas
  • 01 September 2002
    • Amendments of 22 March 2003 come into force
    • Exemption of the quota units for sales of holiday homes by Swiss citizens to foreigners (BewG 9 Para. 4 lit. a + BewG 8 Para. 3)
  • 08 October 2004
    • Parliamentary resolution concerning the loosening of BewG in respect of
      • the acquisition of shares in listed residential property companies by persons abroad (exemption from the obligation to obtain a permit; BewG 4 Para. 1 lit. e)
      • the acquisition of shares in real estate in respect of which the buyer is already a co-owner or the sole owner (exemption from the obligation to obtain a permit; BewG 7 lit. c)
  • 01 April 2005
    • Amendments of 08 October 2004 come into force
  • 02 November 2005
    • Proposals made by the EJPD to abolish Lex Koller and by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications concerning supporting spatial planning measures
  • 2007 – 12 November 2013
    • Federal Council supports the abolition of Lex Koller
    • Various parliamentary consultations (see link in box)
  • 13 November 2013
    • Approval of the Federal Council’s supplementary statement on waiving the abolition of BewG